Clipped Wings (1953) Poster


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the Bowery Boys in the Air Force--classic slapstick!
django-120 November 2004
By the early 50's, The Bowery Boys post-WWII formula had become a well-oiled machine. The "Boys" consisted of stars Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall, along with group members David Gorcey (here billed as "Condon") and Bennie Bartlett for reaction shots. And of course Leo's father Bernard Gorcey, as Louie, owner of Louie's Sweet Shop, where the gang hangs out. Comedy pros such as Elwood Ullman and Edward Bernds were working their magic with the series, and Monogram/Allied Artists usually surrounded the boys with talented casts of lesser-known players (such as Renie Riano, hilarious as the hatchet-faced WAC leader who orders Huntz Hall around) and old favorites (such as Lyle Talbot, and unbilled, Tris Coffin and Arthur "Canadian Mounties VS Atomic Invaders" Space). Basically, by this time in the series, the Boys were put into a certain situation or locale or profession, and they were let loose. Here they are in the air force (by accident, of course), with Huntz Hall mistakenly assigned to the female WAC unit, and they help a friend in the air force catch some spies (by accident, of course!). If you like Gorcey's constant malapropisms, Hall's rubber-faced, Shemp Howard-style maniacal antics, and the wonderful physical comedy of both, you will enjoy this film. I enjoyed these as a child, and now my children are enjoying them just as much. Gorcey and Hall left a wonderful body of work, and they were still on a roll in 1953 when this was released. They did three or four films a year and were favorites among exhibitors as they brought in regular crowds who couldn't wait for the next entry. Classic slapstick never ages, and this film should bring a smile to any slapstick lover's face --whether you are seven or seventy.
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Bowery Boys #31
Michael_Elliott17 November 2010
Clipped Wings (1953)

** (out of 4)

After an Air Force buddy is arrested for selling secrets to spies, Slip (Loe Gorcey) and Sach (Huntz Hall) go to visit him but accidentally get enlisted. Soon they're wrecking havoc while trying to track down the truth behind their friend's arrest. This might have been the thirty-first entry in the series but it was only the second to feature Bernds as director and co-writer. Those familiar with the Three Stooges are going to see many familiar things here including more physical violence and of course we have Hall doing various impersonations of items you'd previously seen from Curly. I don't think this entry is nearly as good as LOOSE IN London but at least it still remains somewhat fresh and different from many of the previous films. The biggest problem is that there just aren't enough jokes that actually work. At just 65-minutes the movie has a very good pace and it actually goes by pretty quickly but we needed many more jokes. One of the best moments in the film happens when Sach accidentally gets put into a female bunker and we get countless jokes of him being the stub of the bunch. Another good moment happens later when Slip breaks in to try and get Sach out of the room but ends up causing a panic and hearing a few of the women's comments on him was quite funny. Once again both Gorcey and Hall seem to be game for everything going on as both seem more energized and each certainly helps keep this thing moving. Bernard Gorcey is back as Louie but has very little to do. Lyle Talbot appears quickly in a couple scenes but doesn't have any dialogue. Cult favorite June Vincent plays the bad girl. The ending of the film is going to remind many people of a few Abbott and Costello films and especially KEEP 'EM FLYING. While CLIPPED WINGS isn't one of the better entries in the series it at least remains someone fresh and I'm sure fans of the series will want to check it out.
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Bowery Bird Brains
wes-connors13 November 2010
The usual hi-jinks ensue when "Bowery Boys" leader Leo Gorcey (as "Slip" Mahoney) and hapless sidekick Huntz Hall (as "Sach" Jones) accidentally join the Air Force, in an effort to help a friend. The rehashed plot includes spies and such. Still, it's more fun than "Flying Wild" (1941). Regular viewers will pick up on the fact that "The Bowery Boys" lieutenant friend Todd Karns (as David "Dave" Moreno) is a stand-in for former series regular Gabriel Dell, who had appeared with the Bowery groups from 1937-1950. Mr. Dell's Gabriel "Gabe" Moreno character is closely related to the one played by Mr. Karns. Telling Mr. Hall, "You may not be an idiot, but you'll do until a real one comes along," Renie Riano plays an amusing female sergeant.

**** Clipped Wings (8/14/53) Edward Bernds ~ Huntz Hall, Leo Gorcey, Todd Karns, Renie Riano
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Don't talk to me like that! I remember when you were a grocery store!
sol121814 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** With their good friend Air Force Lt. Dave Moreno arrested and jailed for espionage Slip & Sach go to the nearest US Air Force recruiting station, it's the only place that they could think of, in order to see him before he's put on trial for is life. Like in previous "Bowery Boys" movies, involving the US Army Navy & Marines, Slip & Sach unwittingly sign their lives, or 3 to 4 years, away by enlisting into the US Air Force.

As you would expect it's that lucky stiff Sach who gets the best of the bargain by being assigned by the what seemed like near sighted, who must have forgot to put his glasses on, Col Davenport to the WACK, womens, unit on he air force base. As for the unlucky Slip he's assigned to the company with the toughest and most ill tempered Sergent on the base Sgt. Brodsky. It's Sgt. Brodsky who ends up getting a king size headache when he tries unsuccessfully to turn Slip into an obedient and bowing to authority air force man.

As the boys soon find out Dave Moreno is no traitor to his country he's working undercover with US Air Froce security and FBI to nab a number of Soviet spies who are trying to get their hands on top secret military documents involving US missile defense. This puts Slip & Sach in the middle of this espionage ring in trying to get the spies before they gets their hands on Moreno, who's really in protective custody not jail, and torture the truth, about the Air Force secret projects, out of him!

