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Captains of the Clouds Details


James Cagney made his first Technicolor appearance in the morale-boosting aviation flick Captains of the Clouds. Cagney plays Brian MacLean, a hotshot Canadian bush pilot who delights in stealing jobs-and women-away from his competitors. Brian is forced to shape up in a hurry when he's assigned to train other pilots for the Royal Canadian Air Force. At the ending of the training period, he is given his first real RCAF assignment: The seemingly unimportant task of shepherding American bomber planes across the Atlantic to England. With startling suddenness, Brian comes to realize the true importance of his job when he is forced into a deadly confrontation with a fleet of Nazi raider planes. Real-life Canadian WW1 flying ace Billy Bishop plays a small but pivotal role in Captains of the Clouds, while the leading-lady duties were handled by Warner Bros. stock actress Brenda Marshall (aka Mrs. William Holden). Cinematographer Sol Polito earned an Oscar nomination for his vivid color photography, though aerial photographers Elmer Dyer, Charles Marshall and Winston Hoch were certainly just as deserving. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:February 21, 1942


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sol Polito Best Color Cinematography 1942 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Casey Roberts Best Color Art Direction 1942 Nominee


James Cagney
as Brian MacLean
Dennis Morgan
as Johnny Dutton
Brenda Marshall
as Emily Foster
Alan Hale
as Tiny Murphy
George Tobias
as Blimp Lebec
Reginald Gardiner
as Scrounger Harris
Reginald Denny
as Commanding officer
Russell Arms
as Prentiss
Paul Cavanagh
as Group captain
Clem Bevans
as Store-Teeth Morrison
J.M. Kerrigan
as Foster
John Farrell MacDonald
as Dr. Neville
Pat O'Moore
as Fyffo
Morton Lowry
as Carmichael
Frederic Worlock
as President of Court Martial
Roland Drew
as Officer
Lucia Carroll
as Blonde
George Meeker
as Playboy
Ben Baker
as Popcorn Kearns
Hardie Albright
as Kingsley
Ray Walker
as Mason
Charles Halton
as Nolan
Louis Jean Heydt
as Provost Marshal
Willie Fung
as Willie
Carl Harbord
as Blake
Bill Wilkerson
Tod Andrews
as Student Pilot
Barry Bernard
James Bush
Donald Dillaway
Tom Dugan
as Bartender
Pat Flaherty
as Drill sergeant
John Gallaudet
Winifred Harris
as Woman
John Hartley
Charles Irwin
John Kellogg
Frank Lackteen
as Indian
Miles Mander
as Churchill
Ray Montgomery
Gavin Muir
as Orderly
George Ovey
Charles B. Smith
as Bellboy
Emmett Vogan
as Clerk
Billy Wayne
Gig Young
as Student Pilot
Winifred Harris
as Woman
Miles Mander
as Churchill
Emmett Vogan
as Clerk
Tom Dugan
as Bartender
Frank Lackteen
as Indian
Charles B. Smith
as Bellboy
Tod Andrews
as Student Pilot
Gavin Muir
as Orderly
Pat Flaherty
as Drill sergeant


Michael Curtiz
Hal B. Wallis
Arthur Horman
Richard Macaulay
Norman Reilly Raine
Sol Polito
Johnny Mercer
Max Steiner
Composer (Music Score)
Leo F. Forbstein
Musical Direction/Supervision
Howard Arlen
George J. Amy
William Cagney
Associate Producer
Howard Shoup
Costume Designer
Byron Haskin
Special Effects
Rex Wimpy
Special Effects
Perc Westmore