Captains of the Clouds

Captains of the Clouds

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Director: Michael Curtiz, James Cagney, Dennis Morgan, Brenda Marshall

Cast: Michael Curtiz, James Cagney, Dennis Morgan, Brenda Marshall

     
 

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James Cagney made his first Technicolor appearance in the morale-boosting aviation flick Captains of the Clouds. Cagney plays Brian MacLean, a hotshot Canadian bush pilot who delights in stealing jobs-and women-away from his competitors. Brian is forced to shape up in a hurry when he's assigned to train other pilots for the Royal Canadian Air Force. At the

Overview

James Cagney made his first Technicolor appearance in the morale-boosting aviation flick Captains of the Clouds. Cagney plays Brian MacLean, a hotshot Canadian bush pilot who delights in stealing jobs-and women-away from his competitors. Brian is forced to shape up in a hurry when he's assigned to train other pilots for the Royal Canadian Air Force. At the ending of the training period, he is given his first real RCAF assignment: The seemingly unimportant task of shepherding American bomber planes across the Atlantic to England. With startling suddenness, Brian comes to realize the true importance of his job when he is forced into a deadly confrontation with a fleet of Nazi raider planes. Real-life Canadian WW1 flying ace Billy Bishop plays a small but pivotal role in Captains of the Clouds, while the leading-lady duties were handled by Warner Bros. stock actress Brenda Marshall (aka Mrs. William Holden). Cinematographer Sol Polito earned an Oscar nomination for his vivid color photography, though aerial photographers Elmer Dyer, Charles Marshall and Winston Hoch were certainly just as deserving.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
An uneven but ultimately entertaining wartime film, Captains of the Clouds plays like two separate films held together by the glue of James Cagney's considerable starpower. One film is a typical Cagney showcase, in which the brash star struts and swaggers and displays his ego, but does so in such an unhackneyed, unself-conscious way that audiences can't help falling for him. In this film, Cagney eventually reveals just what a good guy he is at heart by marrying a no-good woman to save his unwitting pal from that very fate. The second film deals with the rigors of military training and with heavy-duty aerial action sequences that pack a real punch. Director Michael Curtiz does well with both halves of the film, but not with unifying them; each stands on its own as perfectly fine entertainment, but they don't come together as naturally as is desired. Without Cagney in the lead, the two parts of the film would feel like strangers indeed. But Cagney is in control, and he forces the viewer into just accepting things the way they are. In addition to the star, the cast benefits from strong work from such familiar faces as Alan Hale and Dennis Morgan. But, Cagney aside, the film's real asset is the smashing aerial cinematography by a whole crew of expert photographers. They help to give the second half of the film real punch.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/09/2014
UPC:
0888574106607
Original Release:
1942
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:53:00
Sales rank:
9,728

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Cagney Brian MacLean
Dennis Morgan Johnny Dutton
Brenda Marshall Emily Foster
Alan Hale Tiny Murphy
George Tobias Blimp Lebec
Reginald Gardiner Scrounger Harris
Reginald Denny Commanding officer
Russell Arms Prentiss
Paul Cavanagh Group captain
Clem Bevans Store-Teeth Morrison
J.M. Kerrigan Foster
John Farrell MacDonald Dr. Neville
Pat O'Moore Fyffo
Morton Lowry Carmichael
Frederic Worlock President of Court Martial
Roland Drew Officer
Lucia Carroll Blonde
George Meeker Playboy
Ben Baker Popcorn Kearns
Hardie Albright Kingsley
Ray Walker Mason
Charles Halton Nolan
Louis Jean Heydt Provost Marshal
Willie Fung Willie
Carl Harbord Blake
Air Marshal W.A. Bishop Himself
O. Cathcart Jones Chief Instructor
Ted Offenbecker Mechanic
William Wilkerson Actor
Tod Andrews Student Pilot
Barry Bernard Actor
James Bush Actor
Donald Dillaway Actor
Tom Dugan Bartender
Pat Flaherty Drill sergeant
John Gallaudet Actor
Herbert Gunn Actor
Winifred Harris Woman
John Hartley Actor
Charles Irwin Actor
John Kellogg Actor
Frank Lackteen Indian
Miles Mander Churchill
Ray Montgomery Actor
Gavin Muir Orderly
George Ovey Actor
Charles B. Smith Bellboy
James Stevens Indian
Rafael Storm Actor
Emmett Vogan Clerk
Roy Walker Mason
Billy Wayne Actor
Larry Williams Duty officer
Gig Young Student Pilot
Edward McNamara Dog Man
George Offerman Mechanic

Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
George J. Amy Editor
Howard Arlen Songwriter
William Cagney Associate Producer
Wilfrid M. Cline Cinematographer
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Byron Haskin Special Effects
Arthur Horman Screenwriter
Richard Macaulay Screenwriter
Johnny Mercer Songwriter
Sol Polito Cinematographer
Norman Reilly Raine Screenwriter
Howard Shoup Costumes/Costume Designer
Ted Smith Production Designer
Max Steiner Score Composer
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup
Rex Wimpy Special Effects

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Captains of the Clouds 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago