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

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Mystery  |  20 June 1939 (USA)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 406 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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Complete credited cast:
George Curzon ...
George Merritt ...
Gus McNaughton ...
Blenkinsop, Hammond's Butler
David Tree ...
R. Mackenzie
Sandra Storme ...
Hay Petrie ...
Stage Door Keeper
Frank Fox ...
George Butler ...
Air Marshal Gosport
Gordon McLeod ...
The Baron
John Peters, a Pilot (as John Longdon)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 June 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Clouds Over Europe  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The destroyer sent to intercept the SS Viking is the HMS Echo (H23). This was one of 9 E class destroyers of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1934. During the Second World War she sank a U boat in 1943 and was transferred to the Greek Navy in 1944. See more »


Both times that the experimental plane ditches in the sea beside the ship, its wheels are up. But as it is lowered into the hold, the wheels are down. With no power, it would be impossible to lower the wheels. See more »


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 »


Lord Mere Coming from Club
from The Divorce of Lady X (1938)
Music by Lionel Salter
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User Reviews

Classic British wartime romp
16 March 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When newly developed planes being disappearing during testing with no trace a police Inspector and a test pilot begin to look into the possibility of espionage within the company.

Wartime dramas are very much of a standard affair – feel good affairs where we beat the Germans. This is very much one of those – the story is very flimsy and unlikely but it manages to have plenty to commend it. The story is carry by the comedy and the characters that make you overlook the sheer unlikely way in which the planes vanish. The story progresses to the inevitable shootout between the Brits and the Germans but on the way there's plenty to enjoy.

The film is mainly saved by a wonderful performance by Ralph Richardson as the inspector – he is funny from the first scene and his character is wonderfully charming and forgetful. Olivier is also good, but it's not his best! The supporting cast of sassy women and foolish businessmen also add to the mix to make for an enjoyable romp.

Overall this isn't a classic but the comedy and a superb Richardson makes this better than the sum of it's parts.

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