Before I start this review I just wanted to point out that, in continuation of my quest to learn about Norma Shearer, I made a page for her (as I will with each star as we get to them). It's just a list of the movies of hers that I've seen and some trivia. You can click the picture in the right sidebar under "I'm Getting to Know:" to see it.
This is one of those movies where, instead of talking about all the things I did like, I ought to talk about the things I didn't like just to make the list shorter. It really was just too, too amazing. The leads are two of my favorites, Ronald Reagan and Errol Flynn. Errol plays Terry Forbes an Australian Flight Lieutenant, one of the few times Australian Flynn ever played an Australian; and Ronald Reagan plays American Flying Officer Johnny Hammond.
While on a mission over Germany Terry, Johnny, and seven other crew members crash into Nazi territory. Upon 'landing' three crew members die and the Squadron Leader dies shortly thereafter. The survivors are captured by the Nazis and taken to a prison camp. Thanks to Terry's ability to speak German the captives are able to escape and get information on secret Nazi factories besides. Now in possession of this information they're travels out of Germany really become what gave the movie it's title, a 'desperate journey'. They succeed in obtaining some Nazi uniforms for disguise, destroying a Nazi chemical plant, and making a friend in the German underground; but their already-small group (the first invasion to hit Germany since Napoleon) has been shrinking in number and only Terry, Johnny, and Flight Officer Jed Forrest (Arthur Kennedy) are left to get their information across the Channel.
At this point in WWII Hollywood was still trying to gain support for the war. That's the reasons we see Nancy Coleman begging Errol Flynn to tell the people in England about the underground and such. I find it exceedingly interesting; then again, I find WWII war movies exceedingly interesting in general.
A friend suggested this on to me because she knew how much I liked the two leads. I must say, I expected it to be good (Ronald Reagen, Errol Flynn, airplanes...), but it was a heck of a lot better than even I expected. The actors who played the five main characters were all fantastic. Errol Flynn, who spent the war years making movies about the war when he was unable to join up himself is such a perfect hero onscreen. Ronald Reagan, not necessarily best known for his acting career was so good too. I loved his character, which reminded me of all the reasons I love Americans (1940s Americans, anyway). Alan Hale played our Scot, Arthur Kennedy was our resident Canadian, and Ronald Sinclair played the only British flyer and the son of an infamous WWI pilot.
It's so hard for me to take my eyes off movies like this one. Enough suspense and interesting plot twists to keep me happy for a long time, not to mention the score which I thought was sort of perfect. Really, just a good movie in general; another to heighten my adoration of war movies. And the ending... it was so perfect.
#Errol Flynn #His face in this picture
Terry: Ah, I know a little girl in London, she's got a sister...
Johnny: I know a little steak in London with french-fried onions.
Terry: I'll switch you the sister for the onions. You've got a deal, partner!
Until Later On~