Jim Lane is a test pilot, whose professional life is dangerous, and whose personal life compensates for that danger by fast living and recklessness. As such, he lives from paycheck to paycheck, and is often in debt, but knows his lucrative job will eventually get him out of those debts. On a coast to coast record attempt speed flight, Jim's plane, the Drake Bullet (named after the company's owner), hits some mechanical problems and Jim is forced to make an emergency landing on a farmer's field in Kansas. The farm belongs to the Barton family, whose straight talking daughter, Ann Barton, falls for Jim, and visa versa. They impulsively decide to get married and live in New York. Jim's sidekick and mechanic, "Gunner" Morris, doesn't know if Jim and marriage go hand in hand, both because of the type of person he is and his profession. Ann too soon learns that she plays second fiddle to Jim's work, she referring to the sky as Jim's mistress. Ann also truly comes to understand the dangers ... Written by
When Gunner sticks his gum to the plane before the takeoff in Wichita, in the close shot he is shown standing immediately behind the cockpit, whereas in the subsequent long shot, he is shown considerably aft of there. See more »
" I have come to the conclusion, that all test pilots should be bachelors "
Victor Fleming directed this film called " Test Pilot " and although it is remade several more times, each has it's own quirks. In this version we have Clark Gable, playing Jim a fun loving, joy seeking test pilot out to tame a plane and the sky-mistress. Spencer Tracy, plays Gunner he dutiful, loyal side kick who tries to play guardian angel over his reckless best friend. Myrna Loy is Ann a beautiful farm's daughter who becomes his girl and later his wife. With Lionel Barrymore playing Drake, his employer, the film dwells mostly on the personal relationship between the main characters and their ambitions. As such the movie is a soft but lofty tribute to foolhardy aviators and dwells painfully on the personal aspects between those who fly and those who expect the inevitable disastrous outcome of a failed aircraft. Though Tracy and Gable are a great team in other movies, they seem at odds in this one. Still, for an early war time propaganda film, it's acceptable, but hardly a classic for either star. ***
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