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The night fog is like a soup you can stand your spoon in. But Alan Drake, en route to join the elite Navy Hell Cats fighter squadron, disobeys orders to abandon his aircraft and hit the silk. The headstrong maneuver doesn't sit well with the tightly knit squad. And the team's opinion of Drake will plunge further when he's suspected of romancing the unit commander's wife. Robert Taylor plays the cocksure cadet who must prove himself in this pre-war film whose scenes of aerial training and readiness mirrored America's growing awareness that it may soon be involved in World War II. Taylor prepared for the role by taking flight lessons and developed a lifelong love of aviation. He joined the Navy Air Corps during the war.
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Taylor plays a young, eager Navy flight school graduate assigned to his first fleet squadron among whose veteran Naval Aviators he must prove himself - after he's made a series of operationally hazardous misjudgments and at least one social gaffe in the close squadron community of aviators and wives. In a way 'Flight Command' is the 'Top Gun' tale of its time - young Naval Aviators proving themselves. The movie's well-paced, with some familiar faces in the cast, including a wisecracking Red Skelton furnishing his trademark good-natured patter for comic relief.
Airplane modelers hungry for images to provide details of the Grumman F3F fighter will love the actual close-up and in-flight footage of that tubby but trim & tidy biplane.
Me? I just love to see Robert Taylor up there on the silver HDTV screen.
As a former Navy attack pilot from the early to mid 80s I recognized the involvement of the Navy in the film. Some things really never change and that was evident in Flight Command. The producers did a great job of capturing the ego and squadron ribbing of a nugget pilot (aka rookie), plus the competition and demands of squadron life. The story is more about the personalities of the squadron members and how they deal with the constant demands, expected successes, instant loss, and life-dependent trusts that are all realities in any squadron. There is also a strong code of honor demonstrated. It was surprising to see how the film dealt with the contrast between the expectation of being strong and silent when devastated and the deep intimacies that can develop when coping with the supressed thoughts and emotions. The realities shown were very real. When in the mood for nostalgic reflection, Flight Command fills the need beautifully.
However the dvd was defective and stopped after 1 hour of viewing , and subsequent attempts to view past this point failed,
I emailed the company Standing Ovation , who immediately dispatched a replacement DVD , so excellent customer service.