- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Paul B
An excellent retrospective look at the US Navy just prior to WW II at NAS North Island. Errol Flynn epitimizes the old Navy doctor and keeps Fred MacMurray hoping in their verbal tirade over the usefulness of having inept doctors around. Ralph Bellamy does a spendid job of keeping Errol focused on his quest to develop an anti g suit to keep aircrews from blacking out after leveling off from high speed dives, and making high altitude flights possible.
- Dom Taibbi
This Film is significant on many levels for aviation and film lovers alike. First off, it is a beautiful time capsule shot in technicolor depicting the last vestages of pre war military aviation. Many of the aircraft used in the film were later lost in battle when the war began for America. The in flight scenes and mass formations of Douglas TBD Devastators and Grumman F3F biplane fighters in pre war colors are amazing. You can see the gradual changes to wartime colors on the Brewster F2A buffalo fighters which were already obsolete and cut to pieces by Japanese fighters shortly after this film was released. I think the story quality is really interesting if you can get past the corny comic interludes so common in films of the era. I always find it fun to watch Fred Macmurray as a wise cracking tough guy in so many of his early films, and i think he really pulled it off in this one. I wonder what heights Errol Flynn could have achieved if Warners had given him more roles like this one, Desparate Journey also comes to mind here. As an early aviation and film buff, this one just hits on all eight cylinders for me.
Gorgeous stars & scenery thanks to Technicolor
- Jarrod McDonald
Some of the early films experimenting in Technicolor don't get it right, but this one does. Curtiz balances the brighter objects with neutral surroundings. In fact, this film almost needed to be shot in color, and it makes you wonder why (aside from expense) the studios kept making so many pictures in black-and-white, when obviously the technology was available and certain skilled directors and cinematographers were more than up to the task. Other notes: this is a good early role for Alexis Smith, though her screen time is minimal. You can see why the Warners bosses cast her and Flynn in several films. Flynn and MacMurray have great chemistry in this film, and it's a shame they were not paired again on screen...in fact, I would go so far as to say that with the exception of Ronald Reagan, Fred MacMurray is the only one who is as attractive as Errol Flynn in all of Flynn's pictures, and it's a double treat for the ladies and gay men watching. Also: I understand the cigarette cases were a dramatic motif in the film, but I did wonder if tobacco companies paid Warners to advertise smoking so much, unless that was the screenwriter's attempt at showing masculinity with these characters. Finally, the aerial sequences are wonderful in this film and worth watching. My only quibble is the comic subplot about a cadet who hides from his wife in the isolation ward; it was cute but thematically did not relate to the rest of the film.
- paul graves
some great shots of san diego and area, early day north island and the changes since then.
Dive Bomber (1941)
- James Higgins
For whatever reason, the combination of director Michael Curtiz and Errol Flynn always works. This is very much a flag waving propaganda film, and it is done very well. Some great cinematography, and color too, Max Steiners score is very well done. Well cast, Fred MacMurray is more effective than he usually is and Errol Flynn is always a pleasure to watch. It is a bit overlong.
An all-time favorite!
In addition to JKCavitt's comments - I love this film for the chance to see pre-war aircraft in their amazing US Navy color schemes - one thing that has always stayed with me is the fact that the Navy allowed Warner Brothers to film some scenes on and near the USS Enterprise. Many of the extras in those scenes were actual crew members of the Enterprise, which was damaged at the battle of Midway. A good number of those extras were aboard at the time and some were killed during the battle, including many of the torpedo bomber crews. It's a sobering thought, as I watch the movie, to realize that some of those people would die in battle less than a year after filming those scenes.
- Joey Ocampo
A new flight surgeon and a Navy pilot overcome personal differences to work on solving the problem of Altitude Sickness which causes blackouts at high altitude. The real stars of the film are the pre-World War II navy aircraft featured in full color Film location shots at Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma, San Diego, California, USA | Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA | North Island Naval Air Station, Coronado, California, USA | U.S. Naval Base, San Diego, California, USA. This IS an absolute 'must-have' movie for period military aviation buffs/collectors!
Rare Naval Aircraft Footage
An absolute must see for the pre-war US naval aircraft buff. Color movie with clips of rare, pre war Vought (SB2U Vindicator) and Grumman (F3F) aircraft. Excellent illustration of the livid color schemes applied to pre war US naval aircraft. Story is a little long winded, but pretty good.
Chronic fatigue test on the movie
- Rich King
They have a name for the test or scale used to determine when a pilot is no longer physically fit to fly. It is called "Snyder' or "Snider" (I think) Does any one know if this was ever a real test or marker for some chronic or acute condition or just made up for the movie?