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The Sky's the Limit

(1943 b 89')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A pilot on leave pretends to be an unemployed drifter while he woos a singing photographer.

Pilots Fred Atwell (Fred Astaire), Reginald Fenton (Robert Ryan), and Dick Merlin ride in a ticker-tape parade. Fred avoids the national tour by getting off the train and changing clothes. In a bar he meets photographer Joan Manion (Joan Leslie) by getting in her photos. She sings "My Shining Hour." Joan tells her boss Phil Harriman (Robert Benchley) she will quit if she does not get in the war; so he says okay. Fred follows Joan around and walks her home. Fred rents a room for a week and cooks her breakfast. He says he has no business and will help her. Joan urges Fred to work. She takes him to the canteen, and they sing "I've Got a Lot in Common with You" and dance. Reginald and Dick find Fred and meet Joan. Reginald makes Fred dance on the table by threatening to tell Joan who he is. Fred kisses Joan goodnight on the cheek.

Reginald gives Fred his orders to report in two days. Joan takes Fred to a job interview with Phil. Fred helps the secretary fix her stocking. Fred tells Phil he does not want a job. They play gin and talk about Joan. Fred says he does not want to marry Joan, but he promises to help Phil marry her. Phil asks Joan to come over for dinner on the terrace. Fred manages it. Joan arrives and tells Fred that Phil is not coming. They drink champagne and dance. Joan says she is marrying Fred. She learns he knows something about airplanes and takes him to meet aircraft creator Harvey Sloan. Phil speaks about Sloan with charts he does not understand. Sloan says they have completed 10,000 bombers. Fred tells Sloan about flying while Joan dances with Phil. Sloan then tells Joan that Fred does not want to work. Fred tells Joan he has no character, and she rejects him and walks out. Phil drinks with Fred and knows that Fred is with the Flying Tigers. After Phil goes, Fred sings "One for My Baby" and tap dances on the bar, breaking glasses. Phil sends Joan to photograph bombers leaving the west coast. At the airport she finds Fred in uniform and finally understands who he is before they kiss goodbye.

This comedy reflects the war-time pressure to have everyone working while a heroic pilot just wants to forget the war for a while, offering some escape entertainment for audiences as well.

Copyright © 2005 by Sanderson Beck

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