6.6/10
684
32 user 14 critic

The Sky's the Limit (1943)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 13 July 1943 (USA)
Flying Tiger Fred Atwell sneaks away from his famous squadron's personal appearance tour and goes incognito for several days of leave. He quickly falls for photographer Joan Manion, ... See full summary »

Director:

Edward H. Griffith

Writers:

Frank Fenton (original screenplay), Lynn Root (original screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In Buenos Aires, a man who has decreed that his daughters must marry in order of age allows an American dancer to perform at his club under the condition that he play suitor to his second-oldest daughter.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Adolphe Menjou
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In order to cover up his philandering ways, a married Broadway producer sets one of his dancers up on a date with a chorus girl for whom he had bought a gift, but the two dancers fall in love for real.

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Stars: Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Robert Benchley
Second Chorus (1940)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

When perennial college students Danny O'Neill and Hank Taylor are forced to make it on their own, the competitive pair get jobs with Artie Shaw's band and reunite with ex-manager Ellen Miller.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Fred Astaire, Paulette Goddard, Artie Shaw
Blue Skies (1946)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Jed Potter looks back on a love triangle conducted over the course of years and between musical numbers. Dancer Jed loves showgirl Mary, who loves compulsive nightclub-opener Johnny, who ... See full summary »

Directors: Stuart Heisler, Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Joan Caulfield
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of married couple Irene Castle and Vernon Castle, sensational ballroom dancers prior to World War I.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edna May Oliver
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Lady Alyce Marshmorton must marry soon, and the staff of Tottney Castle have laid bets on who she'll choose, with young Albert wagering on "Mr. X". After Alyce goes to London to meet a beau... See full summary »

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Fred Astaire, George Burns, Gracie Allen
Fantasy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Johnny Riggs, a con man on the lam, finds himself in a Latin-American country named Patria. There, he overhears a convent-bred rich girl praying to her guardian angel for help in managing ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Fred Astaire, Lucille Bremer, Frank Morgan
Let's Dance (1950)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Donald Elwood meets after the war his former USO partner, Kitty McNeil, who is now a rich widow with a little child. She tries to evade her paternal grandmother, who wants her to live in a ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Betty Hutton, Fred Astaire, Roland Young
Top Hat (1935)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

On a trip to France, millionaire Jervis Pendleton sees an 18 year old girl in an orphanage. Enchanted with her, but mindful of the difference in their ages, he sponsors her to college in ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Fred Astaire, Leslie Caron, Terry Moore
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In squeaky-clean New York at the turn of the century, playboy Charlie Hill falls so much in love that he can walk on air. The object of his affections is beautiful Angela Bonfils, a mission... See full summary »

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Fred Astaire, Vera-Ellen, Marjorie Main
Certificate: Passed Biography | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of the successful Tin Pan Alley songwriting team of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby is told loosely and lightheartedly.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Fred Astaire, Vera-Ellen, Red Skelton
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Fred Atwell aka Fred Burton
Joan Leslie ... Joan Manion
Robert Benchley ... Phil Harriman
Robert Ryan ... Reginald Fenton
Elizabeth Patterson ... Mrs. Fisher
Marjorie Gateson ... Canteen Hostess
Freddie Slack Freddie Slack ... Freddie Slack - Leader of His Orchestra
Freddie Slack and His Orchestra Freddie Slack and His Orchestra ... Freddie Slack's Orchestra
Edit

Storyline

Flying Tiger Fred Atwell sneaks away from his famous squadron's personal appearance tour and goes incognito for several days of leave. He quickly falls for photographer Joan Manion, pursuing her in the guise of a carefree drifter. Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Here's a thrill, new and gay! It's a dance filled holiday!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 July 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lookout Below See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Leslie's vocals for "My Shining Hour" were dubbed by Sally Sweetland. See more »

Goofs

During Joan's photo tour of the docks, the docks are gated and patrolled by security due to wartime as unloading of a ship goes on, but Fred manages to get aboard ship and borrow a dolly without anyone seeing him. See more »

Quotes

Joan Manion: [Fred and Joan have just finished a dance number] Where did you learn to dance like that?
Fred Atwell: Arthur Murray.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Lady and the Baby Sitter (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

My Shining Hour
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by Joan Leslie (dubbed by Sally Sweetland)
Danced by Fred Astaire, Joan Leslie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Highs and Lows
27 November 2009 | by Doghouse-6See all my reviews

Very much in the Fred Astaire canon of the 30's-40's (Fred meets girl, Fred exasperates girl, Fred wins girl over on the dance floor), THE SKY'S THE LIMIT - although uneven - contains some of Astaire's best and most unusual moments on film. It's worth getting past a few jarring notes to access them.

In almost every one of his musicals, Fred plays some extension of the same character: the lovestruck, earnest but insouciant sophisticate, and for some reason the standard formula required Fred to annoy the object of his affection upon their initial meeting - and often for some time after. This picture frequently carries the gimmick to inexplicable extremes.

The recipient of Fred's love at first sight is magazine photographer Joan Leslie, who although not quite a triple-threat (her singing voice is courtesy of Sally Sweetland, but she could dance and handle both comedy and drama; call her a two-and-a-half threat) is generally up to the task, and projects a maturity far beyond her 18 (yup: 18) years. Supplying able assistance is Robert Benchley as Joan's editor and would-be suitor, who has moments hinting at more depth as an actor than he was usually given an opportunity to display.

With Fred portraying a Flying Tiger ace who skips out on a PR tour to enjoy a few days of fun before returning to duty, there are elements of wartime morale-boosting, but only around the edges, and in what sometimes is an almost subversive vein. After enduring a discourse on "how to win this war" from the man who has given him a lift to town, Astaire's only response is, "What's your classification?" "4-F," the man answers, to which Astaire replies, "That's what I thought."

In an odd bit of casting, Robert Ryan appears as one of Fred's Air Forces buddies, but takes the script's intended mischief a bit too seriously. In scenes that call for him to merely tease, he practically drips with menace. That quality would serve him well in subsequent films, but here it's one of the aforementioned jarring notes.

There's still plenty of fun along the way, and the script is sprinkled with in-jokes, such as references to some of Astaire and Leslie's costars in earlier films, or Benchley's series of celebrated two-reel shorts for MGM in the 30's (Joan tells of a wedding proposal from him that digressed to a lecture about "the sex life of a polyp"). Indeed, Benchley delivers one of his trademark disorganized addresses at a fete honoring an industrialist, and while it brings the story to a halt for a few minutes, you won't really mind if you're a fan.

The crown jewel of THE SKY'S THE LIMIT is one of Astaire's best vocalizations of one of the best songs ever written for him, "One For My Baby (and One More For the Road"), along with one of his most adventurous dance solos, in which a night of bar-hopping after a falling-out with Leslie culminates in an explosive choreographic release of frustration and fury, at the posh nightspot where they first met.

This may not become one of your favorite Astaire pictures, but there are rewards if you can overlook a few rough spots.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 32 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 Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed