6.9/10
1,912
30 user 14 critic

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 »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two rival newsreel photographers join forces to find the an aviatrix's missing brother, who has disappeared in the Amazon rainforest.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Walter Pidgeon
The Citadel (1938)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Andrew Manson, a young, enthusiastic doctor takes his first job in a Welsh mining town, and begins to wonder at the persistent cough many of the miners have. When his attempts to prove its ... See full summary »

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Robert Donat, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Richardson
Boom Town (1940)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two buddies who rise from fly-by-night wildcatters to oil tycoons over a twenty year period both love the same woman.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert
Renegades (1930)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Four one-for-all and all-for-one privates in the French Foreign Legion are all in jail for disorderly conduct, but they break out and rejoin their regiment and fight off a band of marauding... See full summary »

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Warner Baxter, Myrna Loy, Noah Beery
Adventure (1945)
Drama | Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Dark, romantic, complicated drama about a rowdy merchant mariner and sophisticated librarian who clash over their lifestyles and values - and then fall in love.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Clark Gable, Greer Garson, Joan Blondell
Saratoga (1937)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After winning a stud farm in lieu of gambling debts, bookie Duke Bradley turns an eye to the daughter of the now deceased gambler and her millionaire fiancée.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Lionel Barrymore
San Francisco (1936)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Barbary Coast saloonkeeper and a Nob Hill impresario are rivals for the affections of a beautiful singer, both personally and professionally in 1906 San Francisco.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A jewel thief and a con artist are rivals in the theft of a valuable gem as the Japanese army invades China.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell, Peter Lorre
Libeled Lady (1936)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A newspaper man, his ignored fiancée, and his former employee, a down on his luck reporter, hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth in order to prevent a high-society woman from suing for libel.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy
Men in White (1934)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An idealistic doctor must make some hard choices between his dedication to the profession and his personal life.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Jean Hersholt
China Seas (1935)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When earthy Dolly Portland is rejected by Captain Gaskell in favor of a socialite, she aids Jamesy McCardle, in league with Malay pirates, in his plot to seize his ship.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery
Homecoming (1948)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

At the end of WW2, aboard a repatriation ship, an Army doctor reminisces about his war years while being interviewed by a reporter.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Clark Gable, Lana Turner, Anne Baxter
Edit

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
Edit

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:

The greatest cast, the grandest romance, the most amazing adventure thrills ever photographed -- all combined to give you the biggest picture that M-G-M ever made! Eight hundred airplanes! Cast of thousands! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Testpilot See more »

Company Credits

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The United Airlines aircraft that Spencer Tracy "flew" into Wichita was a Douglas Model DC-3A-197, Douglas serial number 1983, and civil registration NC-18111. It was delivered to United on 21 October 1937 and remained in service with that airline until 1954 when it was sold to American Flyers Airline of Ft. Worth, Texas. It was sold to Shawnee Airlines of Orlando, Florida in 1974 until withdrawn from service from June 1977 to September 1980 when it was sold to Florida Air Lines of Sarasota, Florida. It then passed through a number of organizations until 1988 when it was put on display as a U.S. Army Air Forces C-47 at the Air Transport Command Restaurant located on U.S. Highway 13 in New Castle, Delaware until November 2006. It was then acquired by the Massey Air Museum of Massey, Maryland and in 2015 it was being restored. This aircraft also appeared in the 1941 film "Flying Wild" with the "East Side Kids." See more »

Goofs

When Gunner sticks his gum to the plane before the takeoff in Wichita, in the close shot he is shown standing immediately behind the cockpit, whereas in the subsequent long shot, he is shown considerably aft of there. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in The Romance of Celluloid (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Great Love Story
25 August 2013 | by atlasmbSee all my reviews

Test Pilot surprised me with how good it is. As a love story, I rank it right up there with The Way We Were.

Clark Gable plays a test pilot, Jim, who lives hard and fast. Like many who live on the edge, he is superstitious and has an addictive personality. To cope with the risks he must take, he never deals with his feelings and drowns his fears in excesses of liquor and women.

Then he meets Ann, played by Myrna Loy--a fresh-faced, wisecracking Kansas girl who falls hard for the guy. Likewise, he falls for her and before you know it, they are married.

After they are married, Ann learns quickly what life with Jim must be like. It is a harsh reality that she cannot shake; she loves the mug.

Jim's sidekick is Gunner, a guy who also loves him but has learned to cope with Jim's short-sighted view of life. When Ann enters the picture, it becomes more than he can bear; he can endure his own pain, but cannot stand to witness hers.

We see a love story that can only end in pain, made all the more painful because all three characters are lovable.

The writing in this movie is among the best I have seen. There is not a false note in the entire film. It's difficult to write this kind of banter without making it seem false or shallow. Later in the film, when the going gets tougher, the writing conveys the feelings deep within even when they are talking only about the mundane.

It has been written that Myrna Loy liked this film best of all she acted in. Personally, I would give her the Best Actress award for this performance, though she was not even nominated.

Gable holds his own. And Tracy plays Gunner with a convincing subtlety.

Victor Fleming, who directed The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind the very next year, had another winner in this one. I am surprised it does not get much mention.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed