IMDb > The Sky's the Limit (1943/I)
The Sky's the Limit
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The Sky's the Limit (1943/I) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frank Fenton (original screenplay) and
Lynn Root (original screenplay)
View company contact information for The Sky's the Limit on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 July 1943 (USA) See more »
Here's a thrill, new and gay! It's a dance filled holiday!
Flying Tiger Fred Atwell sneaks away from his famous squadron's personal appearance tour and goes incognito for several days of leave... See more » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
User Reviews:
a surprisingly poignant romantic comedy See more (30 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Fred Astaire ... Fred Atwell aka Fred Burton

Joan Leslie ... Joan Manion

Robert Benchley ... Phil Harriman

Robert Ryan ... Reginald Fenton

Elizabeth Patterson ... Mrs. Fisher
Marjorie Gateson ... Canteen Hostess
Freddie Slack ... Freddie Slack - Leader of His Orchestra
Freddie Slack and His Orchestra ... Freddie Slack's Orchestra
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Fred Aldrich ... Pilot (uncredited)

Robert Andersen ... Officer (uncredited)

Bobby Barber ... Canteen Waiter (uncredited)
Brandon Beach ... Officer at Dinner (uncredited)

Brooks Benedict ... Dinner Guest (uncredited)
Joseph E. Bernard ... Third Bartender (uncredited)

Eric Blore ... Jackson - Phil's Butler (uncredited)

Ralph Bucko ... Cowboy (uncredited)

Roy Bucko ... Cowboy (uncredited)

Georgia Caine ... Charwoman (uncredited)
Jack Carr ... Customer (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Officer at Dinner (uncredited)

Richard Davies ... Richard Merlin (uncredited)
Jack Deery ... Officer at Dinner (uncredited)
Henri DeSoto ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Norma Drury Boleslavsky ... Mrs. Leo Roskowski (uncredited)

Dick Gordon ... Diner Guest (uncredited)

Neil Hamilton ... Navy Officer on Train (uncredited)
Edna Harris ... Salesgirl (uncredited)

Al Hill ... Sergeant - Canteen Doorman (uncredited)

Olin Howland ... Driver (uncredited)
Russell Hoyt ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Paul Hurst ... Dock Foreman (uncredited)
Dorothy Kelly ... Phil's Secretary (uncredited)
Joseph Kim ... Chinese Official (uncredited)

Clarence Kolb ... Harvey J. Sloan (uncredited)

Peter Lawford ... Naval Commander (uncredited)
Jerry Mandy ... Italian Waiter (uncredited)
Rita Maritt ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Frank McLure ... Officer at Dinner (uncredited)
Ed McNamara ... Mac - First Bartender (uncredited)

Frank Melton ... Navy Office on Train (uncredited)
Ella Mae Morse ... Singer (uncredited)
Al Murphy ... Fourth Bartender (uncredited)

Clarence Muse ... Colonial Club Doorman (uncredited)
William J. O'Brien ... Bartender (uncredited)
Victor Potel ... Joe - Second Bartender (uncredited)
Fred Rapport ... Diner Guest (uncredited)
Rhoda Reese ... Powers Model (uncredited)
Larry Rio ... Dancing Soldier (uncredited)
Dick Rush ... Railway Conductor (uncredited)
Clint Sharp ... Cowboy (uncredited)
Jack Shea ... Officer in Nightclub (uncredited)
Ida Shoemaker ... Flower Woman (uncredited)
Anne G. Sterling ... Attractive Woman in the Canteen (uncredited)
Ann Summers ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Ferris Taylor ... Cook (uncredited)
Amelita Ward ... Southern Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
Edward H. Griffith 
Writing credits
Frank Fenton (original screenplay) and
Lynn Root (original screenplay)

S.K. Lauren  uncredited
William T. Ryder  story (uncredited)

Produced by
David Hempstead .... producer
Sherman Todd .... associate producer
Original Music by
Leigh Harline (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Russell Metty (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Roland Gross 
Art Direction by
Carroll Clark 
Albert S. D'Agostino 
Set Decoration by
Claude E. Carpenter (set decorations) (as Claude Carpenter)
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Renié (gowns)
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ruby Rosenberg .... assistant director
Sound Department
James G. Stewart .... rerecordist
Richard Van Hessen .... recordist
Terry Kellum .... sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Harold Arlen .... music by
Leigh Harline .... musical director
Johnny Mercer .... lyrics by
Sidney Cutner .... music arranger (uncredited)
Maurice De Packh .... music arranger (uncredited)
Gil Grau .... music arranger (uncredited)
Philip Green .... music arranger (uncredited)
Phil Moore .... music arranger (uncredited)
Jack Virgil .... music arranger (uncredited)
Roy Webb .... music arranger (uncredited)
Other crew
Fred Astaire .... dances created and staged by
Robert T. Smith .... technical advisor (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
89 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Iceland:L | UK:U | UK:U (video rating) (1986) (1997) (2010) | USA:Approved (PCA #9127)

Did You Know?

Fred Astaire's character says he learned to dance at the 'Arthur Murray' dancing school. Astaire had previously been in a dispute with the company over the unauthorized use of his likeness.See more »
Anachronisms: Fred Astaire plays a WWII fighter pilot, although he was 44 years old when the movie was made. A more typical age for a WWII fighter pilot would be half that. Most men who were 44 years old serving in WWII did so from behind a desk.See more »
Joan Manion:[Fred and Joan have just finished a dance number] Where did you learn to dance like that?
Fred Atwell:Arthur Murray.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Sex Life of the Polyp (1928)See more »
My Shining HourSee more »


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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
a surprisingly poignant romantic comedy, 22 March 2009
Author: Fogo

This is a romantic comedy on the surface, and it's not a bad one at all, with sharp dialogue, surprising transitions where the characters switch from being the cat to being the mouse and vice-versa, and dancing and music and fun and silliness.

I also found it surprisingly poignant. It covers a lot of the same ground as films from the same period like "The Clock" and "Since You Went Away" - a compressed courtship between a soldier and a civilian, where they have a very short time between meeting as strangers and the soldier going off to war. These films (which aren't just Hollywood fantasies, they would have been happening to millions of people in real life) have two sources of dramatic uncertainty - firstly the uncertainty about whether they're really getting to know each other or they're just on an emotional roller coaster; and secondly the uncertainty about whether it's fair to get married and run the risk of the civilian being left a widow or spending the rest of her life looking after a severely injured husband. These issues aren't explicitly discussed in "The Sky's the Limit", which is still a romantic comedy, but they're alluded to sufficiently clearly that a contemporary audience would have understood that Astaire's character was very confused, unsure about whether to hit the accelerator or the brake, and wound up enough that he could have gotten drunk and smashed up a bar.

Another striking scene in the movie was a comment Astaire's character made about how one might go to war not for any grand cause but to preserve one's freedom to be a slacker. He was behaving consistently with that declaration in (at least initially) wanting to spend a few days out of uniform, joking around and having fun with a pretty girl. There are questions about whether an actual WW2 fighter pilot on leave would behave that way - I don't know, within the film, I find it plausible enough for suspension of disbelief, and if nothing else it's a nice way of inserting a "why we fight" message about the United States not being a nation of full-time uniformed soldiers, but of civilians who occasionally put on a uniform to defend life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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