User ReviewsReview this title
This is hilarious and should not be missed.
But Peter Lorre steals this film in a turnabout performance. When we first meet him he's a local character who hangs around an airfield who no one quite takes seriously. Than later we learn he's actually the head of a spy ring for an unknown country, but I'm thinking the Soviet Union.
Donlevy is not only an ace pilot, but an aircraft designer and he's got a new type model propeller that Lorre's crowd wants. Circumstances and the film's plot bring Morgan, Donlevy, and Lorre together on a downed plane which Donlevy was piloting on an experimental New York to Berlin run. The dynamics between these three and young Thomas Beck on the plane to Berlin is quite interesting.
This one is a neglected sleeper. Try to catch it.
The story begins just before a new cross-Atlantic airliner is tested. Into the ceremony comes Colonel Gimpy (Peter Lorre) with some of the most amazing over-acting I've ever seen. Apparently, everyone at the airplane factory things he's a harmless old crank...little do they know that he's a spy seeking to steal the airplane with the help of the pilot, Ace Martin (Brian Donlevy). But the plan does NOT go as everyone expects and it leads to an overly long and bizarre ending which makes no sense....none at all.
What you have here is a B-movie made by a top studio (Twentieth Century-Fox). It has excellent production values, excellent acting (even Lorre's overacting) but what it doesn't have is a good script. It's a shame, as I like old aviation pictures...but this one really suffers from a script that goes no where in the second half of the film. How disappointing.
But IMBD has. We caught it when we saw this film, Crack-Up, starring Peter Lorre and Brian Donlevy. Make no mistake, this is a middling, poorly written film. especially in the second half of the movie. But the character of Colonel Gimpy is outstanding, and a fit model for Keyser Soze, decades later. Fascinating to watch just to see where the Keyser Soze character comes from.