Friday, January 18, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Wings for the Eagle (1942) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Frequent costars Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson star in WINGS FOR THE EAGLE (1942), a patriotic World War II film now available on DVD from the Warner Archive.

WINGS FOR THE EAGLE was released in July 1942, just seven months after Pearl Harbor, which provides a key turning point late in the film. The movie is a salute to Lockheed Aircraft workers, while also taking time for a love triangle between Morgan, Carson, and Ann Sheridan, who plays Carson's wife.

Morgan's character, Corky, isn't interested in enlisting and hopes to ride out what seems to be an inevitable war working in an essential industry, airplane production. His perspective gradually matures due to both Pearl Harbor and his association with a new American citizen (George Tobias) and his Air Force pilot son (Russell Arms).

As Corky puts selfish attitudes behind him, he also does the right thing and works to reunite his married friends (Carson and Sheridan).

As drama goes, this 84-minute film is far from scintillating, yet it's interesting as a piece of WWII history. Having grown up in Southern California, the center of the WWII airplane production industry, I would sometimes hear stories about those years and the movie is interesting in that regard, from the big band playing to boost worker morale to the antiaircraft guns and camouflage installed at the plant after Pearl Harbor.

Many forget that the California coast was shelled by a Japanese submarine in February 1942, and no one had any idea at that early point what the course of the war would be, hence the efforts to protect the plant. A "Remember Pearl Harbor" banner hanging at the plant provides the employees with a somber reminder of the importance of their work for the war effort.

All in all, this isn't one of the better films starring the team of Morgan and Carson, but those interested in Hollywood's WWII morale-boosting films will find it worth a look.

WINGS FOR THE EAGLE was directed by Lloyd Bacon. It was filmed in black and white by Tony Gaudio. Look for familiar faces including John Ridgely, Don DeFore, Frank Faylen, George Meeker, Fay Helm, and Billy Curtis in the cast.

The Warner Archive DVD includes the trailer.

For more on this film, please see my 2008 review.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.

4 Comments:

Blogger barrylane said...

Regarding Carson and Morgan: Anything with those guys, and speaking of 'guys' they actually were Two Guys From Milwaukee, despite not having been born there. In Carson's case, Carmen, Manitoba. And while all pictures are not equal, Carson and Morgan's first film together was The Hard Way, a film I do not like very much, but the Two Guys are lights out. Their worst film, a remake of The Animal Kingdom, has to be One More Tomorrow.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I agree, Carson and Morgan are great in THE HARD WAY. They could really do it all, drama, comedy, musicals, etc. THE TIME, THE PLACE AND THE GIRL is a favorite, which includes the lilting tune "Oh, But I Do."

Best wishes,
Laura

10:20 AM  
Blogger barrylane said...

The Time, The Place and The Girl, Claude's favorite.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Oh, that's sweet to know, thanks so much for sharing that, Barrylane.

The music at the end is so lovely it makes me tear up. One of those perfect "'40s movie moments" that encapsulates what I love about films of the era.

Best wishes,
Laura

11:35 AM  

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