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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Edwin L. Marin
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Roy Del Ruth
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
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J. Walter Ruben
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
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 is in some respects the Top Gun of its era-a drama about pilots ,and in particular the efforts of a hotshot trainee cadet from the flying academy at Pensacola to be accepted by the pilots of an elite service corps to which he is posted. The pilot -played by Robert Taylor-does not make a propitious start ,being forced to ditch his plane in heavy fog and mistaking his Commanding Officer's wife for a possible date .Matters get worse when a project he becomes involved with ,that aims to make it possible to land safely in fog ,goes fatally wrong ,and he is also falsely suspected of breaking up his C.O ' marriage. The second world war is taking place(There are references to Dunkirk) but the U S is not yet involved and the movie lacks the impetus that some combat sequences would have given to it. Its poorly acted -Taylor is as wooden as ever ,Ruth Hussey is frankly awful and even the normally dependable Walter Pidgeon looks as if he would rather be doing something else Frank Borzage was an excellent director in more romantic and poetic movies but is like a fish out of water in the macho world of aviation and square jawed heroics . The end product is frankly dull.
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