Written by / 5/26/2014 / No comments / , , , ,

JAMES CAGNEY GOES TO WAR IN 'CAPTAINS OF THE CLOUDS'

1942 rating: ***1/2
James Cagney’s stalwart expression on the poster, and a glorious title like CAPTAINS OF THE CLOUDS involving Canadian Bush Pilots fighting in World War II, could be misleading for anyone loving the tough, snarky, womanizing Cagney: the persona that built his reputation before venturing into more serious matters – especially after the Second World War broke out...

But most of this film has the pint-sized icon, playing a daredevil pilot stealing jobs from his fellow airmen using every trick in the book, acting shrewder than ever.

He’s got his sites on a younger pilot's gorgeous fiancé – she too is a money-grubbing rogue and both make a fiendish pair. Brenda Marshall is the perfect mix of lovely and deceitful, wisping her long black hair while planting a soft spike into kindhearted idealist Dennis Morgan.

Scenes involving Cagney teaming up with Morgan and Alan Hale in their own cargo business lead to the group joining the RAF where Cagney’s cocky persona, training young fliers to take risks instead of following orders, gets him in hot water with the hard nosed military elites: Like all Cagney’s best characters, the ramifications mean nothing... He’s in it for the thrills and blind adventure and the audience takes part. But last thirty minutes, as the group fly off into the inevitable battle (accompanied by Winston Churchill’s famous speech), seems a bit rushed and doesn’t live up to the energetic first act of double-crossings and Arial scenery over plush Canadian exteriors. Director Michael Curtiz, a few years shy of CASABLANCA, wields each shot with precision so there’s never a dull moment. But Cagney being Cagney is what really delivers the goods throughout this overlooked gem, far exceeding your typical wartime propaganda.
Share This Post :
Tags : , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

STANLEY BAKER AND TOM BELL SNEAK THROUGH 'A PRIZE OF ARMS'

Stanley Baker in A PRIZE OF ARMS Year: 1962 Rating: ****1/2 The most suspenseful parts from the final act of THE GREAT ESCAPE a year after A...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

BRITISH JANUARY/FEBRUARY

RIP ACTOR KEN HUTCHISON

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: ""I'm paying for nerve, not nerves." Stanley Baker, Robbery

CRIME/FILM NOIR/NEO NOIR


Gritty Exploitation Cinema of Charles Bronson

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)THE FEARMAKERS 3)CANYON PASSAGE 4)HOT CARS 5)THE CROWDED SKY 6)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 7)VIOLENT SATURDAY 8)JUNGLE STREET 9)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 10)HELL IS A CITY 11))ANATOMY OF A MURDER 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)HARDCORE 15)FRENZY 16)THE SYSTEM 17)WHITE HEAT 18)THE SERGEANT 19)AL CAPONE 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)ASH WEDNESDAY 22)CURSE OF THE DEMON 23)ATLANTIC CITY 24)KILLER FISH 25)AIR PATROL 26)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)ROBBERY 30)THE ROARING TWENTIES 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)JACK NICHOLSON 4)MARLON BRANDO 5)CHARLES BRONSON DAMES 1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)VAL GUEST 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

PEAKING INTO THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

FOR HORROR MOVIE REVIEWS

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE