Seventy-six years after William Wyler and his film crew soared over Europe chronicling the terrifying missions of the Eighth Air Force, Vulcan Production’s documentary The Cold Blue premiered on the big screen, honoring the bravery of these men. Incredibly, all of the raw footage – 15 hours worth – that Wyler and his team shot for his 1943 film, The Memphis Belle, was found in the National Archives and meticulously restored from the original 16mm film to 4K, bringing history back to life.

Read what people are saying about the documentary following its theatrical premiere

Popular Mechanic’s Chuck Thompson interviewed the film’s director, Erik Nelson, to get the story behind The Cold Blue. He shared his thoughts after finishing the documentary:

“For anyone interested in the war, aviation or the electrifying new direction of historical documentaries, it’s essential viewing.”

James Clark of Business Insider reports on the documentary, and the human costs of the “Mighty Eighth.”

“‘The Cold Blue’ is as much a meditation on death and fear as it as a tribute those who found the courage to climb back into a flying fortress and face it all again, day after day.”

In her review on Forbes, columnist Jane Levere had this to say about the film:

“A meditation on youth, war and trauma, ‘The Cold Blue’ is also a tribute to one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, Wyler’s cameraman Harold Tannenbaum, who perished in combat while filming, and to the men of the Eighth Air Force”

After the credits rolled, audiences took to social media to share their thoughts on the documentary: 

While The Cold Blue’s big screen debut was for one-night-only, don’t miss its premiere on HBO on June 6 at 8 p.m. ET.

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