A rookie flyer, Ens. Alan Drake, joins the famous Hellcats Squadron right out of flight school in Pensacola. He doesn't make a great first impression when he is forced to ditch his airplane...
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Danny is a content truck driver, but his girl Peggy shows potential as a dancer and hopes he too can show ambition. Danny acquiesces and pursues boxing to please her, but the two begin to spend more time working than time together.
Covering the tulip festival in Little Delft, Michigan, reporter Henry Taggart takes a room at an inn ran by an eccentric old Dutchman, Mr. Van Maaster and his seven daughters. The eldest, ... See full summary »
Jimmy Connors and his girl-friend want to take part in Paul Whiteman's highschool's band contest, but they cannot afford the fare. But per chance the meet Paul Whiteman in person and are ... See full summary »
Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
U. S. Navy Lieutenant Gregg Masterman (Robert Taylor), of THE Harvard and Boston Back Bay Mastermans, learned about the sea while winning silver cups sailing his yacht. He climbs swiftly in... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
Tyrone Power is a pilots' pilot, but he doesn't believe in anything beyond his own abilities. He gets into trouble by flying a new fighter directly to Canada instead of to New York and ... See full summary »
Rags-to-riches Hennessey meets newlyweds Jessie and Eddie from his old neighborhood. Eddie plots to have Jessie divorce him, marry Hennessey, divorce Hennessey, then bring Hennessey's money... See full summary »
A rookie flyer, Ens. Alan Drake, joins the famous Hellcats Squadron right out of flight school in Pensacola. He doesn't make a great first impression when he is forced to ditch his airplane and parachute to safety when he arrives at the base but is unable to land due to heavy fog. On his first official outing, his poor shooting skills results in the Hellcats losing an air combat competition. His fellow pilots accept him anyway but they think he's crossed the line when they erroneously conclude that while their CO Billy Gray is away, Drake has an affair with his wife Lorna. Drake is now an outcast and is prepared to resign from the Navy but his extreme heroism in saving Billy Gray's life turns things around. Written by
This film received its initial television broadcasts in Philadelphia Friday 26 April 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by Los Angeles Friday 10 May 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11) but its earliest documented telecasts in San Francisco did not occur until 5 March 1959 on KGO and in New York City 21 May 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »
Wires are clearly visible on most of the miniature aircraft. See more »
"Flight Command" was shown as part of the TCM Memorial Day series, and it deserves to be remembered for its excellent performances by the leads and all the supporting players, as well as the air scenes of single-engine planes flown by the squadron of Navy pilots. There is a lesson in their comraderie which is all the more moving when one considers the 1940 date and the skilful stuntwork of the planes for its time. Walter Pidgeon gives a classic performance, both strong and vulnerable, for which he will become better known in later films, and Ruth Hussey, usually in a secondary role, puts in a sensitive and generous performance as the "skipper's" stalwart wife in a part that could have been given to Myrna Loy. I am not a fan of Robert Taylor, but I felt he gave one of the more honest of his performances, and his good looks did not for once detract. Ruth's brother in the film, Shepperd Strudwick, hardly a known name, was well-cast as the outgoing, daring inventor working on a fog-navigating device. Between Pidgeon's Apollonian personality and Taylor's Dyonisian charm, Strudwick's relaxed and interestingly handsome face reminded me of Joseph Cotton in having a natural sense of gravitas in his manner.
Even though the plot was not a complex one, the different character relationships, whether between the pilots themselves, or of the perceived triangle of Taylor, Hussey and Pidgeon, was sensitively handled, and the several tricky maneuvers demanded of the pilots kept me glued to the screen. Credit should be given to the director, Frank Borzage, for coaxing such balanced performances from the cast. As for the supporting roles, Paul Kelley and Red Skelton (apparently in his first film appearance) both deserve mention, as do the script writers. The situations and dialogue appear routine, but nothing that is said or done is hackneyed or banal.
Of four ****, I would give it a highly recommended three***.
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