Captains of the Clouds (1942)





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Movie Info

James Cagney plays an independent Canadian bush pilot who attempts service in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WW II but cannot bend to military ways. Soon, however, he proves his ability as a civilian.
Rating: NR
Genre: Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By: Michael Curtiz
Written By: Richard Macaulay , Norman Reilly Raine , Roland Gillett , Arthur T. Horman
In Theaters: wide
Warner Bros. Pictures


James Cagney
as Brian MacLean
Dennis Morgan
as Johnny Dutton
Alan Hale
as "Tiny" Murphy
George Tobias
as Blimp Lebec
Brenda Marshall
as Emily Foster
Reginald Gardiner
as Scrounger Harris
Reginald Denny
as Commanding officer
Russell Arms
as Prentiss
Paul Cavanagh
as Group captain
Clem Bevans
as Store-Teeth Morrison
Morton Lowry
as Carmichael
S.L. Cathcart-Jones
as Chief Instructor
Frederic Worlock
as President of Court Martial
Roland Drew
as Officer
Benny Baker
as Popcorn Kearns
Ben Baker
as Popcorn Kearns
Louis Jean Heydt
as Provost Marshal
Gig Young
as Student Pilot
Tod Andrews
as Student Pilot
O. Cathcart Jones
as Chief Instructor
Pat Flaherty
as Drill sergeant
Tom Dugan
as Bartender
Gavin Muir
as Orderly
Larry Williams
as Duty officer
Miles Mander
as Churchill
Ben Baker
as Popcorn Kearns
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News & Interviews for Captains of the Clouds

Critic Reviews for Captains of the Clouds

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

James Cagney's first color film, an aviation tale, was Oscar nominated for Cinematography and Interior Decoration

Full Review… | August 25, 2012

No excerpt available.

August 14, 2005

Cagney is a bush pilot facing a fleet of Nazi raiders in this morale-boosting aviation drama from Warner Brothers.

October 25, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for Captains of the Clouds

Lots of action, fast paced and humorous WWII moral booster for the war effort. Canadian bush pilots enlist in the R.A.F. only to find out they're too old. [img][/img] Cagney leads a great cast, but wisecracks his way out of a pilot's licence. Always the rebel at heart, Cagney can't conform to the military. SEE an example of that here: SEE the trailer here: (forgive the commercial though) [img][/img] A love interest quickly starts between the actors Brian MacLean (James Cagney), Johnny Dutton (Dennis Morgan), "Tiny" Murphy (Alan Hale, Sr.), "Blimp" Lebec (George Tobias) and "Scrounger" Harris (Reginald Gardiner) are bush pilots competing for business in rugged Northern Ontario, Canada in 1939, as the Second World War is beginning. [img][/img] While Dutton flies by the book, MacLean (Cagney) is a seat-of-the-pants kind of pilot, mirroring the differences in their personalities. [img][/img] There is a love twist to this one as well. Cagney gets between a guy and his fiancee, only to marry her and get rid of her. [img][/img] Cagney is his usual fast talking, ready to fight type guy. Bound to please most anyone, the film is in then new Technicolor. The ending is not terribly credible, which is the only fault in the film for the most part. [img][/img] Tidbits and Notes: 1 The vivid aerial scenes filmed in Technicolor were another aspect of the expensive production that garnered critical attention. 2 Reviews were mixed; while some critics felt the film suffered from a stagey plot and a forced romantic story line, the aerial scenes were considered the film's redeeming feature. [img][/img] 3 Even though it seems unlikely, the secluded location and lack of telephones necessitated the use of homing pigeons obtained locally to send out messages to the other film units. 4 The aerial sequences were under the direction of Paul Mantz, long-time Hollywood stunt pilot, who used a Stinson Model A trimotor camera ship. [img][/img] 5 MacLean's aircraft, CF-HGO in the scenes, was a Noorduyn Norseman flown by veteran stunt pilot Frank Clarke (who doubled for James Cagney in flying scenes), Johnny Dutton's silver CF-NBP was an actual Fairchild 71C bush plane, while Laurentian Air Service's Waco EGC-7 and AGC-8 cabin aircraft provided the other float planes. [img][/img] Directed by Michael Curtiz Produced by Hal B. Wallis William Cagney Written by Arthur T. Horman Roland Gillett Richard Macaulay Norman Reilly Raine [img][/img] Starring James Cagney [img][/img] Dennis Morgan Music by Max Steiner (score) Harold Arlen (title song) Cinematography Wilfred M. Cline, Sol Polito Winton C. Hoch Editing by George Amy [img][/img] Distributed by Warner Bros. Release date(s) February 12, 1942 (NYC) February 21, 1942 (US) Running time 114 minutes Country United States Canada Language English [img][/img]

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

While suffering the burden of being a propaganda film, Captains of the Clouds actually has some substance when it's not showing the inspiring nature of "technical scenes."

Tim Hruszkewycz
Tim Hruszkewycz


James Higgins
James Higgins

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