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Flight Command (1940)

Passed | | Drama, War | 27 December 1940 (USA)
A rookie flyer, Ens. Alan Drake, joins the famous Hellcats Squadron right out of flight school in Pensacola. He doesn't make a great first impression when he is forced to ditch his airplane... See full summary »


Frank Borzage


Wells Root (screen play), Harvey S. Haislip (screen play) (as Commander Harvey Haislip) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Taylor ... Ens. Alan Drake
Ruth Hussey ... Lorna Gary
Walter Pidgeon ... Sq. Cmdr. Billy Gary
Paul Kelly ... Lt. Cmdr. 'Dusty' Rhodes
Shepperd Strudwick ... Lt. Jerry Banning
Red Skelton ... Lt. 'Mugger' Martin
Nat Pendleton ... CPO 'Spike' Knowles
Dick Purcell ... Lt. 'Stichy' Payne
William Tannen ... Lt. Freddy Townsend
William Stelling ... Lt. Bush
Stanley Smith ... Lt. Frost
Addison Richards ... Vice Admiral
Donald Douglas ... 1st Duty Officer
Pat Flaherty ... 2nd Duty Officer
Forbes Murray ... Captain


A rookie flyer, Ens. Alan Drake, joins the famous Hellcats Squadron right out of flight school in Pensacola. He doesn't make a great first impression when he is forced to ditch his airplane and parachute to safety when he arrives at the base but is unable to land due to heavy fog. On his first official outing, his poor shooting skills results in the Hellcats losing an air combat competition. His fellow pilots accept him anyway but they think he's crossed the line when they erroneously conclude that while their CO Billy Gray is away, Drake has an affair with his wife Lorna. Drake is now an outcast and is prepared to resign from the Navy but his extreme heroism in saving Billy Gray's life turns things around. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 December 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alas en la niebla See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film received its initial television broadcasts in Seattle Friday 5 April 1957 on KING (Channel 5) and in Hartford CT Saturday 6 April 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18, followed by Philadelphia 26 April 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), by New Haven CT 3 May 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), by both Los Angeles and Altoona PA 10 May 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11) and on WFBG (Channel 10), by Portland OR 11 May 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), by San Antonio 26 May 1957 on WOAI (Channel 4), by Norfolk VA 8 June 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), by Syracuse 9 June 1957 on WHEN (Channel 8), by Minneapolis 10 July 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), and by Chicago 13 July 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), but its earliest documented telecasts did not occur in San Francisco until 5 March 1959 on KGO (Channel 7) and in New York City until 21 May 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »


When the Squadron gets the call to search for the missing seaplane, the Commander says there is just one hour until darkness. Yet the following shots clearly show them taking off with the sun high in the sky. See more »


Referenced in Hollywood: Style Center of the World (1940) See more »


(1862) (uncredited)
Written by Daniel Butterfield
Played as part of the score when deaths occur
See more »

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User Reviews

Likable but routine aerial story about a flight cadet who must prove himself...
6 February 2010 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

ROBERT TAYLOR plays a cocky air cadet who must prove to his commander and teammates that he's really a good guy when their perception of him is unclear due to a few plot circumstances.

WALTER PIDGEON plays the commander with his usual poise and elegance, smoothly mature as the husband of RUTH HUSSEY. Hussey has never had a better share of close-ups but her role is really peripheral to the main story of camaraderie among the men.

Frank Borzage has directed with a good eye for the aerial sequences during the period just before WWII. Carriers with planes landing on them and various formations while on maneuvers are all well photographed and realistically presented.

Taylor gives an admirable performance in the kind of role that would have gone to John Payne if the film had been made at Fox. His subtle awareness of how the men perceive him (after a misunderstanding) shows that he was capable of being more than just a pretty face.

Although well done and enjoyable to watch, the script prevents it from being anything more than a routine aerial film with some nice touches.

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