Ships with Wings
Ships with Wings is a 1941 British war film directed by Sergei Nolbandov and starring John Clements, Leslie Banks and Jane Baxter. When the carrier is about to be launched, Celia is told to smash the bottle against the hull really hard. This may be a reference to the actual launch of Ark Royal when it took four attempts to smash the bottle.
|Ships with Wings|
|Directed by||Sergei Nolbandov|
|Produced by||Michael Balcon|
|Written by||Patrick Kirwan |
|Starring||John Clements |
|Music by||Geoffrey Wright|
|Cinematography||Wilkie Cooper |
|Edited by||Robert Hamer|
|Distributed by||ABFD |
During the Second World War, a pilot (Clements) expelled from the British fleet air arm for imprudence has the opportunity to redeem himself when he takes part in the fight against the Germans in Greece.
- John Clements - Lieutenant Dick Stacey
- Leslie Banks - Vice Admiral David Wetherby
- Jane Baxter - Celia Wetherby
- Ann Todd - Kay Gordon
- Basil Sydney - Captain Bill Fairfax
- Edward Chapman - 'Papa' Papadopoulos
- Hugh Williams - Wagner
- Frank Pettingell - Fields
- Michael Wilding - Lieutenant David Grant
- Michael Rennie - Lt Maxwell
- Cecil Parker - German Air Marshal
- John Stuart - Commander Hood
- Morland Graham - CPO Marsden
- Charles Victor - MacDermott
- Hugh Burden - Sub Lieutenant Mickey Wetherby
- Frank Cellier - General Baradino Scarappa
- Betty Marsden - Jean
- John Laurie - Lieutenant-Commander Reid
- George Merritt - Surgeon Commander
- Charles Sturat - Von Rittau
The film premiered in November 1941 and went on general release in January 1942. It was a commercial success and was the second most popular film in British cinemas that month behind It Started with Eve. The sinking of the Ark Royal, on which a number of scenes were set and shot, in November 1941 added a sense of topicality to the film. Ark Royal portrays the fictional HMS Invincible - a name not used for a Royal Navy aircraft carrier until the 1970s.
The film received an overwhelmingly positive reception from the popular press on its release. However, it came under attack from a number of intellectuals for what they considered its lack of realism while the Prime Minister Winston Churchill objected because of the large number of British casualties shown in the film which he considered bad for morale. The producer Michael Balcon was disturbed by these criticisms and commenced a shift in Ealing’s production away from such films towards what were considered more realistic portrayals in an attempt to counter this perceived lack of authenticity. However, except for Dead of Night, Ealing's films for the remainder of the war failed to enjoy the same commercial success as the earlier "unrealistic" war films and were eclipsed at the box office by the Gainsborough Melodramas.
- BFI | Film & TV Database | SHIPS WITH WINGS (1941)
- team, Code8. "On screen - WEMBLEY PARK". Archived from the original on 10 August 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- Aldgate & Richards p.316
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- Aldgate, Anthony & Richards, Jeffrey. Britain Can Take It: British Cinema in the Second World War. I.B. Tauris, 2007.