Director William A. Wellman adds another to his long line of salutes-to-aviation films in this bio of an aviation pioneer, John Montgomery (Glenn Ford.) In 1883 he built a practical glider ... See full summary »
Director William A. Wellman adds another to his long line of salutes-to-aviation films in this bio of an aviation pioneer, John Montgomery (Glenn Ford.) In 1883 he built a practical glider despite the opposition of his friends, who thought he was crazy, and of his family, who were afraid that his dreams of flying would hurt his father's political ambitions. He pursues his education at Santa Clara University where the Jesuits lend a helping and understanding hand. An earthquake destroys what appears to be a working model for an airplane, but a gold-sorting machine Montgomery invented, and then neglected, promises to provide for his financial needs to keep working on his aircraft until he gets involved in costly lawsuits defending his invention. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sturdy, dependable GLENN FORD gives another one of his understated but sincere performances as a young inventor, John Montgomery, in the late 1800s who makes a number of semi-successful attempts at getting his flying machine off the ground and soaring into the atmosphere.
JANET BLAIR is the love interest as the childhood sweetheart who stands by her man until the end of his life. While I always liked this actress, the jarring note is her make-up which is so modern that it seems like an anachronism. She has a distinctly 1940s look about her (lip gloss and modern hairdos) that works against the otherwise authentic look of the film.
WILLARD ROBERTSON as Ford's pa is fine but SELENA ROYLE is completely wasted in a minor role as his loving mom. William Wellman directs with a thorough knowledge of his subject and as an aviation drama it maintains interest throughout. All of the aerial scenes are well staged and look glorious in crisp B&W photography.
Summing up: A very unheralded film that is certainly watchable but could have used a stronger and less sentimental script.
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