(1948)3Craig ButlerCommand Decision is a gripping, if manipulative, war drama that features Clark Gable in one of his best post-War roles. Based upon a hit Broadway play, Decision suffers a bit from feeling stagebound. The creators have opened it up, but not as much as might be desired, although they have resisted the temptation of following the flyers on too many of their missions, which would have been a big mistake: by really showing what happened to the flyers (and to the innocent people killed in their raids), it would have worked against the screenplay's central argument in favor of tough, sometimes brutal decisions during war time. Decision's point is one that can be argued, and if the cards are stacked in favor of the argument here, they are still done so with skill. However, Decision does get a bit too talky, and sometimes the dialogue that was so powerful onstage comes across as a tad stilted. Fortunately, Gable is on hand, in a commanding, full-out performance that ranks among his best. He's ably abetted by an excellent Walter Pidgeon, Brian Donlevy, Van Johnson and even John Hodiak. Sam Wood directs with precision and care, and the result is a good, solid war flick.