The Crack-Up

  • 1937
  • 1 HR 10 MIN
  • NR
  • Spy

An offbeat, weird film in which Donlevy is a crackerjack test pilot who receives a bribe from an airport worker to steal the plans of the experimental DOX plane. Donlevy works against the spy ring by escaping in another experimental transcontinental plane, the "Wild Goose," an enormous craft not unlike the legendary "Spruce Goose+" later designed and barely...read more

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An offbeat, weird film in which Donlevy is a crackerjack test pilot who receives a bribe from an airport worker to steal the plans of the experimental DOX plane. Donlevy works against the spy ring by escaping in another experimental transcontinental plane, the "Wild Goose," an enormous

craft not unlike the legendary "Spruce Goose+" later designed and barely flown by Howard Hughes. On board is Morgan, the plane's designer, a copilot, Beck, and the airport's cretinous mascot, Lorre, who has spent much of the first reel running around like a wide-eyed idiot, blowing a bugle. A

fierce storm forces the plane down into the sea, and as it begins to sink, Lorre suddenly reveals himself as Baron Rudolf Maximilian Taggart, a notorious master spy. He has been feigning his nitwit role, and now tries to steal the plans of the DOX craft from Donlevy. The four men realize that

there is only one life preserver and, observing the kind of chivalry only found in story books, give it to the youngest, Beck, who has had no part in their machinations. Beck survives and the rest go down with the airship. As a final gesture, Lorre slips the plans for the DOX plane into Beck's

pocket. Donlevy is solid in his role as the double-crossing pilot, but Lorre steals the show as the apparently feeble-minded spy who is constantly reciting "The Walrus and the Carpenter." The special effects employed in staging the air crash are spectacular and not to be missed.

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