Shot mainly with a military film crew and cast, this was a strong picture made to support the Allied war effort. Attenborough, a cockney, and Watling, a college graduate, wish to become pilots in the Royal Air Force. They begin training in England and are later sent to Arizona for
additional instruction with Robinson, in a brief cameo as a tough but understanding instructor. Watling is a team player and tries to get Attenborough to follow his example, but to no avail. Eventually the cockney is sent to Canada for navigational classes, while Watling receives his pilot wings.
Though disappointed with his status as navigator, Attenborough quickly learns that he is crucial to the war effort. The two youths are later reunited on a flying mission to Berlin. On their return home the plane is hit and they are forced to abandon it in the North Sea. When they are rescued, each
acknowledges his partner's role in the mission. The film serves as an excuse for a documentary showing the British Air Force--but no matter. The military crew (many of whom were in the film business as civilians) do a professional job with the production. The crash of the bomber into the North Sea
was shot from inside the plane and looks frighteningly real. Robinson's part is little more than a cameo, though he's excellent in the role. Attenborough was later knighted Sir Richard, winning an Oscar for his direction of the film GANDHI.
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