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Captains of the Clouds (1942)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  21 February 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 946 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 7 critic

Inspired by Churcill's Dunkirk speech, brash, undisciplined bush pilot Brian MacLean and three friends enlist in the RCAF but are deemed too old to be fliers.



(story), (story), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Dutton
Emily Foster
'Tiny' Murphy
Blimp Lebec
Scrounger Harris
W.A. Bishop ...
Himself (as Air Marshal W.A. Bishop)
Commanding Officer
Russell Arms ...
Louis 'Alabama' Prentiss
Group Captain
Sam 'Store-Teeth' Morrison
J.M. Kerrigan ...
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Dr. Neville (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
Patrick O'Moore ...
Morton Lowry ...


Brian McLean is a ruthless bush-pilot in Canada. He offers some other pilots an opportunity of earning a lot of money, but he marries the girl-friend of one of them. After listening to Churchill's famous "Blood, Sweat and tears" radio address he and some other pilots decide to join the RCAF - and his superior is always the pilot who's girlfriend he has married. Due to this and the fact, that McLean doesn't like to obey he gets troubles. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 February 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Capitanes de las nubes  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Gillespie Magee, Jr., author of the famous poem, "High Flight," had trained at Uplands. Magee had graduated just a few weeks prior to the commencement of shooting and was on his way to England when the cameras rolled. See more »


When the Hudson bombers are taxiing out for takeoff, the same planes are shown several times - this can be seen by the plane closest to the camera: it is number 2951 and is repeated 3 or 4 times. See more »


Francis Patrick 'Tiny' Murphy: You know MacLean?
Scrounger Harris: Yeah, I've met him, but I don't like him.
Blimp Lebec: You don't like him? You should know how I don't like him!
Brian MacLean: And why do you say that? You know, I've always been very happy to see you. Look at Tiny. He never used to like me. Now he hates me.
[to Willie]
Brian MacLean: Willie!
Willie: Hello! Happy landings!
Francis Patrick 'Tiny' Murphy: [to Blimp and Scrounger] Oh, come on and sit down. Come on, come on here.
[to Willie]
Francis Patrick 'Tiny' Murphy: Listen, Willie, we want four black coffees and some cake.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Sincere appreciation is expressed to Major the Honorable C.G. Power P.C., M.C., Minister of National Defence for Air (Canada) and to Air Marshal L.S. Breadner D.S.C., Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Canadian Air Force, without whose authority and generous co-operation this picture would not have been brought to its splendid conclusion. We also wish to express our thanks to Air Marshal Bishop, V.C. and other officers and men of the R.C.A.F. who, in the making of the picture, are portrayed in the actual performance of their regular duties. See more »


What's New?
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Bob Haggart
Played on the radio in Willie's restaurant
See more »

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User Reviews

Two aviation movies for the price of a single admission
28 February 2001 | by (Middleburgh, NY, USA) – See all my reviews

"Captains of the Clouds", it has always seemed to me, is two distinct movies wrapped up into one. What begins as a crisp, light-hearted, colorful story about bush pilots in Canada suddenly transforms itself into a single-minded grim documentary about the Royal Canadian Air Force in the opening days of World War Two.

I don't suppose this abrupt transition from a light-hearted, peacetime human-interest story to an intense procedural war drama would have occurred if the War had not coincided with the production of the film.

James Cagney and Dennis Morgan, the male stars, were well cast for the peacetime opening acts and scenes of "Captains...". Both of them being fine actors, they were also well cast for the grim wartime sequences.

This is an odd and fascinating film that bears watching again and again.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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