11 user 7 critic

Wings of the Navy (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 11 February 1939 (USA)
Jerry and Cass have always been competitive. Now that Cass is a well respected Naval aviator like his father, Jerry leaves the submarine service to become a flying cadet with Class 61 at ... See full summary »


Lloyd Bacon


Michael Fessier (original screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Brent ... Cass Harrington
Olivia de Havilland ... Irene Dale
John Payne ... Jerry Harrington
Frank McHugh ... Scat Allen
John Litel ... Commander Clark
Victor Jory ... Lt. Parsons
Henry O'Neill ... Prologue Speaker
John Ridgely ... Dan Morrison
John Gallaudet ... Lt. Harry White
Donald Briggs ... Instructor
Edgar Edwards ... Ted Parsons
Regis Toomey ... First Flight Instructor
Alberto Morin ... Armando Costa (as Albert Morin)
Jonathan Hale ... Commandant
Pierre Watkin ... Capt. March


Jerry and Cass have always been competitive. Now that Cass is a well respected Naval aviator like his father, Jerry leaves the submarine service to become a flying cadet with Class 61 at Pensacola. During training, Jerry meets and falls for Cass's fiancée Irene. After air sickness, jitters and a crash landing, Jerry gets his wings. Cass is not as lucky as he is crippled in a crash and must retire. Cass designs a new fighter for the Navy as Jerry pilots flying boats in San Diego. Jerry will do anything to show Cass that he is a better pilot, even if it means leaving the Navy to test the experimental fighter that killed test pilot Steve Conners. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 February 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asas da Esquadra See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The movie being shown to the prisoners in Each Dawn I Die, with James Cagney and George Raft. See more »


When the trainees arrive Pensacola there are several shots of planes taxiing and flying. In the background there are mountains, which do not exist around Pensacola. Rather, the scenes were filmed at North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego CA and Point Loma was the mountainous area in the background. See more »


Featured in Each Dawn I Die (1939) See more »


Wings Over the Navy
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the opening credits and often throughout the film
See more »

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User Reviews

We Need Better Equipment!!!
23 May 2009 | by xerses13See all my reviews

WINGS OF THE NAVY is a typical service picture of the time. It features parallel stories of a young Naval Aviator (John Payne) training and his eventual involvement with his Brothers' (George Brent) fiancé (Olivia De Havilland). It will come to nobodies surprise that this triangle will end in favor of the younger and better looking Payne with De Havilland. Brent no doubt retiring back to Bette Davis. The rest of the films cast is rounded out by standard WARNER BROTHERS contract players.

The real Stars' are the Planes and training facilities of the U.S. Navy. It is quite evident that the U.S.N. was deeply committed to the expansion of its air arm. This film focusing primarily on training, then the PBY Catalina Flying Boat, one of the most successful aircraft of its type, many still flying today. The prime striking arm of the U.S.N. the Aircraft Carriers are largely ignored.

Seeing this film a American no doubt felt that our Navy was ready for war. Others watching would not think so. Our future Allies' Great Britain and Soviet Russia were already flying the more advanced Fighters, Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire and Polikarpov I-16 respectively. Future enemy Imperial Japan featured the likes of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero (I.J.N.) and Nakajima Ki-43 (I.J.A.), Nazi Germany their Messerschmitt BF-109 (Me-109). Even the Italians looked more impressive with their Reggiane Re.2000.

In the film our most advanced (experimental) Fighter is one of character George Brents' design. It is a Bi-Plane, looking more suitable for WWI then the coming conflict. No wonder Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany seeing films like this had such a low opinions of our war fighting capabilities. Fortunetly like a iceberg the unseen was far more impressive then what could easily be observed. They would find this out in less then a year once war commenced. Much to their chagrin.

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