Flight Lieutenant (film)

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The Flight Lieutenant
Flight Lieutenant FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed bySidney Salkow
Produced byB. P. Schulberg
Written byMichael Blankfort
Richard Carroll
Betty Hopkins
StarringPat O'Brien
Glenn Ford
Lloyd Bridges
Music byWerner R. Heymann
CinematographyFranz Planer
Edited byCharles Nelson
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 29, 1942 (1942-06-29)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States

Flight Lieutenant is a 1942 film starring Pat O'Brien as Sam Doyle, a disgraced commercial pilot who works to regain the respect of his son (Glenn Ford) against the backdrop of World War II. Its advertising slogan was "roaring with thrills, throbbing with romance" with the love interest provided by Evelyn Keyes as Susie Thompson.

It was directed by Sidney Salkow, a Harvard Law School grad who had himself served in the Pacific and been shot down. A review in The New York Times considered that the film was a "dreary father-and-son tale" with much mawkish sentimentality.[1]


World War I combat pilot Sam Doyle has developed a drinking problem. In 1932, he causes the death of his co-pilot and has his license revoked. A single parent, he leaves young Danny behind with a guardian and goes off to South America to find gainful employment. He leaves money to the dead co-pilot's widow and daughter, but the dead man's brother, Thompson, wants revenge.

Danny grows up to be an expert pilot. Thompson, now a major, becomes his superior officer. Neither has any knowledge of their shared history, even after Danny falls in love with Thompson's niece, Susie, and proposes marriage. Doyle returns, re-enlists and learns Danny is scheduled to test a new jet that has a design flaw. Doyle changes places with Danny at the last minute, flies and crashes the plane, saving future lives while sacrificing his own.



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