Highly fictionalized account (see the IMDB 'goofs' for examples) of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
Geoffrey Thorpe is an adventurous and dashing pirate, who feels that he should pirate the Spanish ships for the good of England. In one such battle, he overtakes a Spanish ship and when he ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
This movie primarily shows the planes of the USS Enterprise's Air Group 6 and the USS Saratoga's Air Group 3. The Big E and her air group fought at Midway, as did the Sara's Bombing 3 and Torpedo 3 squadrons (on the USS Yorktown as the Sara was undergoing torpedo damage repair). Neither air group was still using the Vindicator dive bomber, but both air groups were still using the Devastator torpedo plane. Torpedo 6 and Torpedo 3 lost most of their Devastators (while the USS Hornet lost all of her Torpedo 8). Most of the Devastators you see in the film were going to be lost a year later, but the pilots of the Vindicators in the movie were to going to sink the Japanese carriers. See more »
The airfield used in the beginning of the movie was never identified, nor does it look like Ford Island which is used by the Navy. Eva Field was a Marine airfield near Pearl Harbor which it could have been. There are several Army airfields that it could also have been used. See more »
Other posters have discussed the supposed 'spy' story behind this film: That Errol Flynn attempted to get it made in Pensacola rather than San Diego because the Nazis wanted to see the layout at Pensacola. They've pointed out that in the studio days, an actor, even one with Flynn's stature, could hardly have dictated such a thing. Also the buildings shown appear to be in San Diego. Finally, the airplanes used in the film were already obsolete in 1941. The Pentagon would hardly have allowed anything the Nazis and Japanese didn't already know about to be presented in the film, (and we probably didn't have any such thing at that point anyway).
And that last point intrigues me. This film allegedly presents the cutting edge of aeronautical medicine. Yet, if that's the case, the Pentagon would surely not have allowed Hollywood to present that, either. If the film had been made after the war, it would be more believable that this represented in some way the efforts of the heroic doctors and flyers to conquer black-out and high altitude sickness. But in 1941, the only thing that could have been presented was old science, speculation or Hollywood hokum, which this is surely a mixture of. That makes the film, which is certainly entertaining, rather meaningless as a semi-documentary on the subject.
On the subject of Hollywood's obsession with comic relief, this is something that mars old movies to modern eyes. I'm sure there are things in our films today that will someday be considered an embarrassment but these moronic 'sidekicks' are about as funny these days as a minstral show. In this film, the constant return to Allen Jenkins and his problems with his wife are a maddening intrusion into the drama of the film. Particularly inexcusable is the interruption of the scene where Regis Toomey is about to be told that he can no longer fly and we seque to Jenkins again, then go back and pick up Toomey's story. Did 'Spig' Wead really write Jenkins' part into the script? I doubt it. (See my review of 'Hell Below' for another example of this type of cinematic butchery.)
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