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Dive Bomber (1941)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  30 August 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,162 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 15 critic

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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Complete credited cast:
Art Lyons
Tim Griffin
'Lucky' James
John Thomas Anthony
Herbert Anderson ...
Moroni Olsen ...
Senior Surgeon at San Diego
Dennie Moore ...
Mrs. James
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Swede Larson
Cliff Nazarro ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aeroplanon kathetou eformiseos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie functions somewhat as an historical record of the US Navy aircraft carrier the USS Enterprise during World War II, according to the article "A Viewer's Guide to Aviation Movies" by Jack Hardwick and Ed Schnepf in the book 'The Making of the Great Aviation Films'. See more »


In the opening scenes showing pilots manning their planes, several bi-plane fighters are forward of the dive bombers. Later when the dive bombers take off the fighters are not shown taking off before them, nor are they visible on deck. See more »


Lt. Cmdr. Joe Blake, squadron commander: [Angrily] I've learned one thing from you - if you pill rollers flew more and gabbed less, you might find something that'd help us.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Features Tin Pan Alley (1940) 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

dauntless aviators
1 November 2004 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

As a snapshot of the US military on the eve of Pearl Harbor, this has a poignancy that it didn't have on original release. The "Enterprise" has a starring role, just two years before Midway (and incidentally, notice how SMALL the carriers are: I guess jet fighters needed vastly bigger ships).

And look at the aircraft: innumerable biplanes, and the rest of them already obsolete. No combat (- and, in fact, no bombs, which is odd, tho' i guess in 1941 the idea of Americans actually dropping nasty weapons like bombs was still a controversial notion.) Lots of formation flying: (this is Warners, after all, the home of Busby Berkeley!) Almost every outdoor scene has a flight of real aircraft zooming through it: the effect is sumptuous, and makes even "The Battle of Britain" look very small beer. Much credit to Michael Curtiz and crew for stage-managing all this.

There are no real surprises in the plot, though it moves through the clichés at an agreeable pace; nonetheless, it's an interesting commentary on the days when flying was not a "routine" activity.

But the reason to watch this is the photography. This is a Technicolor show-piece. The aerial footage is downright glamorous, and many of the interior scenes are filled with interest (though interior lighting problems are apparent, particularly in Flynn's make-up).

Plot-wise, the focus wanders back and forth from Flynn to MacMurray, which leaves both characters slightly unfinished. Flynn was obviously very difficult for Americans to write for: this actually sounds like Bogart dialogue. Flynn looks embarrassed and diffident throughout(he's very good though, and his voice is beautiful). Alexis Smith is fun; possibly the only interesting twist in the script is that the women are both unredeemed ratbags: the slush component is, hence, lower than it would be once hostilities commenced. Ralph Bellamy is good, doing the transition from "guy who doesn't get the girl" to "gruff character actor".

Modern viewers will laugh at the chain-smoking doctors (especially the one with the heart problem).

Max Steiner's score doesn't grab me particularly, but there are some nifty musical effects during the "blackout" sequences.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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