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

OLIVER REED IN MICHAEL WINNER'S BRITISH NEW WAVE 'THE SYSTEM'

Oliver Reed & Jane Merrow Year: 1964 Rating: ***** THE GIRL-GETTERS is really THE SYSTEM as the other title makes little sense — and alt...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Most Popular Last Year

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

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

UPCOMING ARTICLE/REVIEW

UPCOMING ARTICLE/REVIEW
Orson Welles classic film noir melodrama THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "I never make the same mistake twice... I make it hundreds of times." Oliver Reed, The System

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

FILM NOIR & NEO FILM NOIR


"One false move and you're over your head."

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)THE CROWDED SKY 2)THE FEARMAKERS 3)JAWS 4)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 5)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 6)HOT CARS 7)VIOLENT SATURDAY 8)CANYON PASSAGE 9)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 10)HARDCORE 11)CURSE OF THE DEMON 12)THE DEFECTOR 13)SHARKS' TREASURE 14)ROYAL FLASH 15)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 16)OTLEY 17)ASH WEDNESDAY 18)THE SERGEANT 19)SWEENEY TWO 20)THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN 21)THE ROARING TWENTIES 22)FALLEN ANGEL 23)AL CAPONE 24)THE ASPHALT JUNGLE 25)AIR PATROL 26)KILLER FISH 27)THE SYSTEM 28)WHITE HEAT 29)EASY LIVING 30)COMPULSION 31)ATLANTIC CITY 32)WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS 33)JUNGLE STREET 34)MADISON AVENUE 35)THE SHARKFIGHTERS 36)DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS 37)MY BLOOD RUNS COLD 38)THE LINEUP 39)SWAMP WATER 40)THE DAY THEY ROBBED THE BANK OF ENGLAND 41)RUMBLE FISH 42)CANYON RIVER 43)THE HEARSE 44)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 45)CORVETTE SUMMER 46)THE DRIVER 47)FRENZY 48)HOUSE OF STRANGERS 49)THE KILLING 50)FORCE TEN FROM NARAVONE 51)BULLITT 52)ROBBERY 53)THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE 54)KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE 55)HOTEL 56)THE BREAK 57)CRIME WAVE 58)BRANNIGAN 59)THE STONE KILLER 60)BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA

ACTORS 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)MARLON BRANDO 4)JACK NICHOLSON 5)ORSON WELLES 6)PETER O'TOOLE 7)TOM COURTENAY 8)CHARLES BRONSON 9)GENE HACKMAN 10)VICTOR MATURE ACTRESSES 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 CARPENTER 7)MAURY DEXTER 8)JOHN LANDIS 9)MICHAEL WINNER 10)SAM PECKINPAH

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

BRITISH NEW WAVE/NEO NOIR

RARITIES & EXPLOITATION

Popular This Month

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

TRIPPING INTO THE SIXTIES

TARGETING THE SEVENTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE