Michael Lanyard (Gerald Mohr) is suspected of stealing two fabulous diamonds from a vault in Scotland Yard, where they were being held for safekeeping, but the Yard can't prove he did it. ... See full summary »
Lee Sheridan's ego has always been stoked by his newspaper publisher father, Dan Sheridan, who is willing to "hold the presses" solely to print Lee's many sporting accomplishments as they ... See full summary »
In 1917 Lt. Bill Gordon is headed for France when he meets and becomes friendly with Joel Carter, niece of the Asst. Secretary of War. Finding out that he is an expert on codes, she gets ... See full summary »
William K. Howard,
Sergeant Victor comes to the French Foreign Legion after taking the blame for his brother's crime. Cigarette falls in love with him though Major Doyle is in love with her. Doyle sends ... See full summary »
The Production Code Administration (the censors) requested that the "pansy gag" be deleted from the prints. That gag has James Gleason kissing Wallace Beery, who responds with, "Only men belong in this outfit." However, that scene is in the Turner library print. See more »
When the initial flying training ensues, the clips of two-seat trainers landing clearly have some two-seaters landing with only a pilot in the back seat and an empty front seat, although they are supposed to be training flights with both an instructor and a student pilot aboard. See more »
The Stars and Stripes Forever
Written by John Philip Sousa
Played during the opening credits
Played as background music for the ceremony at the end See more »
This one has some things going for it. I think it was probably meant to be a B film, but there are two stars who have good careers later that show up in almost throwaway roles - Rosalind Russell and Robert Taylor.
Plus you have some veteran actors - Lewis Stone as the general in charge of "West Point of the Air" and James Gleason who is always great as the wise guy plays good friend to Beery's "Big Mike" Stone. Then there is Wallace Beery, who is actually the star of the film, as a guy who never makes it past sergeant but is dedicated to the Army's aerial force from its infancy. Poor Beery. Sound was the best thing that ever happened to his career with his great growly voice and the production code was the worst thing that ever happened to it, with him being forced out of the "bad guy who may or may not want to make good" roles into gentler parts that just did not play to his strengths.
There are actually two male leads here - Beery as Big Mike and Robert Young as his son, little Mike. The film starts out as the army experiments with different plane designs. Skip (Maureen O'Sullivan), and Phil (Russell Hardie), are the children of Lewis Stone's character, who thus grow up with Big Mike's son, Little Mike (Robert Young). Of course, children play these parts in the beginning, not the actors I have just mentioned.
Well the story skips up to present day and Little Mike has turned into a cocky self-important pill. He is a hero on the football field in college, and just assumes that will translate into being a hero in the Army air corps. Actually it translates into tragedy after tragedy as he ignores the rules and gets people killed, badly injured, and even manages to foul up dad's career. Then something worse than being a pill happens to "Little Mike". He becomes paralyzed with fear after all of the things that happen and tells dad he will never fly again. Unfortunately the air corps are on maneuvers and are counting on him to fulfill an important job when he makes this unilateral decision. The other complicating factor is that Skip loves Little Mike although Mike only has romantic eyes for Russell's character, a party girl who encourages Mike to stay up late, drink, etc.
I'll let you watch and see how this one turns out. It was probably made just to see how some of this new MGM talent would do in a production that probably didn't matter much to MGM's bottom line, but it has pretty good action scenes, good performances, and is the first blush of what will become a staple later on in the late 30's and throughout the 40s - films that celebrate the military. They become much more common after Hitler becomes a tangible threat to the United States and the rest of the world for that matter.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?