12 user 5 critic

Devil Dogs of the Air (1935)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Comedy | 9 February 1935 (USA)
This movie follows an arrogant undisciplined stunt pilot (James Cagney) as he enters the Marines and becomes a disciplined pilot. Familiar faces of co-stars Pat O'Brien, Frank McHugh and Margaret Lindsay add to the cast.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Tommy O'Toole
Lieut. Brannigan
Betty Roberts
Crash Kelly
Helen Lowell ...
Ma Roberts
Adjutant (as William Davidson)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
Helen Flint ...
Mrs. Brown (scenes deleted)


This movie follows an arrogant undisciplined stunt pilot (James Cagney) as he enters the Marines and becomes a disciplined pilot. Familiar faces of co-stars Pat O'Brien, Frank McHugh and Margaret Lindsay add to the cast.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Better than ever now! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 February 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vražji pilot  »

Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Helen Flint (Mrs. Brown) and Edward Brophy are in studio records/casting call lists as actors in this movie, but they do not appear. See more »


When Braniggan gets on the plane on the aircraft carrier, he is not wearing a parachute. During the next few scenes in the air and while walking on the wing, he is. See more »

Crazy Credits

To the Navy Department, to the officers and men of the Marine Corps and the fleet, Warner Bros. extend their thanks for invaluable co-operation. See more »


Referenced in Angels with Dirty Faces: Whaddya Hear? Whaddya Say? (2005) See more »


Merrily We Roll Along
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Murray Mencher
Lyrics by Eddie Cantor and Charles Tobias
Sung a cappella by 'Frank McHugh' often
See more »

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User Reviews

Semper Fi...UH-RAH...
24 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Standard service triangle film centered around the United States Marine Corp (U.S.M.C.) and its Aviator training program, circa 1935. Warner Brothers (WB) standby director Lloyd Bacon provides his usual workmen like effort in another air oriented screenplay by John Monk Saunders. If it is in the 'air' either Saunders or Frank 'Spig' Wead was going to have a hand in it. Their plots are so similar as to be interchangeable.

The Nuts; Lieut. Bill Brannigan (Pat O'Brien) invites friend and hotshot pilot Tommy O'Toole (James Cagney) to join the U.S.M.C. Reserve Aviator training program. O'Toole arrives and promptly starts to move in on Brannigans main squeeze, Betty Roberts (Margaret Lindsay) and get under everybody else's skin. Usual competition in the air and for the attentions of Betty with a predictable conclusion.

The film featured the usual complement of the WBs contract players all who do a competent job. Except, Frank McHugh, who normally provides light comedy relief. In this film though he was way over the top and irritating, so bad that you wanted him to walk into a propeller (rotating). O'Brien also seemed too earnest, shouting most of his lines while Cagney was a little to coy. Margaret Lindsay a attractive and competent actress made the most her role. Ms. Lindsay by her own admission only took her career as seriously as it needed to be without the drive of Crawford, Davis, De Havilland or Stanwyck.

The best part of the film had little to do with the principals, but actual maneuvers (wargames) by the United States Navy (U.S.N.) and the U.S.M.C. In the film the U.S.N. represented the BLUE Force (true) while the enemy was BROWN Force (misnomer). Those familiar with WAR PLAN ORANGE know that the BROWN Force was actual ORANGE, Imperial Japan. The ORANGE (and other) war plans were a series of studies initiated by Theodore Roosevelt when he was Under Secretary of the Navy. They were continuously gamed and updated to reflect changing requirements and technology, up to their absorption by RAINBOW FIVE, war on a global scale. Watching the filmed maneuvers you can easily pick up on what the U.S.N. was doing and how it applies even today. For more detailed knowledge consult WAR PLAN ORANGE: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat Japan 1897-1945 by Edward S. Miller.

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