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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 5 April 2017
Beautiful pre-WWII Navy aircraft beautifully photographed in Technicolor starring three big names,Errol Flynn,Fred MacMurray, and Ralph Bellamy. Navy Air pilots and doctors work to solve the deadly problems of high altitude flying and diver pilot blackout in the summer before Pearl Harbor. That's the good in this 2 hour , captioned film. Now the bad. Flynn should have been the pilot ,and MacMurray the doctor. They double date two lovely ladies and talk shop and draw on the table cloth all evening. The girls leave. Of course there are constant conflicts between the boys to start with. The worst gaffs are the two crashes of test pilots. They expect us to believe two unconscious pilots in high altitude dives both hit the ground not straight down at 250+mph but at about a 30 angle going about 50 mph. No disintigration, no skidding. One pilot wasn't even killed. They must have borrowed the planes from somebody that wanted them back. Regardless, it is an entertaining and informative movie.
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on 7 April 2017
This DVD is set before the Second World War and was how the Director thought things would go if there was another world war the two main actors are Errol Flynn and Fred Macmurray
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on 22 July 2017
brought for husband
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on 26 March 2017
good movie
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on 5 March 2015
Lovely war movie. Recommended.
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on 24 May 2017
Exactly as described, thank you.
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on 28 October 2014
If you are interested in the early days of the US Navy Air force then you will find this a suprisingly accurate account. I used Gibbs-Smith Aircraft Recognition Manual to identify all the airplanes shown in this 2 hours+ film. Early on we see various airplanes of the time taking off and landing: Buffalos (briefly), Vindicators (also known as the Chesapeake in the UK), Devastators, Helldivers/Clevelands (briefly) and F3F. In the course of the film we see many flypasts of Devastators and Vindicators and we see many shots of Vindicators as that was the one used primarily for the experimental work. Also towards the end we see pressurisation being tested on a Lockeed Electra. The trainers used were mostly Boeing-Stearman 75 Kaydets and also Spartan SPs. We see a single Ryan Recruit passing as an RAF fighter! These trainer types are difficult to identify if you don't have the Aircraft Recognition Manual. The last flight we see is the suicidal mission to test high altitude flying with oxygen and this is done in a Grumman F3F, though it might have been a F2F as they appear similar.

Moving on to the scientific work. The SCHNEIDER INDEX is a measure of comparative circulatory efficiency based on determination of pulse rates under several test conditions (as reclining, standing, or after exercise), time required for rate to alter with change of state, and accompanying variations in systolic blood pressure. Schneider, Edward Christian (1874-1954), American biologist. Schneider published several studies on the influence of high altitudes and low oxygen on humans, aviation physiology, and the effects of physical exercise and training. He introduced in 1920 a cardiovascular rating as a measure of physical fatigue and efficiency; the rating is now known as the Schneider index.

If you enjoy aviation history, you will enjoy this film. Don't expect too much of a plot; you will be watching this film for action shots of vintage airplanes. If anyone disagrees with my aircraft recognition, please let me know (but please don't call me Sir, as I am a girl!)
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on 17 December 2008
I first saw this film on t.v. some years ago and seeing it on Amazon for less than a fiver bought one. So what are the good points, well there is a short, but nice feature about the film (always welcome) and plenty of lovely rare colour footage of U.S. Navy planes, including landing and taking off from an aircraft carrier,from 1940 - useful to model makers/ artists, as even a colour photograph of some of these aircraft are hard to find. I sorry to say thats about it. The stars are Errol Flynn and Fred Macmurray, with Flynn, to me, miscast - Macmurray steals every scene (this was the last film Flynn made with Michael Curtiz). The film is 126 minutes long and it feels it. There is no action (but a lot of banging on controls that have iced up), no real love interest, Flynn gets into a minor punch up as a result of a minor case of road rage. Everyone has gone to Harvard or Yale - more stiff upper lips than many a British film. This may be a film with a worthy cause, but the best bit for me is the yellow trainer, flying very low upside down over the airfield. I'd rather the Technicolor had been used on The Sea Hawk, a classic, almost to match Robin Hood.
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on 21 April 2015
This is really an amazing film. Firstly, it was shot in 1941 just months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour. Secondly, it contains brilliant Technicolor footage of the airplanes of that period that looks just as exciting today as it did 74 years ago. And thirdly - and most amazingly- it shows a nation preparing for war at a time when many Americans were against it. By the end of that year,however, the whole nation was suddenly galvanised into joining World War Two because of the events of December 7th-"A day that will live in infamy," as President Roosevelt put it. In its own way "Dive Bomber" is an excellent film even though there is not one instance of a bomb being dropped. Instead it tells of the problems of high altitude diving which occasionally causes pilot blackout. Enter Errol Flynn as a flight surgeon pledged to solve these problems. And that's basically what the film is about. As was typical of films of the 1940s, it was felt necessary to include some comedy and a dash of romance. These are the only tedious elements in an otherwise interesting film. A fine cast which also includes Fred MacMurray and Ralph Bellamy deliver the goods and sharp direction from Michael Curtiz plus the thrilling aerial sequences keep the story alive and vibrant. Flynn, more subdued than usual, is excellent and the film, as a whole, can be recommended to anyone interested in aviation history.
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on 11 April 2005
Warner Brothers 1941 "Dive Bomber" was one of the best aviation films of its day and the credit belongs not so much to director Michael Curtiz as it does to Frank Wead, who wrote the screenplay with Robert Buckner from his original story. "Spig" Wead had been a Commander in the U.S. Navy, credited with starting the Navy's flying program until he was partially crippled in an accident at home. Wead's story was told in John Ford's 1957 "The Wings of Eagles" with John Wayne playing the part. Errol Flynn stars as Dr. Doug Lee, who decides to devote himself to aviation medicine after an injured pilot dies during surgery. Working with test pilot Joe Blake (Fred MacMurray), Lee tries to find a solution to what is then called "Aviation Sickness." The best sequences in the film take place in the air, as they should since the film was made with the assistance of the Navy, although some credit needs to be given to the first rate photography as well. Even the laboratory sequences have a certain sense of drama. Flynn is his usual dashing self, even though he leaves most of the flying to MacMurray and Ralph Bellamy. I can never get used to see an angry, bitter MacMurray having first encountered him as Steve Douglas on "My Three Sons," but, of course, the actor made his mark in the film noir classic "Double Indemnity." In the end "Dive Bomber" is a solid inspirational film that tells the true story of men who risked their lives to gain new medical knowledge and even the Hollywood elements, such as a young Alexis Smith as Linda Fisher, do not detract from the vivid flying sequences. Even without an actual war going on, this is an above-average action film for the time right before the United States entered World War II. This is "Spig" Wead's second best script after "They Were Expendable."
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