- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Historical Review followup
Correction made for review 2/27/17 :The Echelon of B17s flying at the end of the movie were Y1B17s flying in 1937-8 .The 2nd Bomb group was not equipped with B17 Bs until 1939! By theway Ted Pearson who played Myrna Loys Boyfriend was the narrator for the Early and Late Show in the New York Metropolitan area for years Anyone have info on him?
oscar nominated aviation drama 1938
- george snedker
oscar nominated aviation drama the second of the gable /tracy buddy movies with myrna loy as leading lady ,tracy was never happy playing second fiddle to gable he seems ill at ease in the role,howard hawks was one of the co writers on this flim which he used in his own only angels have wings the following year
- 38Special AAFHA
Great Historical footage of the 2nd Bombardment group based in Langley Field Virginia flying B17 B's. This was the first Group equipped with the B17 . This group made mercy flights to states where floods occurred ;to South America Chile and demonstration flights of the new 4engine bomber Curtis Le May of 8th Air Force and 20th Air Force Fame was a member of this group In World War 2 they were based in Tunisia and Italy flying missions over Europe. Earning a Distinguished Unit Citation. As for Clark Gable little did he know that 4yrs later he would volunteer for the Army Air Force as a photographer and waist gunner filming a Documentary Combat America" Many of the crewmen and fliers testified as to his heroism under fire. He flew in the same aircraft B17s as in Test Pilot.!He was a Waist Gunner with the rank of Captain He remained in the Army Air Force Reserves Until 1947when he was discharged with the Rank of Major.
Butch Cassidy/Sundance Kid/Right Stuff
- Peter Romeyn
Three-way-buddy movies are the most difficult stories to pull off. Butch Cassidy and The Right Stuff are good examples of falling short. Did I see Gable actually kiss Tracy on top of his head, in 1938, even with their so called rivalry, no less ? Don't imagine Hawks directing would have allowed that.Straight men affection can play in 1938, not so now days.Especially liked the romantic love/flying risk analogy. There's an equality of bravery there, perhaps ?Curious that the B-17 bomber was so far along by 1938. Military/Industrial complex gently portrayed, but stone-cold nevertheless.
- kevin sellers
Would have been better if Howard Hawks had directed it, instead of just being one of the four writers (along with Spig Wead of "Wings Of Eagles" fame.) You can bet your joy stick it would have been faster paced, (the second hour really drags, with too much repetitive, soul searching dialogue) with better flying sequences, (compare this film to "Air Force" and "Only Angels Have Wings") and more sharply drawn subsidiary characters (consider Loy's rather pallid parents and jilted husband to be and Lionel Barrymore at his blandest.) I guess what I'm saying is that Victor Fleming is on the high end of average as a director. And don't give me the ol "He directed GWTW" riposte, since it's well known that the auteur of that piece of magnificence is a guy named Selznick. However, in this film's defense, there is no denying the excellence of Gable, Tracy, and Loy in the leads, with Loy particularly memorable in her combination of fear, affection, amusement and anger toward her husband, (although you don't for one moment believe her as a Kansas farm gal.) Let's give it a B minus.
Flying with "Test Pilot"
I love this movie. Greats stars and great flying. My dad was an WWII Army Air Corp pilot. He flew in the Mediterranean and North Africa and logged over 2500 hours in his flying career. I am certain he enjoyed this movie many times.
Test Pilot Soars
- Lance Thompson
Thrilling buddy picture/romance/adventure combo. Gable at his effortless best, Loy is scintillating and good enough to keep up with the boys, Tracy nails the sidekick bit with adroit humor and real emotion. Terrific stuff in the air and tender emotion on the ground. Needs an extra-feature DVD right away.
One of Loy's best
This is a really enjoyable movie. One of those MGM films from an era when they could get a bunch of real stars in the same film. I am a big Loy and this really is one of her best, the role and her acting were both strong.
Needs a DVD release now!
This is a wonderfully entertaining movie. It has it all -- action, romance, drama, humor. Gable, Tracy and Loy have marvelous chemistry together. All three (plus the always great Lionel Barrymore) are at their most winsome. Gable is at his Gablest -- irresistibly charming and masculine, but with an underlying vulnerability. The boy-meets-girl sequence is one of the most unusual -- and thrillingly romantic -- ever written. Reminds me of Boom Town but even better than that superb Gable/Tracy vehicle. The writing is typical Frank Wead -- scintillating dialogue, humor expertly mixed with pathos, capturing men at their best and their worst. Please release this on DVD already.
Test Pilot (1938)
- Mr. Blandings
An engrossing rollercoaster ride with superb acting by Gable, Tracy, and Loy. In fact, it's the best acting I've seen by Loy in a movie yet. The two-hour-long film could have had a few minutes trimmed here and there, and the flying effects could have been more convincing in some scenes, but it is an otherwise engaging, moving, and worthwhile film. ***
Three iconic performances
- Tom S.
This movie presents Loy, Gable and Tracy exactly as most of us like to remember them. Loy is sharp, witty and at the same time touching and unaffected. Gable is masculine, gruff but vulnerable, a sort of trial run for Rhett Butler. Tracy is brooding and remarkably tender toward both the others. I am inclined to agree with the previous reviewer who sees more than a touch of homoeroticism in the Tracy-Gable set up. It was interesting to see Gloria Holden (Dracula's Daughter) in the role of a grieving test pilot's wife.
A Truly Riveting Movie
This movie is one of my all-time favorites and I cannot understand why it has not been brought to DVD. With Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and the queen herself Myrna Loy how can you do wrong? It has moments of suspense, comedy and drama.....three genres in one movie!!! This is a must see for any lover of classic film!
A great movie
Clark Gable played flawlessly in this film. My most fond memory of the film is when he and the other actor are flying the plane and it goes down and crashes (And the drunk scene!) All around, a great movie.
- george snedker
forerunner of top gun and superior in every way,oscar nominated with legendary cast and director.
- Mark Sutch
Test Pilot (1938)
- James Higgins
You can't go wrong with a cast that boasts Myrna Loy, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Lionel Barrymore. This is a fin classic, good pace and some outstanding aerial footage. Great MGM production. Exciting screenplay.
The Queen Of 1938 (Myrna Loy)...
- Steve S.
was not even nominated for her role in "Test Pilot". How could this be?To right this obvious injustice I hereby nominate Myrna Loy for Best Actress for the year 1938.Ms. Loy sparkle's with class, sass and true joy playing opposite the King Of 1938 - Gable!If this was Myrna's favorite film I can assuredly understand why and I concur!Spence goes along for the ride with the King and Queen and does a good job as the third rail.A must see movie for classic movie fan's!
- Val Canon
I remember telling the other kids in our San Antonio neighborhood that "I saw Spencer tracy get killed in a plane crash last night!" It was so real and thrilling, and I (at approximately 5 1/2 years old) bought the whole story. Just watching the trailer brought back chills. But I also remember getting under my seat, hiding from the witch in "Wizard of Oz", along about the same time period.
Multiple Oscar-nominated Fleming gem, a Loy essential, Tracy in an Oscar year, with L. Barrymore and the King.
A sharp gem from 1938.
This is a most interesting picture from 1938, sharply drawn, confidently directed and beautifully photographed. It doesn't take a genius to see that Spencer Tracy's character is basically a gay man, in love with Clark Gable's character! Maybe this is Millennial himndsight-- but I doubt it.