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Flight Command (1940)

Passed  -  Drama | War  -  27 December 1940 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 400 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 2 critic

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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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Flight Command (1940)

Flight Command (1940) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ensign Alan Drake
...
Lorna Gary
...
Squadron Cmdr. Billy Gary
Paul Kelly ...
Lieut. Cmdr. 'Dusty' Rhodes
Shepperd Strudwick ...
Lieut. Jerry Banning
...
Lieut. 'Mugger' Martin
...
C.P.O. 'Spike' Knowles
Dick Purcell ...
Lieut. 'Stichy' Payne
William Tannen ...
Lieut. Freddy Townsend
William Stelling ...
Lieut. Bush
Stanley Smith ...
Lieut. Frost
Addison Richards ...
Vice Admiral
Donald Douglas ...
1st Duty Officer
...
2nd Duty Officer
Forbes Murray ...
Captain
Edit

Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asas nas Trevas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Wires are clearly visible on most of the miniature aircraft. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Miracle of Sound (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Taps
(1862) (uncredited)
Written by Daniel Butterfield
Played as part of the score when deaths occur
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The "Hell Cats"
8 February 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

The Hell Cats, a group of Navy pilots are the subject of the film. These men showed a tremendous amount of courage in those early days of aviation before WWII. It's amazing what they could do, given the state of the technology. Basically, the film shows how the cliquishness of the more experienced pilots do to a newly arrived ace whose presence threatened the way they did things up to the time when Alan Drake, aka, Pensacola joins the group.

The director, Frank Barzage, did marvelous things with what must have been a difficult task to photograph some of the scenes from the planes commanded by the Hell Cats. For having been made in 1940, the film must have been a ground breaker in showing some incredible stunts, like the landing in the aircraft carrier in formation is seen from one of the landing planes.

The film showcases Alan Drake, an eager young pilot who joins the squadron. In joining the unit, he almost dies and has to eject from the plane he is commanding. That is when he meets Lorna Gary, who unknown to him is married to the base commander. "Pensacola", as he is known to the other men in the base, proves to be popular until his best friend dies trying to perfect a technique not approved by the Navy. The company sensing he and Lorna are having an affair quickly join ranks against him.

Robert Taylor makes a good contribution as Drake. Ruth Hussey is wonderful with her Lorna Gary. Walter Pigeon plays her adoring husband Bill. Paul Kelly, Shepperd Strudwick and Red Skelton also make good appearances as some of the pilots.

"Flight Command", although dated, proves to be a pleasant time at the movies.


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