Something of a try-out for the later Only Angels Have Wings, this adaptation of a stage-play about mail pilots braving not only the elements but their own failing powers may suffer from a certain claustrophobic theatricality of setting, but Hawks keeps both his abiding interests (the tensions and loyalties within an enclosed group, the need for professionalism and a responsibility towards others) and his brisk narrative style to the fore. Cagney is superb as the devil-may-care flier whose womanising imperils the whole operation; O'Brien supplies solid support as the boss who ensures Cagney's belated redemption. Less complex and lyrical than Angels, but more than enough to go on with.
Cast and crew
James Cagney Pat O'Brien June Travis Stuart Erwin Isabel Jewell Barton MacLane