IMDb > Desperate Journey (1942)
Desperate Journey
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Desperate Journey (1942) More at IMDbPro »

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Arthur T. Horman (original screenplay)
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Release Date:
26 September 1942 (USA) See more »
When the crew of a downed British bomber escape from their Nazi captors with Top Secret intelligence, they make a desperate journey to get out of Germany alive. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
(5 articles)
User Reviews:
Far-Fetched but Action-Packed Flynn Adventure! See more (33 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Errol Flynn ... Flight Lt. Terrence Forbes

Ronald Reagan ... Flying Officer Johnny Hammond
Nancy Coleman ... Kaethe Brahms

Raymond Massey ... Major Otto Baumeister

Alan Hale ... Flight Sergeant Kirk Edwards

Arthur Kennedy ... Flying Officer Jed Forrest

Ronald Sinclair ... Flight Sergeant Lloyd Hollis
Albert Bassermann ... Dr. Mather (as Albert Basserman)
Sig Ruman ... Preuss
Patrick O'Moore ... Squadron Leader Lane-Ferris
Felix Basch ... Hermann Brahms
Ilka Grüning ... Frau Brahms (as Ilka Gruning)
Elsa Bassermann ... Frau Raeder (as Else Basserman)
Charles Irwin ... Captain Coswick
Richard Fraser ... Squadron Leader Clark
Rudolph Anders ... Kruse (as Robert O. Davis)

Henry Victor ... Heinrich Schwarzmueller
Bruce Lester ... English Officer
Lester Matthews ... Wing Commander
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Alten ... Lieutenant (uncredited)
Louis V. Arco ... Feldwebel (Sgt.) Gertz (uncredited)

John Banner ... Conductor on Empty Troop Train (uncredited)
Barry Bernard ... Squadron Commander (uncredited)
Walter Bonn ... Sentry (uncredited)
Sven Hugo Borg ... Mechanic (uncredited)
Walter Brooke ... Flight Sgt. Warwick (uncredited)
Harold Daniels ... German Soldier (uncredited)
Helmut Dantine ... German Co-Pilot (uncredited)
Leslie Denison ... Radio Operator (uncredited)
Carl Ekberg ... Telephone Repairman (uncredited)
Charles Flynn ... Post Sentry (uncredited)
Arno Frey ... Pvt. Trocha (uncredited)
Eugene Gericke ... Polish Saboteur (uncredited)
Frederick Giermann ... German Sergeant (uncredited)
Henry Guttman ... German Soldier (uncredited)

Eddie Hall ... German Soldier Shooting at Lockheed Plane (uncredited)
Carl Harbaugh ... German Soldier (uncredited)
Ludwig Hardt ... Pharmacist (uncredited)
James Harker ... Pilot (uncredited)

William Hopper ... Radio Operator (uncredited)
Kurt Katch ... Hesse (uncredited)

Harry Lewis ... Evans (uncredited)
Rolf Lindau ... Sergeant (uncredited)
Jack Lomas ... Magnus (uncredited)
Frank Mayo ... Decoder (uncredited)
Peter Michael ... German Gunner (uncredited)
Ray Miller ... Gestapo Agent (uncredited)
Rudolf Myzet ... Chauffeur (uncredited)
Pat O'Hara ... Plotting Officer (uncredited)
Don Phillips ... Kenton (uncredited)
Otto Reichow ... Pvt. Koenig (uncredited)
Henry Rowland ... German Fighter Pilot (uncredited)

Richard Ryen ... Staadtpoliceman Heinze (uncredited)
Ferdinand Schumann-Heink ... Sentry (uncredited)
Hans Schumm ... Gestapo Agent (uncredited)
Lester Sharpe ... Driver (uncredited)
Rudolf Steinboeck ... German Soldier (uncredited)
Robert R. Stephenson ... Gestapo Agent (uncredited)
Sigfrid Tor ... Pvt. Rasek (uncredited)
Philip Van Zandt ... Strolling German Soldier (uncredited)

Roland Varno ... Unteroffizier (uncredited)
Ernö Verebes ... German Sergeant (uncredited)
Frederick Vogeding ... Gestapo Agent (uncredited)
Wilhelm von Brincken ... Gate Sentry (uncredited)
Hans von Morhart ... Gestapo Agent (uncredited)
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ... German Soldier (uncredited)
Douglas Walton ... British Officer Playing Dice (uncredited)
Rex Williams ... Sgt. Tause (uncredited)
William Yetter Sr. ... Gestapo Agent (uncredited)
Victor Zimmerman ... Capt. Eggerstedt (uncredited)

Directed by
Raoul Walsh 
Writing credits
Arthur T. Horman (original screenplay)

