Flight operations were filmed aboard the USS Saratoga. Scenes of planes landing on the carrier deck were edited post-production to obscure the actual operation of the aircraft arresting gear. See more »
CPO Steve Nelson:
And if you want to know what this is, it's a bomb! And there's enough T.N.T. in it to blow us to Smithereens.
I've always wanted to go to Smithereens.
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This typically polished MGM effort features one of its established actors Beery opposite new kid on the block Gable (before he was old enough to grow a moustache). It's one of few films the pair made together, reportedly because they never really hit it off (Beery is said to have even turned down a role in MGM's Mutiny on the Bounty because he didn't want to work with Gable). Then again, Beery, a lovable old lug on the screen, was a fairly unpleasant character in real life, with rumours of manslaughter, meanness and abuse of women and children surrounding him to this day.
The film's plot could take place anywhere and at anytime really. That was the beauty of the studio product in the 30s: they could just keep churning out the same story with a different cast set in a different period and the masses would happily pay the money to watch them all. This one features some terrific aerial shots of old biplanes and some truly bizarre heroics (Gable hanging upside down from a plane with one hand holding a bomb to prevent it from exploding when the plane lands for instance). There are a few funny moments too, the best of which is the incidents that lead to Beery and Gable duking it out just minutes after having finally made friends.
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