Desperate Journey (1942)

Desperate Journey (1942), directed by Raoul Walsh.

A bomber crew downed on the far side of Germany make their way back to England, stealing secret plans and committing extra sabotage along the way. I lost count of the number of times they were captured and escaped again, always making the Germans look foolish. Sometimes they use their fists, at other times they machine gun Huns by the dozen.

It's Warner wartime entertainment, pretty unserious with lots of wisecracks and comic interludes. Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan (a Yank in the RAF) star with other familiar faces, including young Arthur Kennedy and Raymond Massey as the chief bad guy.

The aircraft model work must have been exciting at the time, and the road chase at the end with cars, motorcycles and a stolen aircraft is exciting now, if approaching Indiana Jones levels of excess. Walsh could film action sequences.

Reagan has the best joke: "Why do you have to wake me up every time I have a date with Ann Sheridan?" She made five films with him and five with Flynn.

Max Steiner score.

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