Great 1938 flight film
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 09/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is very entertaining, and its plot centers around a love triangle, and the dangers and adventures of the early days of flying, with some spectacular aerial cinematography by Ray June.
Myrna Loy and Clark Gable were the Queen and King of Hollywood when this film was made, and a few minutes of watching this film shows us why. Myrna Loy as the fun-loving Ann is vivacious and beautiful, and Gable, as test pilot and dare devil Jim Lane, is handsome and oozes manly self-assurance; they make a great pair, and Spencer Tracy is marvelous as Gable's loyal mechanic, the more down to earth of the three, who is quietly in love with Myrna.
Though much of this film is well-written froth, it has many melodramatic scenes, with the perils of 1930s aviation always not far from anyone's mind.
Others in the cast are Marjorie Main as their landlady, and Lionel Barrymore as Howard Drake. Fast-paced direction by Victor Fleming, a good score by Franz Waxman, and excellent acting were some of the reasons this film received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Story.
Myrna Loy continued to act for over four decades after this film, including the memorable "The Best Years of Our Lives", but "Test Pilot" was always a favorite of hers; Gable was to follow this a year later with "Gone with the Wind", and Tracy would win a 1938 Best Actor Oscar for "Boys Town".
The total running time is 118 minutes, and "Test Pilot" is a must see for early flight fans, and anyone who likes these wonderful actors.