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... See full summary »
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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
The aircraft carrier used at the end of the movie was the USS Enterprise (CV-6). The deck markings can be seen as EN on the bow and stern. A photo of the USS Enterprise (CV-6) from 1939 on Wikipedia confirms this. See more »
Wires are clearly visible on most of the miniature aircraft. See more »
Likable but routine aerial story about a flight cadet who must prove himself...
ROBERT TAYLOR plays a cocky air cadet who must prove to his commander and teammates that he's really a good guy when their perception of him is unclear due to a few plot circumstances.
WALTER PIDGEON plays the commander with his usual poise and elegance, smoothly mature as the husband of RUTH HUSSEY. Hussey has never had a better share of close-ups but her role is really peripheral to the main story of camaraderie among the men.
Frank Borzage has directed with a good eye for the aerial sequences during the period just before WWII. Carriers with planes landing on them and various formations while on maneuvers are all well photographed and realistically presented.
Taylor gives an admirable performance in the kind of role that would have gone to John Payne if the film had been made at Fox. His subtle awareness of how the men perceive him (after a misunderstanding) shows that he was capable of being more than just a pretty face.
Although well done and enjoyable to watch, the script prevents it from being anything more than a routine aerial film with some nice touches.
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