37 user 17 critic

Dive Bomber (1941)

Approved | | Drama, War | 30 August 1941 (USA)
3:16 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

A military surgeon teams with a ranking navy flyer to develop a high-altitude suit which will protect pilots from blacking out when they go into a steep dive.


Michael Curtiz


Frank Wead (screen play), Robert Buckner (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

British flying aces in World War I contend with the harsh realities of war.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, David Niven
Virginia City (1940)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Randolph Scott
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A major countermands orders and attacks to avenge a previous massacre of men, women, and children.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Patric Knowles
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a career criminal is recaptured and knows he faces the guillotine, he offers to exchange his life for 100 hostages slated for execution by the Nazis.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Errol Flynn, Paul Lukas, Lucile Watson
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Brian Hawke of the Royal Navy versus the pirates of Madagascar.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: Errol Flynn, Maureen O'Hara, Anthony Quinn
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The great lover Don Juan comes to the assistance of his queen.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Errol Flynn, Viveca Lindfors, Robert Douglas
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A highly fictionalized account of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Arthur Kennedy
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland
Gentleman Jim (1942)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

As bareknuckled boxing enters the modern era, brash extrovert Jim Corbett uses new rules and dazzlingly innovative footwork to rise to the top of the top of the boxing world.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson
Silver River (1948)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After Mike McComb is booted out of the cavalry, he becomes riverboat gambler and silver mine owner in Nevada.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Errol Flynn, Ann Sheridan, Thomas Mitchell
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When the crew of a downed British bomber escape from their Nazi captors with Top Secret intelligence, they make a desperate journey to get out of Germany alive.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Errol Flynn, Ronald Reagan, Nancy Coleman
San Antonio (1945)
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Tough dance hall girl working for the local villain falls for a cowboy trying to clean up the town.

Directors: David Butler, Robert Florey, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith, S.Z. Sakall


Complete credited cast:
Errol Flynn ... Lieutenant Doug Lee
Fred MacMurray ... Lieutenant Commander Joe Blake
Ralph Bellamy ... Lieutenant Commander Lance Rogers
Alexis Smith ... Linda Fisher
Robert Armstrong ... Art Lyons
Regis Toomey ... Tim Griffin
Allen Jenkins ... 'Lucky' James
Craig Stevens ... John Thomas Anthony
Herbert Anderson ... Chubby
Moroni Olsen ... Senior Surgeon at San Diego
Dennie Moore ... Mrs. James
Louis Jean Heydt ... Swede Larson
Cliff Nazarro ... Corps Man


A new flight surgeon and a Navy pilot overcome personal differences to work on solving the problem of Altitude Sickness which causes blackouts at high altitude. The real stars of the film are the pre-World War II navy aircraft featured in full color Written by Robert Svacha <chisox@azstarnet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


WINGS TO THE WIND...EYES TO THE SKIES! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

30 August 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Blue Sky See more »


Box Office


$1,700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,000,000, 31 December 1941
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Screenplay often attributed to L. Ron Hubbard. (It isn't, though.) See more »


Anthony passes out during the high altitude chamber testing, and putting on his oxygen mask knocks off the oxygen sensor clipped to his left ear lobe, yet the next view of him from the front, still adjusting the straps, shows the oxygen sensor still attached to his ear. See more »


Lt. Douglas S. 'Doug' Lee, MD: As far as I'm concerned, a woman is like an elephant. I like to look at them, but I don't want to own one.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This picture produced under the auspices of the motion picture committee, cooperating for national defense. See more »


We Watch the Skyways
Music by Max Steiner
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Classic aviation movie!
13 January 2010 | by murphmobileSee all my reviews

I have to side with those who have said the real stars are the pristine U.S. Naval aircraft of 1941, most still wearing the colorful prewar markings. But Flynn is always enjoyable, especially at this stage of his career, and he does a great job of playing off his cool Navy doctor personality against Fred MacMurray's hard bitten naval aviator.

There are some interesting Hollywood shortcuts in the film. As Swede Larson's Vindicator dive bomber goes into its fatal dive over Hawaii, the air gunner is seen in the rear seat. The crash is convincing, probably done with a large scale model, but the wreckage appears to be cobbled up from bits and pieces (Lockheed Vega tail) and doesn't even vaguely resemble a Vindicator. The fate of the air gunner is not addressed - maybe he was smart enough to have bailed out? Anyway he conveniently disappeared. The role of the enlisted troops in Naval Aviation is conveniently ignored, except for the hospital corpsmen.

I think the comedic interlude with Nazarro double-talking "Lucky's" wife is quite charming and reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's double talk with Raymond Massey's Nazi in DESPERATE JOURNEY. To the critics of this I say it was a 1940's thing; THEY thought it was funny. People today will already find Kelly McGillis's character with her seamed stockings and leather flight jacket already dated and corny in 1980s' TOP GUN. That's show biz; let it go.

Several shots aboard the USS ENTERPRISE show TBDs catching the wire on landing but the camera is angled up for "security" to avoid showing details of the Vindicators' arresting gear. So to answer those who talk about security obviously the Navy did throw in a few restrictions.

The "diving suit" high altitude gear is pure fantasy. But then, it's a movie.

Note for the "rough landing" by the bit player flight surgeon where a plane goes bouncing all over the field, a U.S. Navy N3N trainer is NOT abused in that way. A civilian biplane (possibly a Great Lakes) is repainted to resemble an N3N (and they got the national insignia too small).

For those who claim the film was NOT shot at North Island in San Diego, please note Flynn flies past the Del Coronado Beach Hotel. I knew two old men who were in the Navy and USMC and were stationed there and have fond memories of the movie. After the filming was complete, the film crew staged a big beer bust for all of the men who took part in helping make it. I was stationed there 30 years after the movie was made and a lot of the base still looked that way.

One puzzling thing, at the "Graduation" from Flight Surgeon School, the Navy band plays "SEMPER PARATUS," the U. S. Coast Guard march. The "Dive Bomber March" by Max Steiner, used throughout the movie, was good enough to be re-used later for the Robert Stack P-47 movie FIGHTER SQUADRON, as well as John Wayne's WW-2 sub flick, OPERATION PACIFIC

In many respects, this film is really a documentary of U.S. Naval Aviation in 1941 with a superficial film plot thinly superimposed. But it's a treasure!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 37 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed