Polio breaks out in Rio de Janeiro, the serum is in Santiago and there's only one way to get the medicine where it's desperately needed: flown in by daring pilots who risk the treacherous weather and forbidding peaks of the Andes.
The sailor that "kicks" the block from under the tire of one of the planes is Charles M. Burton. See more »
The under-wing bombs appear and disappear in many shots. Often a plane will be shown taxiing with bombs under the wing, then taking off and flying with no bombs. When the bombing runs begin, the bombs are again visible. See more »
CPO Steve Nelson:
And if you want to know what this is, it's a bomb! And there's enough T.N.T. in it to blow us to Smithereens.
I've always wanted to go to Smithereens.
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This typically polished MGM effort features one of its established actors Beery opposite new kid on the block Gable (before he was old enough to grow a moustache). It's one of few films the pair made together, reportedly because they never really hit it off (Beery is said to have even turned down a role in MGM's Mutiny on the Bounty because he didn't want to work with Gable). Then again, Beery, a lovable old lug on the screen, was a fairly unpleasant character in real life, with rumours of manslaughter, meanness and abuse of women and children surrounding him to this day.
The film's plot could take place anywhere and at anytime really. That was the beauty of the studio product in the 30s: they could just keep churning out the same story with a different cast set in a different period and the masses would happily pay the money to watch them all. This one features some terrific aerial shots of old biplanes and some truly bizarre heroics (Gable hanging upside down from a plane with one hand holding a bomb to prevent it from exploding when the plane lands for instance). There are a few funny moments too, the best of which is the incidents that lead to Beery and Gable duking it out just minutes after having finally made friends.
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