35 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 »


Edward H. Griffith


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




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 - Leader of His Orchestra
Freddie Slack and His Orchestra Freddie Slack and His Orchestra ... Freddie Slack's Orchestra


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


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


Comedy | Musical | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


A Fred Astaire solo dance number (on a railroad track) was cut from the film, although a print containing it was shown in New York until at least 1948. See more »


When Fred's escort in the parade shows him to the door at the hotel, she turns as the hotel room doors open. The next frame, they are back together in their original positions before the door opened. This is supported by the later photo of them that Robert Benchley shows Fred at the bar after creating the Flying Tiger drink. See more »


Joan Manion: You know, purely in a sociological way, you interest me. A little.
Fred Atwell: Well, it's a beginning, isn't it?
Joan Manion: Don't get me wrong! What interests me is this passion you seem to have for having your picture taken.
Fred Atwell: Let's talk it over.
[to bartender]
Fred Atwell: I'll have the same, please.
Joan Manion: You know, I'm supposed to be taking pictures of celebrities.
Fred Atwell: Couldn't I be the fellow who never gets his name mentioned? The one they call 'a friend'? You know: 'Ginger Rogers - and friend.'
See more »


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


Three Little Words
Written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby
instrumental played in background at Colonial Club
See more »

User Reviews

Woefully under-rated...
6 April 1999 | by B&W-2See all my reviews

This may conceivably be THE most under-rated film of all-time... NO ONE seems to love it as much as I do. Maltin, etc. all consider it one of Fred's worst movies. I don't understand why! He's great, Robert Benchley is on hand (doing one of his best patented befuddled speaker routines), and Joan Leslie is beautiful, sharp, and a great dancer (she really keeps up with Astaire, which is hard to do!) On top of that there are two immortal songs ("My Shining Hour", and "One For My Baby). It's not really a musical though, more of a romantic-comedy. Astaire and Leslie have a wonderful chemistry, especially in their debates over the importance of work in a man's life (Astaire is practically playing a gen-xer here!) Don't listen to the critics, watch this movie, it has biting wit, good music, and will leave you wistfully happy!

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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


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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