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Captains of the Clouds (1942)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 21 February 1942 (USA)
Inspired by Churchill's Dunkirk speech, brash, undisciplined bush pilot Brian MacLean and three friends enlist in the RCAF but are deemed too old to be fliers.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Arthur T. Horman (story), Roland Gillett (story) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Brian MacLean
Dennis Morgan ... Johnny Dutton
Brenda Marshall ... Emily Foster
Alan Hale ... Francis Patrick 'Tiny' Murphy
George Tobias ... Blimp Lebec
Reginald Gardiner ... Scrounger Harris
W.A. Bishop W.A. Bishop ... Air Marshal W. A. Bishop (as Air Marshal W.A. Bishop)
Reginald Denny ... Commanding Officer
Russell Arms ... Louis 'Alabama' Prentiss
Paul Cavanagh ... Group Captain
Clem Bevans ... Sam 'Store-Teeth' Morrison
J.M. Kerrigan ... Foster
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Dr. Neville (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
Patrick O'Moore ... Fyffe
Morton Lowry ... Carmichael
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Storyline

Brian McLean is a ruthless bush-pilot in Canada. He offers some other pilots an opportunity of earning a lot of money, but he marries the girl-friend of one of them. After listening to Churchill's famous "Blood, Sweat and tears" radio address he and some other pilots decide to join the RCAF - and his superior is always the pilot who's girlfriend he has married. Due to this and the fact, that McLean doesn't like to obey he gets troubles. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 February 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shadows of Their Wings See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

At the beginning of the movie, the Fairchild 71C has the registration of CF-GHV. CF-GHV is registered to the Air Cadet Program and has only ever been used on gliders. See more »

Goofs

The Hudson bombers taxiing out in Canada do not have the mid upper turret installed, but when the German fighter is attacking them, they all have the turrets installed. See more »

Quotes

Francis Patrick 'Tiny' Murphy: You know MacLean?
Scrounger Harris: Yeah, I've met him, but I don't like him.
Blimp Lebec: You don't like him? You should know how I don't like him!
Brian MacLean: And why do you say that? You know, I've always been very happy to see you. Look at Tiny. He never used to like me. Now he hates me.
[to Willie]
Brian MacLean: Willie!
Willie: Hello! Happy landings!
Francis Patrick 'Tiny' Murphy: [to Blimp and Scrounger] Oh, come on and sit down. Come on, come on here.
[to Willie]
Francis Patrick 'Tiny' Murphy: Listen, Willie, we want four black coffees and some cake.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Sincere appreciation is expressed to Major the Honorable C.G. Power P.C., M.C., Minister of National Defence for Air (Canada) and to Air Marshal L.S. Breadner D.S.C., Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Canadian Air Force, without whose authority and generous co-operation this picture would not have been brought to its splendid conclusion. We also wish to express our thanks to Air Marshal Bishop, V.C. and other officers and men of the R.C.A.F. who, in the making of the picture, are portrayed in the actual performance of their regular duties. See more »

Connections

Edited into Desperate Search (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

O Canada
(uncredited)
Music by Calixa Lavallée
Played at various times throughout the film
See more »

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User Reviews

Technicolor Cagney
25 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Captains of the Clouds (1943)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Extremely exciting actioneer from Warner about a bush pilot (James Cagney) who pisses everyone off and then joins the Canadian Air Force to train pilots for battle in WW2. Top-notch acting, incredibly flight sequences and an all around good story makes this a wonderful little gem that really sticks out from the various war films produced in this era. I've had the chance to see this movie countless times over the years but kept pushing it back and I'm really kicking myself for doing that. The love triangle between Cagney, Dennis Morgan and Brenda Marshall is very well handled and doesn't come off simply as formula melodrama. This mixes in well when we hit the action stuff and the reasoning behind the constant battle between Cagney and Morgan. The entire cast does a great job in their roles and this includes the three leads as well as Alan Hale and George Tobias. The flight sequences are incredibly impressive and the ending is packed with intense action. The Technicolor (Cagney's first) also benefits the film greatly with all the beautiful locations and it really brings the blues out of the skies. The film was certainly made to be patriotic and it pulls that off extremely well with the ending.


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