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The Sky's The Limit


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Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Leslie, Robert Benchley, Robert Ryan, Elizabeth Patterson, Marjorie Gateson Fred Astaire
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: April 19, 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007MDR7R2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,009 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Fred Astaire finds a new dance partner in Joan Leslie in this delightful wartime musical. Fred portrays an ace with the highly regarded Flying Tigers squad. On leave in New York City on an eight-day furlough, Fred decides to forego any possible hero worship because of his uniform and dons civilian clothes. It so happens he meets and falls for Joan, a magazine photographer, and sets out to win her heart at all costs. The twist is that Joan is dedicated to the war effort and considers Fred - who is keeping his military role a secret - a n'er-do-well for not displaying any interest. But the pair are interested in each other and manage to set New York awhirl with some great dance numbers before Fred must return to the wartorn skies.

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Customer Reviews

How better to characterize Fred's dancing than as dances by Astaire.
drkhimxz
The song features a funny in-joke by Mercer that works in a reference by Joan Leslie to Jimmy Cagney and one by Astaire to Rita Hayworth.
C. O. DeRiemer
More often than not, in his films, he wears down the girl with his good-natured but dogged pursuit.
H. Bala

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
One great dance number by Fred Astaire and two great Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer songs redeem this minor Astaire movie. The Sky's the Limit tells the story of Fred Atwell (Fred Astaire), a Flying Tiger ace pilot, brought home to make special public appearances with other aces before returning to the war. But he decides to take a few days unofficial leave, jumps off his train and makes his way to New York. There he happens to see Joan Manion (Joan Leslie), an ace photographer, sitting at the bar of the Cosmopolitan Club with her boss, magazine owner Phil Harriman (Robert Benchley). It may not be love at first sight, exactly, but a combination of vivid attraction with a smattering of lust. Atwell pursues her relentlessly, even finding a place to stay in her rooming house, until she relents. She's attracted to him, but his story of not being interested in work bothers her. After all, everyone should be working to help the war effort. He's keeping the fact that he's an ace fighter pilot a secret. Since he has only five days before he must rejoin his group and return to the Pacific, he's got to cut corners and work fast. But complications arise. The "I don't like to work" line blows up in his face; she thinks he's a war-time dead beat; he doesn't want to tell her the truth and that he's in love. He knows he must leave her because he has to go back to the fighting. But wouldn't you know...her boss, who loves her, too...sets things up so that Joan learns the truth, and just in time for them both to declare their love. We leave them with Fred's plane climbing the sky toward Australia, and Joan looking skyward after him with a prayer for his safety.

This is a Fred Astaire movie?

Actually, it's a wartime morale booster that stars Astaire.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
"The Sky's The Limit" is a rare film, especially when one considers its a wartime musical. At that time, escapism was the key to most movies. People wanted to go into a theater and forget about the war and probably expected this movie to fulfill that purpose since Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers had helped many to forget the Great Depression with their series of films. However, this film is more than just song and dance. It has a heart and brain to it. Fred Astaire plays a man in the military, a Flying Tiger to be exact, who gets leave for a few days and tries desperately to escape the "flyboy hero" image he has gotten. He ditches the uniform and becomes a regular guy. He meets up with Joan Leslie (who was 17 when she made this movie!) and immediately falls in love with her. I notice that all the reviewers allude to stalking and if this movie had been made today, there's no doubt Fred would have a restraining order against him. However, it was the 1940s and so we know that Fred is a harmless fellow. The rest of the movie is the good ol' classic love story.
As I mentioned before, this movie has a heart and brain. In most musicals of the time, the flag was being waved and there was never a negative word against the war. "The Sky's The Limit" is also very patriotic, but not obviously so. Astaire's character believes strongly in what he is fighting for, but the movie also deals with the problems people felt at the time, the separation from loved ones, etc. It also features a female lead who's goal in life is not just to land a husband. This girl has a job as a reporter and wishes to go to the European theater (though there are some statements that could be considered politically incorrect, but remember its the '40s).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I really like this movie. "One For My Baby (and One More For the Road" and "A Lot in Common" are great songs, and Fred Astaire (my favorite performer ever) did such wonderful dances I have to watch each one at least two times. Joan Leslie keeps up with Astaire, which I praise her for. The only bad part was the terribly sad and incomplete (in my opinion) ending. But I suggest you watch this movie. You won't be sorry.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This movie surprised me a lot. It wasn't what I expected at all. I was on a Fred Astaire kick and was viewing many of his early movies. When I came to this one, I saw a Fred that I hadn't seen before. Then it hit me... Fred Astaire was playing a Gene Kelly part. Imagine Kelly in this role! Fred Astaire seemed to have one "gimmicky" dance in many of his movies and the wonderful bar dance was this picture's gimmic. But it was an athletic dance that you'd expect from Gene Kelly. Not to say I didn't like the movie. I liked it a lot. The bar dance (to One More for the Road) was great. Benchley's dinner speech was so funny and is one scene that I'd like to show in public speaking classes for a lesson on how NOT to give a speech.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 29, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
With Fred Astaire's most lauded works being readily available to the public, I've always thought it a great treat to stumble into his lesser known, harder-to-find films. THE SKY'S THE LIMIT qualifies as such, and it's a darn good movie. Here, Astaire has a more dramatic role than usual and he proves to be capable in it. Meanwhile, there's the usual excellent dancing and the showcasing of two great song standards.

Fred plays Fred Atwell, an ace pilot of the world famous Flying Tigers. After another successful mission, the Tigers are sent on a stateside promotional tour, but Fred, wanting to get away from it all for a bit, decides to skip out and have fun on his own. He ends up in a New York nightclub and meets fledgeling magazine photographer Joan Manion (Joan Leslie), whom he rapidly rubs the wrong way. Not wishing to be bombarded with questions re the Flying Tigers, he presents himself as a carefree, out-of-work fella named Fred Burton. Fred goes on the chase and eventually wins Joan over. But it doesn't take long before she begins to question Fred's casual work ethic and seemingly aimless nature (as set in the WW2 backdrop, these are especially frowned on qualities). Things get even more thorny when his casual fling turns serious as Fred, knowing that he's only on a short leave and must soon depart, finds himself falling hard for Joan.

THE SKY'S THE LIMIT, released in 1943, isn't one of Fred Astaire's best when compared to his many classic pictures. But when viewed strictly on its own merit, it becomes a more accomplished work. Part of the reason that this film didn't perform as well as hoped in the box office was that it was promoted strictly as a lighthearted musical-comedy. The depth and dark undercurrent must've come as a surprise to the viewers back then.
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