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Experimental aircraft of several countries are mysteriously vanishing during test flights over the sea. The latest is British, and Hammond of the Secret Service, comical but competent, investigates undercover. Also interested is waitress Kay, a disguised reporter, and Hammond's sister. The government and plane manufacturer Barrett think the whole business is just coincidence, but the "Viking", ostensible salvage ship controlled by a foreign power, has much to do with it.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Some 20 years before Ian Fleming started writing about these things, it's nice to know that the British Secret Service was on the job and apprehending spies and saboteurs even if they're a bit slow to catch on at times.
With a little inside help from the air plant, some Teutonic looking gentleman have perfected a ray that immobilizes airships and brings them down real nice on the ocean. No trace of about four warships has been found at all or their crews. It's of concern to test pilot Laurence Olivier, to British agent Ralph Richardson, and to news reporter Valerie Hobson.
Hobson and Richardson are brother and sister. As you can imagine his job involves secrecy and undercover work and Hobson's from the Lois Lane school of journalism. Family dinners must really be something in that family. She also falls for Olivier while she's undercover working as a waitress at a coffee shop near the plane factory.
Q Planes must have been seen as wildly fantastic by the 1939 audience, but two generations who saw Sean Connery and Roger Moore engage in even wilder derring-do than is shown in this film, would regard Q Planes as all in a day's work.
Olivier and Hobson are fine, but Richardson steals the film whenever he's on screen. Q Planes will never be ranked as in the top 10 of any of these players, but it's a nice breezy espionage comedy/drama made a lot better by some of the greatest thespian talent in the English speaking world of the last century.
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