Wings over Honolulu


1h 18m 1937

Brief Synopsis

Adapted by Isabel Dawn and Boyce de Gaw from a "Redbook Magazine" story by Mildred Cram with, apparently, none of the three understanding much about military trials or else the Ray Milland character would have ended up with a dishonorable discharge and twenty years in the slammer. Story begins at a birthday party given for Virginia deb Lauralee Curtis (Wendy Barrie) by her adoring aunts Nellie (Margaret McWade) and Evie Curtis (Clara Blandick.) Wealthy yankee Gregory Chandler (Kent Taylor) claims the first dance and spends the night unfolding dazzling vistas of yachts, wealth and far-off romantic places and asks Lauralee to marry him. She declines, as properly brought-up southern girls do not accept first-night proposals or, most of the time, propositions. But this changes when navy flyers Lieutenants Stony Gilchrist (Ray Milland) and Jack Furness (William Gargan) make a forced landing on the Curtis plantation, and it is a case of love at first sight when Lauralee meets Stony,evidently because Lauralee and Stony are the only two people at the party with British accents. She marries him and follows him to Honolulu.But the Navy bungalow is a bit drab---"pitifully drab" to be exact---for a good old girl from a southern plantation, and she isn't too keen about airplanes flying over the house all day even if they are on a Naval base and, for goodness gracious sakes, ol' Stony's duties force him to stay away from home at times. Meanwhile, Gregory sails his yacht into the harbor with the express purpose of winning Lauralee away from Stony, which is not surprising for a damn yankee. She assures the cad that she loves her husband more than ever but...she will attend a party on his yacht since Stony is tied up doing whatever it is he does and a girl just can't stay cooped up all the time and she reckons there is nothing wrong in that. But Stony comes home early, finds out where she is going and reckons otherwise. They quarrel and Lauralee hies herself on to the party, which ends up on a slumming excursion to a disreputable cafe where a drunk makes a pass at Lauralee, and Gregory, miffed that someone other than he is out to spoil Lauralee's honor, fights the drunk. All three are hauled to jail and the story is all over Honolulu's morning newspapers. Grief-stricken and not wishing to bring further shame on Stony, Lauralee sends word she is leaving him for Gregory Chandler. Stony isn't buying any of that and he steals a Navy plane and goes in search of Chandler's yacht. To compound his theft of United States government property, Stony also manages to crash said property. He offers no defense at his court martial, since doing so would involve his wife's good (albeit somewhat tarnished) name. But Lauralee shows up and tells the court martial board it was all her fault, and the board reckons that under these circumstances Stony should be restored to full duty and rank but transferred to another base. In real life, of course, his next base would have been the federal prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas doing a hard-duty twenty years behind the bars.

Film Details

Release Date
May 16, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on a short story by Mildred Cram in Red Book Magazine (publication date undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

On the occasion of her twentieth birthday party, Lauralee Curtis meets Navy pilot Lt. Richard "Stony" Gilchrist and falls instantly in love with him. Two days later, she joins him where he is stationed and they are married. Before they can have a honeymoon, Stony is ordered to Washington, D.C., and Lauralee must travel to Honolulu, their next post, by herself. The other Navy women on the boat are not very friendly to Lauralee. Rosalind Furness, the admiral's daughter, explains that this is because everyone expected that she, Rosalind, would marry Stony. She warns Lauralee that she is ready to step back into Stony's life if things do not work out between them. Life in Hawaii is difficult for Lauralee. She resents the restrictions of Navy life and does not understand why Stony leaves her alone so often. When Gregory Chandler, a former suitor, visits the island, she gladly accepts his offer to meet for drinks. She and Stony quarrel afterward and in a fit of pique, Lauralee attends a party with Greg. During the evening, she realizes how much Stony means to her and resolves to be a better wife, but a fight breaks out and the resultant scandal ruins Stony's chances for a promotion. When Lauralee learns the consequences of her actions, she resolves to leave her husband so that she will not ruin his future career. Rosalind tells Stony that his wife has left him, but adds that she still loves him. Braving the risk of being court-martialed, Stony flies over Greg's yacht, in order to stop Lauralee from leaving. After he runs out of gas and crashes, Stony faces a military court. When he refuses to defend himself, Lauralee insists that she be heard, and tells the court that she is to blame for Stony's mistake. The court recommends clemency and Stony and Lauralee are reconciled.

Film Details

Release Date
May 16, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on a short story by Mildred Cram in Red Book Magazine (publication date undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Award Nominations

Best Cinematography

1937

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The cooperation of the United States Navy is acknowledged in the film's opening credits. According to Hollywood Reporter, some filming took place at the North Island naval base in San Diego, CA. Hollywood Reporter also notes that Polly Rowles replaced Margaret Lindsay in the feminine lead. Cinematographer Joseph Valentine was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the picture.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1937

Released in United States 1937