One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
All the airplanes except the DeHavilands are well past 1918 time period. Curtiss P-1s are recognizable as well as other airplanes with highly tapered wings. Even the DH-4s were dated by 1933, but had been kept around, first as mail planes, then as barnstormers. See more »
Extremely hard-hitting and emotional anti-war film from Paramount features Fredric March, Cary Grant and Carole Lombard but for some reason it seems that history has forgotten this movie. March and Jack Oakie play pilots who are sent to France to lead up a group who, with gunners as protection, fly over hot zones to take pictures of the enemy. March quickly becomes a hero but his soul begins to hurt as he feels responsible for the gunners who are being killed on his mission. Soon the third pilot of the group (Grant) shows up to be a gunner for March but by this time the veteran pilot finds himself questioning the war and his missions. I had never heard of this film or even heard a mention of it when early war films were discussed and that's a real shame because this film deserves to be known by more people. I was really shocked at how brutally honest and at times heart breaking this film was and it's wasn't afraid to show it's feelings towards war. Most war films from this era always ended with a strong victory but this one here isn't about the victories but instead the deaths that it takes to get a win in battle. The film is also rather graphic in some of the death scenes with one of the biggest scenes coming when March must wipe blood off his hands. I've always called March one of the greatest actors in the history of film but this might very well be the best I've seen him. There are two sequences in the film, which the actor just really amazed me and surpassed the greatness he delivered to countless other films. One sequence is where he's having a nightmare about seeing pilots on fire and falling through the air. The second comes when he is being toasted for killing an ace pilot and March finally lets his feelings known. Grant is pretty good in his role as is Oakie. Carole Lombard has a brief, two scene role as a woman who helps March. As with many war films from this era, the aerial scenery is quite breathtaking with some beautiful stunts. These stunts are very good but they never take away from the main goal of the film, which is to show what costs there are to victories. I had never heard of this film but I'm so glad I watched it because it's certainly one of the best of the decade.
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