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Johnny in the Clouds (1945)
"The Way to the Stars" (original title)

 |  Drama, Romance, War  |  16 June 1945 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 919 users  
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Life on a British bomber base, and the surrounding towns, from the opening days of the Battle of Britain, to the arrival of the Americans, who join in the bomber offensive. The film centres... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rosamund John ...
Miss Todd
Douglass Montgomery ...
Johnny Hollis
Iris Winterton (as Renee Asherson)
Mr Palmer
Basil Radford ...
Tiny Williams
Felix Aylmer ...
Rev. Charles Moss
Bonar Colleano ...
Joe Friselli (as Bonar Colleano Jnr)
Joyce Carey ...
Miss Winterton
Sq / Leader Carter
Nicholas Stuart ...
Col. Rogers (as Tryon Nichol)
Bill Owen ...
'Nobby' Clarke (as Bill Rowbotham)
Grant Miller ...
Wally Becker
A Singer


Life on a British bomber base, and the surrounding towns, from the opening days of the Battle of Britain, to the arrival of the Americans, who join in the bomber offensive. The film centres around Pilot Officer Peter Penrose, fresh out of a training unit, who joins the squadron, and quickly discovers about life during war time. He falls for Iris, a young girl who lives at the local hotel, but he becomes disillusioned about marriage, when the squadron commander dies in a raid, and leaves his wife, the hotel manageress, with a young son to bring up. As the war progresses, Penross comes to terms that he has survived, while others have been killed. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | War


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Release Date:

16 June 1945 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Johnny in the Clouds  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The poem "For Johnny" read by John Mills is as follows: "Do not despair, For Johnny-head-in-air; He sleeps as sound, As Johnny underground. Fetch out no shroud, For Johnny-in-the-cloud; And keep your tears, For him in after years. Better by far, For Johnny-the-bright-star, To keep your head, And see his children fed." See more »


As the American pilot alights to join the first US bombers leaving to bomb the Nazis on "Aug. 17" (1942) his Mae West is visibly stenciled: "Insp 5/3/44" . See more »


'Tinker' Bell: [after ordering tea] They don't warm the pots, you know. I've watched them making it.
Tiny Williams: Well, it's liquid and it's warm. I was afraid they were going to abolish it altogether.
'Tinker' Bell: Oh, but they would have done, they were going to, if I myself hadn't protested to the colonel.
Tiny Williams: Nobly done, Tinkerbell.
See more »


Featured in War Stories (2006) See more »


Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
Sung by Jean Simmons
See more »

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User Reviews

Superb film - Montgomery's best and most memorable performance

This is a wonderful film -read and believe all the other comments on this page. The script, acting, direction, cinematography and editing are top of the line. What a bevy of fine actors we have here - all ensemble players - John Mills, Trevor Howard, Michael Redgrave, Stanley Holloway, David Tomlinson, Felix Aylmer and with a song by Jean Simmons.

It's riveting and heroic, tragic and brave, understated, strong - very character driven. Like GONE WITH THE WIND, it has no battle scenes- we see only the effect of battle on the intertwined lives present on an RAF WWII air base.

Outstanding is Douglass Montgomery in a strong supporting performance as Johnny Hollis, from whose character the alternate title (Johnny In The Clouds) is derived. It is his best work and he is incredibly good- he should have netted an Oscar nomination for his creation here. He has 22 scenes and is unforgettable in all of them.

Like the others writing here, I won't reveal the plot lines for it will weaken your experience if you know ahead of time. It is newly released on DVD and information re purchase is provided via a message board posting I just made to this page.

Don't miss this one. Note: the print I saw ran 104 minutes, not 109.

36 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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