Above and Beyond (1953): Oscar-Nominated War Film Starring Robert Taylor

The MGM War film, Above and Beyond, was nominated for two Oscars: Story for Beirne Lay and Dramatic Scoring for Hugo Friedhofer.

The story of Colonel Paul Thibbetts (played by a stiff Robert Taylor), the pilot of the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, tries to combine combat sequences with domestic chapters about Thibbetts and his wife (Eleanor Parker), who resents the secretive nature of his mission.

The film is directed by Melvin Frank, who co-produced with Norman Panama and wrote the screenplay based on Beirne Lay Jr.’s story.

A mediocre film that’s marred by the home sequences and by the casting of Jim Backus (better-known as James Dean’s father in “Rebel Without a Cause”) as General Curtis LeMay.

Lay received another Oscar nomination for Motion Picture Story for a better WWII picture, “Strategic Air Command,” in 1955, starring Jimmy Stewart.

In 1953, the Story Oscar went to Ian McLellan Hunter (the front for blacklisted Dalton Trumbo) for the romantic comedy, “Roman Holiday,” and the Score Oscar to Bronislau Kaper for “Lili” with Leslie Caron.