In 1915 France, Major Brand commands the 39th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. The young airmen go up in bullet-riddled "crates" and the casualty rate is appalling, but Brand can't make the "brass hats" at headquarters see reason. Insubordinate air ace Captain Courtney is another thorn in Brand's side...but finds the smile wiped from his face when he rises to command the squadron himself. Everyone keeps a stiff upper lip. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
They roared through the dawn . . . with death on their wings !
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Did You Know?
Maj. Brand, played by Basil Rathbone
, is seen wearing the ribbon for the Military Cross. Rathbone himself was awarded this medal for bravery during the First World War as a second lieutenant. Capt. Courtney (Errol Flynn
) and later Lt. Scott (David Niven
) are also seen with ribbons, but Flynn and Niven were too young to serve in the war. Niven attended Sandhurst Military Academy and then served for two years on Malta. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he returned to England and re-joined the army. Flynn's weak heart got him a 4-F deferment and he never served during the war, a fact he always said he regretted. See more
The amount of oil and dirt on Courtney's face changes several times between scenes. The most obvious is when he goes up stairs to console another pilot who has lost a friend. As he goes up his face is slightly dirty, as he enters the room it is noticeably dirtier and when he comes back down it is much cleaner. See more
Gentlemen, keep the war going please. We're going to roll in a few gutters.
Music by Raymond Hubbell
Lyrics by John Golden
Played on the Grammaphone See more