Desperate Journey (1942)

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Movie Info

Errol Flynn are the on-screen spark plugs in this bracing propaganda yarn, which relies on the personalities of its casts as well as the lively direction of Raoul Walsh to overcome the improbabilities of its plot. In 1942, a lone RAF bomber flying deep into Germany (just inside the old Polish border) is shot down after completing its mission. The skipper is killed, and left in command is Flight Lieutenant Terry Forbes (Errol Flynn), an Australian who plans on leaving damage behind on the ground so the Germans remember him, even if he doesn't make it back to England. The rest of the crew consists of brash American bombardier Johnny Hammond (Ronald Reagan), bookish Canadian navigator Jed Forrest (Arthur Kennedy), wide-eyed Flight Sergeant Lloyd Hollis (Ronald Sinclair), the son of a World War I hero, and First World War veteran Kirk Edwards (Alan Hale, Sr.). They're captured in short order, and brought before Luftwaffe Major Otto Baumeister (Raymond Massey) for interrogation -- they not only manage to escape, but gather some information vital to the Allied war effort. Now they only have to figure out how to cross most of Germany and Holland, avoiding capture along the way by a mix of sheer daring, blind luck, and assistance from two anti-Nazi Germans (Nancy Coleman, Albert Bassermann) -- and just when it seems that all of the odds have turned against them, they find themselves faced with a German plot to wipe out a major part of London, and one last opportunity to get home.

Cast

Errol Flynn
as Flight Lt. Terrence Forbes
Ronald Reagan
as Flying Officer Johnny Hammond
Raymond Massey
as Maj. Otto Baumeister
Nancy Coleman
as Kaethe Brahms
Pat O'Moore
as Squadron Leader Lane Ferris
Alan Hale
as Flight Sgt. Kirk Edwards
Arthur Kennedy
as Flying Officer Jed Forrest
Sig Rumann
as Preuss
Patrick O'Moore
as Squadron Leader Lane-Ferris
Ronald Sinclair
as Flight Sgt. Lloyd Hollis
Louis V. Arco
as Feldwebel Gertz
Charles Irwin
as Capt. Coswick
Richard Fraser
as S/L Clark
Lester Matthews
as Wing Commander
Walter Brooke
as Flight Sgt. Warwick
Albert Basserman
as Dr. Mather
Felix Basch
as Dr. Herman Brahms
Ilka Gruning
as Frau Brahms
Elsa Basserman
as Frau Raeder
Henry Victor
as Heinrich Schwartzmuller
Bruce Lester
as Assistant Plotting Officer
Helmut Dantine
as German Copilot
Barry Bernard
as Squadron Commander
William Hopper
as Aircraftsman
Douglas Walton
as British Officer
Harold Daniels
as German Soldier
Henry Rowland
as Motorcycle Scout
Frank Alten
as Lieutenant
Arno Frey
as Pvt. Trecha
Sigfrid Tor
as Pvt. Rasek
Gene Garrick
as Polish Boy
Hans Schumm
as Gestapo Agent
Robert Stephenson
as Gestapo Agent
Carl Ekberg
as Telephone Repairman
Ludwig Hardt
as Pharmacist
Jack Lomas
as Magnus
Roland Varno
as Unteroffizier
Otto Reichow
as Pvt. Koenig
Rolf Lindau
as Sergeant
Bruce Lister
as English Officer
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Critic Reviews for Desperate Journey

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

Aside from some expendable propaganda heroics, rousingly handled by Walsh.

Jan 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Instinctive existentialism of a very high order, and a very entertaining adventure (1942).

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

A rousing Hollywood propaganda World War II adventure film.

Jun 26, 2015 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Desperate Journey was viewed at the time of its release as a ludicrous, comic-strip war adventure. That view has only been strengthened over the years.

Jun 13, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Walsh's desperately daft flagwaver often lets propagandizing get the better of its smooth running.

May 24, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Desperate Journey

With the soundtrack blaring "God Save The King" throughout the endeavor, there can be no doubt as to the propagandist intentions of this World War 2 adventure. The ever-so-glib crew, stranded in Nazi Germany and trying to get back to England, goes through some tough scrapes, but there is really never any doubt as to the outcome as our boys laugh and joke whatever the circumstance. Charisma carries the day with Flynn and Reagan doing the heavy lifting, yet ably assisted by Hale and Kennedy. Raymond Massey, cruelly underappreciated character actor, is the central heavy, and does a passable German.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan star in a light hearted mix between the Dirty Dozen and Commando.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Desperate Journey Quotes

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