Flynn plays an Aussie and Reagan an American who fly for the RAF, along with a Canadian (Arthur Kennedy), a Scotsman (Alan Hale Sr.), and a young British airman (Ronald Sinclair). This group are the sole survivors of the crash of their Flying Fortress after a mission to take out a rail line deep in German territory.
Though they're initially captured by a German major (Raymond Massey), the men manage to escape, after which they embark on a series of perilous adventures as they attempt to make their way back to England.
ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING (1942), which was released in the U.S. just a couple of weeks later, DESPERATE JOURNEY entertains thanks to the strong cast.
Flynn and Reagan make a fine bantering team as they attempt to make it back to England with some stolen German documents in hand. (Reagan has a particularly good scene where he bamboozles Massey.) Kennedy has a more serious role as the bookkeeper-turned-navigator who tries to keep the men on course both literally and figuratively.
The Germans are mostly cartoonish; one is played by Sig Ruman of TO BE OR NOT TO BE (1942) and another is played by John Banner of HOGAN'S HEROES, so that gives the idea. Massey spends a lot of time impotently shouting.
DESPERATE JOURNEY was intended as an exciting adventure film and morale booster, and it succeeds on that level. I think I may have liked another recently reviewed film in the set, NORTHERN PURSUIT (1943), a little better, but this was an entertaining film.
DESPERATE JOURNEY was directed by Raoul Walsh. It was shot in black and white by Bert Glennon. The running time is 107 minutes.
DESPERATE JOURNEY is part of the TCM Spotlight Errol Flynn Adventures set.
DESPERATE JOURNEY also had a VHS release. It can be rented for streaming on Amazon, and it's also shown on Turner Classic Movies.
There's a trailer on TCM.