Captains of the Clouds was made in the same year as two of the director’s most famous movies, Yankee Doodle Dandy and Casablanca. The former won JAMES CAGNEY, who also stars in this movie, an Oscar, while the latter also won an Oscar for the prolific director Michael Curtiz (shooting 44 films in the 30s).
Captains of the Clouds is notable too in many other ways. It was also nominated for two Oscars (including one for cinematographer Sol Polito), and was the first Hollywood movie to be entirely shot on location in Canada.
James Cagney stars as Brian MacLean, an independently minded bush pilot who muscles in on turf covered by Johnny Dutton (DENNIS MORGAN), Tiny Murphy (ALAN HALE), Blimp Lebec (GEORGE TOBIAS) and Scrounger Harris (REGINALD GARDINER). Brian’s independence serves him well as a pilot but leads him successfully into trouble not least through marrying Emily (BRENDA MARSHALL), the girlfriend of Johnny Dutton who once saved his life. But things get worse for Brian after he joins the war effort only to find himself serving beneath Johnny.
USA / Warner / 113 minutes / 1942 Filmed in Technicolor
Writers: Arthur T Horman, Richard Macaulay and Norman Reilly Raine / Cinematography: Sol Polito, Wilfrid M. Cline / Music: Max Steiner / Producers: Hal. B. Wallis, William Cagney / Director: Michael Curtiz
Cast: James Cagney, Dennis Morgan, Brenda Marshall, Alan Hale, George Tobias, Reginald Gardiner, Air Marshall WA Bishop