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Clouds Over Europe (1939)
"Q Planes" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Mystery  |  20 June 1939 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 392 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 9 critic

Lighthearted romp of a pre-war spy story: quirky British secret service man finds out who's using a secret weapon to steal experimental planes.

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(story), (story), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
George Curzon ...
George Merritt ...
Gus McNaughton ...
Blenkinsop, Hammond's Butler
David Tree ...
R. Mackenzie
Sandra Storme ...
Daphne
Hay Petrie ...
Stage Door Keeper
Frank Fox ...
Karl
George Butler ...
Air Marshal Gosport
Gordon McLeod ...
The Baron
...
John Peters, a Pilot (as John Longdon)
Edit

Storyline

Experimental aircraft of several countries are mysteriously vanishing during test flights over the sea. The latest is British, and Hammond of the Secret Service, comical but competent, investigates undercover. Also interested is waitress Kay, a disguised reporter...and Hammond's sister. The government and plane manufacturer Barrett think the whole business is just coincidence, but the 'Viking,' ostensible salvage ship controlled by a Foreign Power, has much to do with it... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See the star of hit "Wuthering Heights"...in a thrill packed romantic drama!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 June 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Clouds Over Europe  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several scenes were filmed at Brooklands - the Clubhouse and the banking are clearly visible. When the Ministry Dragon Rapide comes into land a Wellington is just visible in the background. The test plane appears to be an Airspped Oxford; other planes were Tiger Moths and Gypsy Moths, and possibly a Bristol Fighter (just the engine and propeller are seen). See more »

Goofs

When Jenkins is shot, the windows are closed we also do not hear the sound of breaking glass). But when Hammond gets to his body, the window is wide open. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Barrett: Alright! Alright! Will you as a personal favour take that plane up?
Tony McVane: Well of course I will, you parboiled, pudding-minded, myopic deadhead!
See more »

Soundtracks

Matterhorn Theme
(uncredited)
from The Challenge (1938)
Music by Allan Gray
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A hidden gem!
21 November 2011 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Beneath the British B-picture exterior lies a hidden gem of an espionage thriller. Q PLANES is briskly paced and delightfully entertaining, balancing exciting spy intrigue with lighthearted character moments. The villains' dastardly scheme foreshadows James Bond villainy to come, and one can almost hear the John Barry music swell up during certain scenes.

The film is anchored by Ralph Richardson in a droll performance as a slightly Holmesian secret service man: undeniably brilliant, if a tad eccentric and prone to absent-mindedness. The triumvirate of stars is completed by Laurence Olivier as a pilot (and all-around good guy) and Valerie Hobson, who we learn is a newspaper reporter out looking for a scoop (in the grand tradition of such characters).

Top-secret experimental planes are disappearing under mysterious circumstances and Richardson is doing everything he can to get to the bottom of it. The main cast of Richardson, Olivier, and Hobson are great together and the movie manages to blend real comedy with real excitement. This little-known British thriller is a real winner. It's lots of fun and a wonderful surprise. Try to catch it on TCM sometime.


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