Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Cary Grant is a cocky flier working on perfecting techniques for "flying blind," the ability to fly in fog, darkness, or storms; he flies with his windshield covered, using only his instruments to guide him. Myrna Loy is a stunt pilot whom we first see doing skywriting over a beach, though she yearns to do more. Because of her manager's loud mouth, a trip Grant planned on making to Paris to show off his techniques is cancelled because the Feds think he's just after cheap publicity. Loy talks him going ahead anyway, but in a freak accident just before he's ready to go, he is blinded while lighting a stove. The docs say the blindness may be temporary, but that doesn't help him not feel sorry for himself. Loy buys him a seeing-eye dog, gets him writing articles on flying (when they're not accepted, she lies and tells him they have been), and secretly bankrolls his continuing experiments with navigation tools. To raise more money for Grant, Loy undertakes a stunt flight from Moscow to New York, but as she nears Boston, she is "blinded" by thick fog while low on fuel and Grant decides to go up to help guide her down.

This is an early leading role for Grant and he handles it nicely, with a casual, light-on-his-feet performance, the kind that he would no longer give once he became a superstar. Clark Gable's early performances feel the same way to me; while they aren't Oscar-winning parts, they are fun to watch, and it feels like the actors were having fun doing them. Grant and Loy work well together, though they don't get much time for romancing here. In support, Dean Jagger fares best as a Federal aviation man who is sympathetic to Grant's situation; there's also Roscoe Karnes doing his usual bit as Loy's comically irritating manager and Hobart Cavanaugh as Grant's assistant. A solid not-quite A-level programmer. [DVD]

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