Produced by
Hal B. Wallis .... producer
Jack Saper .... associate producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
Cinematography by
Bert Glennon (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Rudi Fehr (film editor)
Art Direction by
Carl Jules Weyl 
Costume Design by
Milo Anderson (gowns)
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Claude Archer .... assistant director (uncredited)
Russell Saunders .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
C.A. Riggs .... sound
Special Effects by
Edwin B. DuPar .... special effects (as Edwin A. DuPar)
Byron Haskin .... special effects (uncredited)
Nathan Levinson .... special effects (uncredited)
Duke Green .... stunts (uncredited)
Harvey Parry .... stunts (uncredited)
Allen Pomeroy .... stunts (uncredited)
Buster Wiles .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Woody .... stunts (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestral arrangements
Hugo Friedhofer .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Owen Cathcart-Jones .... technical advisor: R.A.F. sequences (as Squadron Leader O. Cathcart-Jones R.C.A.F.)
Hugh MacMullan .... dialogue director
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (as Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.) (A Warner Bros.-First National Picture) (presents)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
107 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)

Did You Know?

One of the few times that Australian Errol Flynn actually played an Australian.See more »
Factual errors: When identifying themselves on the flight home they say plane markings "GK". While on the ground the marking was clearly "T".See more »
Flight Lieutenant Terrence Forbes:Well, this is the first time I ran out of gas with a couple of guys.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Raoul Walsh and Errol Flynn (2002) (TV)See more »
Waltzing MatildaSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
41 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
Far-Fetched but Action-Packed Flynn Adventure!, 18 September 2003
Author: Ben Burgraff (cariart) from Las Vegas, Nevada

Of all the actors who made WWII adventure films, Errol Flynn was second only to John Wayne in being accused of 'winning the war single-handed'. His civilian status ridiculed (Flynn HAD attempted to enlist; despite his healthy appearance, it was discovered he had an 'athlete's heart', plus traces of malaria and TB he had contracted in his youth, and was turned down), and his wild lifestyle becoming impossible for WB publicists to cover up any longer (his arrest for trumped-up charges of statutory rape was about to explode into the nation's headlines), Flynn's unique status as an Australian who was also an American movie star would, nonetheless, make him an ideal leading man for war movies that would not only be morale boosters for American audiences, but international audiences, as well.

DESPERATE JOURNEY was the film Flynn's detractors most often ostracized, with it's 'over-the-top' action, and wildly improbable story (downed fliers reap havoc on moronic Nazis, then return to England in a stolen bomber). Certainly, Flynn's ease in both eluding and harassing the Germans, and the infamous tag line he delivers at film's end ("Now to Australia, and a crack at those Japs!") were comic book heroics, at best, and could not be taken seriously. But the same critics that lambasted him ignored the equally far-fetched WWII-themed ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT and ACROSS THE PACIFIC (with Bogart), THEY MET IN BOMBAY (with Gable), and ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON (with Cary Grant). The pity about all this was, when Flynn would appear in superior war pictures (EDGE OF DARKNESS and OBJECTIVE, BURMA!), the films would be 'lumped in' with his more cartoonish epics.

All this being said, as a 'tongue-in-cheek' adventure yarn, DESPERATE JOURNEY is fast-paced and very enjoyable! Directed by action film veteran Raoul Walsh, the story of British bomber 'D-for-Danny', shot down over occupied central Europe, offers a terrific cast, including Ronald Reagan and Arthur Kennedy (in their second teaming with Flynn), and Alan Hale (in his tenth of 12 Flynn films). The gifted Canadian actor, Raymond Massey, also making his second appearance with Flynn, is a thoroughly hiss-able Nazi Major (speaking the gobbly-gook Hollywood passed off as 'German' in these films) who 'loses' the captured fliers (after a brilliantly funny scene with Reagan, which Flynn, jealous of his co-star, attempted to cut, or have re-written for him), then pursues them, futilely, across the continent. The fliers receive aid from a sympathetic German doctor and his beautiful assistant (Nancy Coleman, providing a bit of romance for Flynn), lose Hale (a truly sad moment, in the film's most dramatic escape), and Flynn, Reagan, and Kennedy eventually discover a captured, fueled British bomber, about to be used to attack England, which provides a convenient means of returning home (so Flynn can have his 'crack' at the 'Japs').

At a running time of 108 minutes, the film seldom drags, provides Flynn a chance to give a "There'll always be an England" soliloquy, and has more one-liners than most screen comedies (Reagan's hilarious 'double-speak', describing allied bomber capabilities, leading to knocking Massey out, with the comment, "The Iron Fist has a Glass Jaw.")

The years have been far kinder to DESPERATE JOURNEY than many other war era films, and it holds it's own very well in the 'Indiana Jones' climate of today's action flicks.

It is certainly a 'must' for any Errol Flynn fan's collection!

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