6.5/10
672
18 user 16 critic

Clouds Over Europe (1939)

Q Planes (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Mystery | 20 June 1939 (USA)
A quirky British Secret Service Agent named Major Hammond tries to discover who is using a secret weapon to steal experimental planes.

Directors:

Tim Whelan, Arthur B. Woods (uncredited)

Writers:

Brock Williams (original story), Jack Whittingham (original story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Laurence Olivier ... Tony McVane
Ralph Richardson ... Major Charles Hammond
Valerie Hobson ... Kay Hammond
George Curzon George Curzon ... Jenkins
George Merritt ... Barrett
Gus McNaughton ... Blenkinsop
David Tree ... Robert Mackenzie
Sandra Storme ... Daphne
Hay Petrie ... Stage Door Keeper
Frank Fox Frank Fox ... Karl
George Butler George Butler ... Air Marshall Gosport
Gordon McLeod Gordon McLeod ... The Baron
John Longden ... Peters (as John Longdon)
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See the star of hit "Wuthering Heights"...in a thrill packed romantic drama!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Clouds Over Europe See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This movie was included in the first syndicated television presentation of a package of major studio movies on U.S. television. It opened the series in Boston Sunday, June 13, 1948 on freshly launched WBZ (Channel 4), followed by Philadelphia Friday, July 2, 1948 on WFIL (Channel 6), by St. Louis Sunday, July 11, 1948 on KSD (Channel 5), by New York City Sunday, August 1, 1948 on WPIX (Channel 11), by Baltimore Friday, August 13, 1948 on WMAR (Channel 2), by Chicago Monday, September 6, 1948 on WGN (Channel 9), by Los Angeles Sunday, November 28, 1948 on KTLA (Channel 5), and by Cincinnati Monday, June 13, 1949 on WKRC (Channel 11). The package consisted of twenty-four Alexander Korda productions originally released theatrically between 1933 and 1942. See more »

Goofs

Early into the film, a map is shown, depicting Europe where the planes have vanished. As Ralph Richardson points, Los Angles is mentioned, right over where Germany is. It's obvious that a second map has been placed over another map, for where Germany ought to be is a huge body of water. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Barrett: Alright! Alright! Will you as a personal favour take that plane up?
Tony McVane: Well of course I will, you parboiled, pudding-minded, myopic deadhead!
See more »

Soundtracks

Logan Falls with Bedclothes
(uncredited)
from The Divorce of Lady X (1938)
Music by Lionel Salter
See more »

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User Reviews

A hidden gem!
21 November 2011 | by jimjo1216See all my reviews

Beneath the British B-picture exterior lies a hidden gem of an espionage thriller. Q PLANES is briskly paced and delightfully entertaining, balancing exciting spy intrigue with lighthearted character moments. The villains' dastardly scheme foreshadows James Bond villainy to come, and one can almost hear the John Barry music swell up during certain scenes.

The film is anchored by Ralph Richardson in a droll performance as a slightly Holmesian secret service man: undeniably brilliant, if a tad eccentric and prone to absent-mindedness. The triumvirate of stars is completed by Laurence Olivier as a pilot (and all-around good guy) and Valerie Hobson, who we learn is a newspaper reporter out looking for a scoop (in the grand tradition of such characters).

Top-secret experimental planes are disappearing under mysterious circumstances and Richardson is doing everything he can to get to the bottom of it. The main cast of Richardson, Olivier, and Hobson are great together and the movie manages to blend real comedy with real excitement. This little-known British thriller is a real winner. It's lots of fun and a wonderful surprise. Try to catch it on TCM sometime.


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