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George Takes the Air (1938)

It's in the Air (original title)
A case of mistaken identity leads to accident-prone George Brown (George Formby) entering the Royal Air Force and falling in love with the Sergeant Major's daughter.



(screenplay), (story)

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Complete credited cast:
George Brown
Polly Ward ...
Jack Hobbs ...
Cpl. Craig
Garry Marsh ...
Commanding Officer Hill
Julien Mitchell ...
Sergeant Major
Ilena Sylva ...
Anne Brown
Frank Leighton ...
Pvt. Bob Bullock
C. Denier Warren ...
Sir Philip
Hal Gordon ...
Nobby Clark - mechanic
Joe Cunningham ...
Flight Sergeant
Jack Melford ...
Lt. Terry - pilot
Eliot Makeham ...
Sir Philip's Gardener


Accident-prone George Brown (George Formby) is rejected by the Home Guard because he can't tell his left from his right. However, when a pal in the RAF forgets some very important documents George dons a uniform and takes them to the base, where he is mistaken for a dispatch rider. George soon finds it is easier to get into the air force than it is to get out, but finds some compensation when he meets his Sergeant Major's pretty daughter. Written by Mark Wood <markawood@hotmail.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Musical | War


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Release Date:

9 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

George Takes the Air  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scenes of the air-raid exercise at the opening of the film are taken from Things to Come (1936). See more »


Spoofed in Hi-de-Hi!: Only the Brave (1986) See more »


They Can't Fool Me
Written by George Formby, Harry Gifford & Fred E. Cliffe
Performed by George Formby
See more »

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User Reviews

It's in the dim and distant past
8 December 2006 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

This was a nice George Formby vehicle, or vehicles - first the passion of his life, a motorbike then an aeroplane. It was also a flag-waver-in-advance with no mention of the War to come 7 months after release or the Nazis.

George wants to join the Air Force but is refused because he can't tell left from right - after a series of accidents and practical jokes played on him he's in, and in love. The songs were They Can't Fool Me (over the radio and with a tremendous solo on the uke), Our Sergeant Major (2 versions Worst and Best) and the hepped-up and therefore more dated It's In The Air (with Polly Ward in the rather crowded canteen). Jack Hobbs played the enigmatic practical joking corporal with a mental age of 5, not really what was needed in the RAF I should have thought! Garry Marsh had a great part as the CO, but a lot of the familiar gang were in sterling attendance too. George was also described in here as having a face like a horse with a row of teeth like a graveyard ... now you know what it took to be a superstar!

It reflects back to us now a sadly dead world in all senses of the word. With a satisfying but implausible flying climax it remains one of Formby's better films.

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