Clipped Wings (1937)

clipped wings 1937

B movie made interesting because of its flying sequences. It’s all about an oil smuggling ring operating out of a World War One veterans ranch.

Jerry Boudon enlists in the Canadian Air Corps before the U.S. even gets involved in World War One. He says the Canadians need the help. His little brother Mickey is heard yelling from his room. He’s afraid of storms and there’s one raging outside. Jerry calms him down.

Twenty years later Mickey wants to follow in Jerry’s footsteps and enlists in the Air Corps. During his solo flight before he gets his wings a storm begins. The flight surgeon says Mickey showed a storm phobia so he’s a washout.

To cheer him up he’s invited to a party at Raoul McGuire’s (Jason Robards,Sr.). He was shot down during the war and his hip is permanently injured. Jerry was lost saving his life. Mickey meets Raoul’s sister Molly and is smitten. Raoul gets a call and says there’s an emergency at the ranch and he has to leave right away.

Mickey tells Molly that Jerry is missing and presumed dead. He offers to drive her the three hundred miles to the ranch.  Raoul doesn’t want her there. She’s suspicious about the crooks that have been hanging around. She makes a phone call to Mickey but Raoul has the phone line cut.

The crooks are oil smugglers and they’re taking it across the border. One pilot is Jim Lofton. At least that who he says he is. He’s really Jerry who is working for the government. The gang takes its orders from a mysterious Mr.Jones. On hand to make sure the orders are carried out is Moran (Richard Cramer).

This will be their last job. Lofton is supposed to fly ahead of the government planes as a distraction while Moran and company smuggle the oil out. Mickey got a message from Molly and shows up. He’s introduced to Lofton. He kind of recognizes him but just can’t put it together even after Jerry gives him a hint.

Molly gets so concerned about her brother she tries to arrange with Moran to keep him out of the way and that includes Lofton. That plan backfires when Raoul puts up a struggle and Moran shoots him. Later he ties up Lofton when he find out who he really is. Mickey also finds out.

The same flight surgeon who washed Mickey out is called in to look at Raoul. He’s getting delirious and recalling his crash in France. His only chance is to be flown to a hospital in San Antonio. Looks like Mickey will have to do it.

There’s a nice aerial combat sequence between Jerry/Jim and one of the bad guys before it’s all over and a test of courage for Mickey. It gets corny in spots but it is a kick seeing the old planes.



About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
This entry was posted in Crime-Mystery-Spy, vintage movies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Clipped Wings (1937)

  1. dfordoom says:

    I adore aviation movies. I’ll definitely be keeping a lookout for this one.

  2. vintage45 says:

    Another good one is 1939’s Q Planes aka/Clouds Over Europe

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