Lt. Dick Stacey is dismissed from the Fleet Air Arm for poor discipline. He joins the Aircraft Carrier "HMS Ark Royal" (The Ship with Wings). When they go into battle in the Mediterranean ...
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Lt. Dick Stacey is dismissed from the Fleet Air Arm for poor discipline. He joins the Aircraft Carrier "HMS Ark Royal" (The Ship with Wings). When they go into battle in the Mediterranean he acts heroically and redeems himself. Written by
Steve Crook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Ships with Wings reminded me of three other war films. Three years earlier, John Clements in "The Four Feathers" had played another disgraced British officer who redeemed himself, and "Casablanca" also portrayed Italian officers as ineffective popinjays.
Most strikingly, though, just as "Air Force" depicts an instant United States naval victory days after Peal Harbor, SWW portrays a mass sinking of German ships by the Royal Navy at a time when Axis forces were sweeping across the Eastern Mediterranean. Such fictitious achievements may have been designed to raise morale, but I wonder how contemporary cinema-goers reacted to the preposterous antics shown in the last part of SWW, which today look risible. Another reviewer has described them as "comic-book".
To avoid "spoiling", I won't list all the half-dozen improbable actions, though I do wonder why there was no attempt by the carrier's crew to deal with the burning aircraft that had crashed on its deck.
The film did start well, with some good scenes of the launching of HMS Ark Royal and of aircraft of the early 1940s.
As always with films of this period, there are some interesting names to look out for among the cast.
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