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Test Pilot (1938)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 22 April 1938 (USA)
Jim is a test pilot. His wife Ann and best friend Gunner try their best to keep him sober. But the life of a test pilot is anything but safe.

Director:

Victor Fleming

Writers:

Vincent Lawrence (screen play), Waldemar Young (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Jim Lane
Myrna Loy ... Ann Thurston Barton
Spencer Tracy ... Gunner Morse
Lionel Barrymore ... Howard B. Drake
Samuel S. Hinds ... General Ross
Marjorie Main ... Landlady
Ted Pearson ... Joe
Gloria Holden ... Mrs. May Benson
Louis Jean Heydt ... Greg Benson
Virginia Grey ... Sarah
Priscilla Lawson ... Mabel
Claudia Coleman ... Mrs. Frank Barton
Arthur Aylesworth ... Mr. Frank Barton
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Storyline

Jim Lane is a test pilot, whose professional life is dangerous, and whose personal life compensates for that danger by fast living and recklessness. As such, he lives from paycheck to paycheck, and is often in debt, but knows his lucrative job will eventually get him out of those debts. On a coast to coast record attempt speed flight, Jim's plane, the Drake Bullet (named after the company's owner), hits some mechanical problems and Jim is forced to make an emergency landing on a farmer's field in Kansas. The farm belongs to the Barton family, whose straight talking daughter, Ann Barton, falls for Jim, and visa versa. They impulsively decide to get married and live in New York. Jim's sidekick and mechanic, "Gunner" Morris, doesn't know if Jim and marriage go hand in hand, both because of the type of person he is and his profession. Ann too soon learns that she plays second fiddle to Jim's work, she referring to the sky as Jim's mistress. Ann also truly comes to understand the dangers ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They're yours... in a heart-walloping love story! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Testpilot See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The aircraft that Clark Gable took Myrna Loy up for her first flight was a Ryan Model ST-A, Ryan serial number 128, registered NC-16037. The aircraft owner was "Tex" Rankin an aerobatic pilot, barnstormer, air racer, and flight instructor from the 1920s to the 1940s. Rankin was an uncredited stunt pilot in three films, "Men With Wings" in 1938 and "Flying G-Men" and "Sky Patrol" in 1939. The aircraft was subsequently sold in Brazil. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie, the "Drake Bullet" plane which Jim Lane is piloting springs an oil leak, which blows back on the cowling and side of the plane, clearly staining it with black oil. However, when we see the plane land in the Kansas wheat field and taxi to a stop, the side of the plane now has no signs of any oil stains whatsoever. But when the camera angle goes to a close-up of Jim climbing out of the plane, varying degrees of the oil stains on the side of the plane are again visible. See more »

Quotes

Ann Thurston Barton: You're a funny looking gazabo
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Thousands Cheer (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodbye Blues
(uncredited)
Written by Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields and Arnold Johnson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just a great film...
11 September 2008 | by cordaro9418See all my reviews

I list this under my 'Best' category for the simple fact that it's one of the best 'Buddy' pics of all time.

Tracy and Gable had already been on screen together, and both had already been award winners, but this one was just fun.

The story allows them to play off themselves with great range, and adding Myrna Loy only helps. The interaction is coy, innocent yet feisty, and lays a lot of groundwork for what 'buddy' comedy films still strive for.

Paced fairly well, with just a dash of drama, the film hits on all cylinders and is definitely a popcorn movie.

If you like this one, don't miss 'Boomtown' either.


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