We also haver in the movie fellow "Bowery Boys" Butch & Chuck as well as sweet shop owner Louie Dumbrowsky get into the act in them helping save Moreno from his captors the Soviet spies! I've began to notice over the last few "Bowery Boys" films that this trio of klutzes, Butch Chuck & Louie, always seem to get into he act no matter what the circumstances are. Like here without any military clearance in being able to get into a top secret and off limits to civilians air force base during, this while the Korean War was still being waged, wartime! And all they seem to do is only make thing worse then they already are!

***SPOILERS*** Great final sequence with Sach taking to the air with Slip reluctantly coming along on a remote controlled plane that's targeted to be shot top pieces by USAF saber jets for target practice! Without knowing what he's doing Sach lands the bullet riddled plane just outside the spies hideout where they have Moreno held hostage. This leads to a wild free for all with Slip using his amazing footwork and boxing abilities to put the spies to sleep. But the real surprise in this whole fracas was the truth serum that the Soviet spies planed to used on Dave Moreno to get him to talk! Slip used it on them to get the spies to convict themselves saving the US militry the cost of trying them!
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"It's A Topographical Error"
bkoganbing13 November 2010
This Bowery Boys feature finds Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall trying to help their friend Todd Karns who has enlisted in the Air Force out of a jackpot where he's been arrested for espionage. Of course these two geniuses who go to the Air Force Base which I assume is McGuire in New Jersey because it's the closest one to the Bowery to visit Karns, wind up enlisting in the Air Force. Gorcey goes through the usual basic training, but Hall due to a mixup winds up getting assigned to a WAF barracks with the attention of a lot of female trainees. He also gets as a sergeant Renie Riano. She's worse than Gorcey's sergeant former heavyweight contender Lou Nova. Anyway in a plot that's straight from that Cold War classic Shack Out On 101, June Vincent the waitress at the local hash house is the contract for an espionage ring. Karns is her target as he's working on some top secret guidance systems. Of course Gorcey and Hall don't know any of this, but they're on the job nonetheless. The film also borrows as do most Bowery Boys films from previous comedy classics, a lot of Bowery Boys material was first used by Abbott and Costello. The Air Force scenes could have come from the A&C classic, Keep 'Em Flying. The climax is straight from Bud and Lou as Gorcey and Hall get into a drone plane being used for target practice while chasing the villains who have grabbed Karns. Still the Bowery Boys do warm over comedy classics well by design or by "topographical error".
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Clipped Wings (1953) **
JoeKarlosi4 August 2004
"A Writ of Habeus Corpuscle".

Edward Bernds, who worked on some of the Three Stooges shorts, had a hand in writing this one and directing so it's more slick than some others in the series. This is only one of a few Bowery Boys entries in which Bernds took part, and those films are usually all the better for it.

The Boys were pure slapstick comedians by this time, but provide only occasional chuckles as Slip and Sach unwittingly enlist in the Air Force while trying to help out a pilot friend in trouble.

So-So Bowery Boys.
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"You certainly got us into an ambidextrous mess this time!"
utgard144 October 2016
Thirty-first entry in the Bowery Boys series has the gang trying to help their friend Dave Moreno, an Air Force lieutenant accused of treason (no mention of whether or not he's related to former Bowery Boy Gabe Moreno). In keeping with previous military-themed Bowery movies, the boys mistakenly enlist while trying to help out their friend. Dave is played by Todd Karns, no stranger to flying as he served in the Army Air Corps during WW2 and, of course, played Navy flying hero Harry Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life. The regulars are all fun and the rest of the cast, including Karns, Lyle Talbot, and lovely June Vincent, offer good support. Highlights include Sach in the Women's Air Force and the big comedic flight scene. It's a pretty decent later effort from Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, and company. It moves along at a quick pace which helps a lot.
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"I think the ride in that whirlygig has infected the corrugation of his brain cells".
classicsoncall25 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
You would think that after unwittingly joining the armed services a couple of years earlier in "Let's Go Navy!", Slip (Leo Gorcey) and Sach (Huntz Hall) would have known better than to fall into the same old trap again. At least their buddies Chuck (David Gorcey) and Butch (Bennie Bartlett) had the good sense to make themselves scarce this time around, they managed to avoid induction into the Air Force.

Actually, the slapstick duo is trying to locate the whereabouts of their recently arrived former Bowery buddy Dave Moreno (Todd Karns) who's been arrested for stealing government military secrets. He's an Air Force lieutenant, eventually revealed to be working undercover to help nab some foreign agents who the Air Force brass are trying to smoke out and capture.

To set up a highly improbable scenario, Slip and Sach inadvertently commandeer a radio controlled military plane that's supposed to be the target of fighter craft in a routine simulation. Surviving a forced landing, the Boys get the upper hand on the story's villains by injecting them each with a truth serum, thereby leading to their arrest and a major espionage plot foiled.

For once I'd have to say that the film makers really got Sach's character right. Through a slip up, he's assigned to a women's military barracks, leading to a round of expected hijinks, especially when Slip shows up to double the fun. This of course means that Sach finally found his true calling when it came to military matters, he wound up a total WAC job.
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An I.Q. of -18. How did they score so high?
mark.waltz21 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This military comedy (one of several that the Bowery Boys did) takes place after they enlist in the air force and each miss getting 50 correct answers out of 50 questions right. They are separated, each causing havoc apart, especially Huntz Hall's Sach who is sent to a women's dormitory (commanded by the very prickly Rene Riano) and end up coming across a racket involving saboteurs. Typical Bowery Boy nonsense follows with the two idiots the most unlikely of heroes.

There's little of the other Bowery Boys, although Hall and Leo Gorcey's Slip do get a visit from Louie (Bernard Gorcey). Riano is a sour pussed delight, while Mary Treen is pretty much in the background as one of the female airmen. Fast and furious, this is no different than other comedies where idiots end up in military service.
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