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Dive Bomber (1941)

Approved | | Drama, War | 30 August 1941 (USA)
A military surgeon teams with a ranking navy flyer to develop a high-altitude suit which will protect pilots from blacking out when they go into a steep dive.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Art Lyons
Tim Griffin
'Lucky' James
John Thomas Anthony
Senior Surgeon at San Diego
Dennie Moore ...
Mrs. James
Swede Larson
Corps Man


A new flight surgeon and a Navy pilot overcome personal differences to work on solving the problem of Altitude Sickness which causes blackouts at high altitude. The real stars of the film are the pre-World War II navy aircraft featured in full color Written by Robert Svacha <chisox@azstarnet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


WINGS TO THE WIND...EYES TO THE SKIES! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Blue Sky  »

Box Office


$1,700,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to the book 'The Casablanca Man: The Cinema of Michael Curtiz' by James C. Robertson, this movie was one of the Warner Brothers studio's biggest box-office hits of 1941 and the film made a profit of more than $(US) 1 million. See more »


When Regis Toomey as Lt. Tim Griffin, USN, comes back into the story as an RAF pilot flying a supposedly Royal Air Force Fighter, it is nothing of the kind. It is an American Ryan STA Trainer with RAF-style camouflage & markings, a covered front cockpit and a cobbled-on radial engine cowl. See more »


Lt. Douglas S. 'Doug' Lee, MD: Remember you? You're a window in the house of my life!
See more »

Crazy Credits

This picture produced under the auspices of the motion picture committee, cooperating for national defense. See more »


Featured in Dive Bomber: Keep 'Em in the Air (2005) See more »


We Watch the Skyways
Music by Max Steiner
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

Flynn Navy Tale With Controversial Backstory...
6 October 2003 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

Taken by itself, DIVE BOMBER is a routine tale of the efforts of Navy doctors to find solutions to major issues facing aviators (countering the effect of G-force on pilots, and functioning in a high altitude environment), written by Naval aviator Frank ('Spig') Wead (who would, himself, be the subject of a later film, John Ford's THE WINGS OF EAGLES), photographed in glorious Technicolor, and teaming top WB 'draw' Errol Flynn with two legendary actors, Fred MacMurray and Ralph Bellamy. Filmed at the eve of the war, the film was one of many military-themed pictures Hollywood's studios were producing, to generate public acceptance of an inevitable U.S. involvement.

While the movie was successful when released, the passage of time has dated it, and the issues addressed; as a result, DIVE BOMBER has not retained the luster of Flynn's swashbucklers. But in the seventies, the film took on a new significance, as allegations were made that Flynn had committed treason, working for the Nazis at the time of the shooting.

According to 'secret' documents that an author said were made available to him, Flynn aided two known Nazi agents, helping them perform espionage by demanding DIVE BOMBER be shot 'on location' at Pensacola Naval Air Station. While the spies were arrested and deported, Flynn went unpunished, and his participation 'covered up', for morale reasons. The revelations were published in a Flynn biography, and the actor's already tarnished reputation became the butt of a new round of derision (a thinly-veiled version of Flynn served as the Nazi villain of the 1991 film, THE ROCKETEER).

Many of Flynn's surviving co-stars, and his official biographer, Tony Thomas, came to the long-dead actor's defense, and research into the extensive, now declassified file the FBI kept on the rowdy actor (files were kept on virtually everyone of importance in the entertainment industry) reveal no more than a social involvement with the agents (the pair socialized with many 'movers' in the film industry, and Flynn was a major 'party animal' in the forties). The idea that the actor could have 'demanded' and gotten a location to be used would have been unlikely (the studio carefully budgeted each film, and actors were only rarely involved in the production end). Had the charges been true, no studio would have ever hired Flynn, again (this was a very patriotic period), and Jack Warner would have PAID, if necessary, for Flynn's one-way ticket to Germany!

Despite the lack of any real evidence, there are still people who cling to the belief that Errol Flynn was guilty (he was far from the noble cavalier that many of his early films portrayed him as, and his critics would love to add treason to his long list of sins). DIVE BOMBER has become the cornerstone of one of Hollywood's great mysteries...

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