Clouds over Europe (1939)

78 mins | Drama | 20 June 1939

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Foreign Sabotage and Q Planes . According to the Var review, it was released in England as Q Planes . The film also marked producer Irving Asher's first English production for Columbia. Modern sources credit Alexander Korda as executive producer and add Reginald Purdell, John Laurie and Pat Aherne to the ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Foreign Sabotage and Q Planes . According to the Var review, it was released in England as Q Planes . The film also marked producer Irving Asher's first English production for Columbia. Modern sources credit Alexander Korda as executive producer and add Reginald Purdell, John Laurie and Pat Aherne to the cast. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 Jun 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Jun 39
p. 11.
Motion Picture Herald
29 Jul 39
p. 67.
New York Times
16 Jun 39
p. 27.
Variety
15 Mar 39
p. 18.
Variety
21 Jun 39
p. 16.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Q Planes
Foreign Sabotage
Release Date:
20 June 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures of California, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
6 June 1939
Copyright Number:
LP8890
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
78
Length(in reels):
9
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
5391
SYNOPSIS

Major Charles Hammond of the British secret service suspects that the disappearance of a number of test planes carrying secret war department apparati is more than merely coincidence, but his suspicions are met with skepticism on the part of the aircraft manufacturers and the secret service. Meanwhile, at the Barrett and Ward aviation factory, another flight is scheduled for takeoff, despite the warnings of test pilot Tommy McVane, who also suspects sabotage. As the flight takes off and soars over the sea, a radio beam from the salvage ship Viking disables the craft's engines and sends it crashing into the water. The German agents aboard the Viking then seize the plane, only to find that the secret apparatus is not on board, having been removed by Hammond before takeoff. McVane, outraged at the disappearance of the plane, blames Barrett for failing to conduct a thorough investigation, while Hammond's sister Kay, a newspaper reporter, follows the story by going undercover as a waitress at the plant. Back at the Viking , the Baron, the ringleader of the spies, is enraged because they have failed to obtain the secret device, and orders the elimination of Jenkins, the traitor at the Barrett plant who had been selling them information. Jenkin's death brings together Hammond and McVane, who both suspect sabotage, but their investigation is cut short by the clever Baron, who instructs his men to let the test craft wash ashore, thus making the disappearance look like an accident. The Baron's plan works, and as Hammond is removed from the case, McVane is ordered to pilot the next flight. Hammond ... +


Major Charles Hammond of the British secret service suspects that the disappearance of a number of test planes carrying secret war department apparati is more than merely coincidence, but his suspicions are met with skepticism on the part of the aircraft manufacturers and the secret service. Meanwhile, at the Barrett and Ward aviation factory, another flight is scheduled for takeoff, despite the warnings of test pilot Tommy McVane, who also suspects sabotage. As the flight takes off and soars over the sea, a radio beam from the salvage ship Viking disables the craft's engines and sends it crashing into the water. The German agents aboard the Viking then seize the plane, only to find that the secret apparatus is not on board, having been removed by Hammond before takeoff. McVane, outraged at the disappearance of the plane, blames Barrett for failing to conduct a thorough investigation, while Hammond's sister Kay, a newspaper reporter, follows the story by going undercover as a waitress at the plant. Back at the Viking , the Baron, the ringleader of the spies, is enraged because they have failed to obtain the secret device, and orders the elimination of Jenkins, the traitor at the Barrett plant who had been selling them information. Jenkin's death brings together Hammond and McVane, who both suspect sabotage, but their investigation is cut short by the clever Baron, who instructs his men to let the test craft wash ashore, thus making the disappearance look like an accident. The Baron's plan works, and as Hammond is removed from the case, McVane is ordered to pilot the next flight. Hammond refuses to quit however, and traces all the disappearances to the Viking , just as the ship has McVane's plane in its sights. After he is captured and imprisoned with the fliers from previous flights, McVane incites the pilots to break out of the hold and battle the crew of the Viking . Meanwhile, Hammond commandeers a destroyer and sails to the Viking just in time to insure a British victory. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.