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Captains of the Clouds

Released Feb 21, 1942 1h 53m War List
100% Tomatometer 7 Reviews 48% Audience Score 250+ Ratings
Brian MacLean (James Cagney) is an overconfident Canadian bush pilot who does not think twice before stealing any flying opportunity from his fellow pilots. But when he joins the air force at the beginning of World War II, his disregard for authority causes more problems than he can imagine. To clear his reputation, protect his friends, and win the respect of the military, Brian learns that he must act for the benefit of his country instead of himself. Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (7) Critics Reviews
James Agee TIME Magazine Although Cagney is much better than his thankless role, the real heroes of Captains are Director Michael Curtiz and his five cameramen ... Feb 27, 2018 Full Review Danielle Solzman Solzy at the Movies Captains of the Clouds could benefit from a stronger script but the cinematography and Steiner's score are among the few highlights in this RCAF enlistment booster. Rated: 3.5/5 May 28, 2023 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy The movie's complete bosh, but the Technicolor lensing is impressive and Cagney is in his element as a brash brawler. Rated: 2.5/4 Mar 26, 2022 Full Review Aurelio Pego Cine-Mundial A movie that is as brutal as it is human, with a strong argument, allows us to sympathize with the protagonist. [Full Review in Spanish] Sep 12, 2019 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com James Cagney's first color film, an aviation tale, was Oscar nominated for Cinematography and Interior Decoration Rated: B Aug 25, 2012 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 3/5 Aug 14, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (22) audience reviews
j f An Eisenhower-esque attempt to appease the anglo-canuck war effort. James Cagney's warm-hearted, yet rebellious and haughty character would have made a lot more sense if script was written about Alaskan bush pilots and USAAF. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 07/23/23 Full Review Audience Member It was a coincidence, this being Remembrance Day, that I threw on this selection from the James Cagney Signature Collection DVD boxed set, and it's weird that this Hollywood film came out as a tribute to the Royal Canadian Air Force. Really unique as a war film, and I loved Billy Bishop's cameo, in his full title, giving out 'wings' to those fortunate pilots who successfully passed RCAF training. Especially recommended for fans either of James Cagney or war films in general. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review raymond l Cagney's character was actually quite irritating with his arrogance and stupidity. To believe that the Canadian air defenses would allow two unidentified planes to buzz an awards ceremony at one of their air bases strains credulity. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member It was a coincidence, this being Remembrance Day, that I threw on this selection from the James Cagney Signature Collection DVD boxed set, and it's weird that this Hollywood film came out as a tribute to the Royal Canadian Air Force. Really unique as a war film, and I loved Billy Bishop's cameo, in his full title, giving out 'wings' to those fortunate pilots who successfully passed RCAF training. Especially recommended for fans either of James Cagney or war films in general. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member I yield to no one in my admiration of James Cagney as actor. But quite frankly, he's too urban, too much from the sidewalks of New York to be a convincing Canadian bush pilot. But Brian McLean is a typical cocky Cagney character. So if you can get past Cagney's speech pattern, you'll enjoy the film. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member What is special about this movie is that the real Billy Bishop appears near the end, and Jimmy Cagney is timeless. A Canadian connection makes it personally fun. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Captains of the Clouds

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Brian MacLean (James Cagney) is an overconfident Canadian bush pilot who does not think twice before stealing any flying opportunity from his fellow pilots. But when he joins the air force at the beginning of World War II, his disregard for authority causes more problems than he can imagine. To clear his reputation, protect his friends, and win the respect of the military, Brian learns that he must act for the benefit of his country instead of himself.
Director
Michael Curtiz
Producer
Hal B. Wallis
Distributor
Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Co
Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
Genre
War
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Feb 21, 1942, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 1, 2009
Runtime
1h 53m
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