Flight for Freedom (1943)

Flight for Freedom (1943)

“You’re a great guy — about all the woman there is.”

When an aviatrix (Rosalind Russell) falls for a dashing pilot (Fred MacMurray) who refuses to settle down, she decides to continue her own career and becomes world-famous — but after getting engaged to her devoted flight instructor (Herbert Marshall), Tonie (Russell) must decide whether to help out with a potentially lethal mission of worldwide significance.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Airplanes and Pilots
  • Feminism and Women’s Issues
  • Fred MacMurray Films
  • Herbert Marshall Films
  • Love Triangle
  • Rosalind Russell Films
  • Strong Females

This heavily fictionalized imagining of what might have happened to Amelia Earhart (i.e., perhaps she was helping to spy on Japan) gave Rosalind Russell a chance to shine in one of her numerous “strong female” roles — in this case, an intrepid pilot who refuses to let her love for a man get in the way of her love of competitive aviation. The love triangle aspect of the film (which takes up far too much script time) is its weakest:

What we’re really waiting for is more evidence of Russell’s derring-do and patriotism.

Thankfully, Lee Garmes’ cinematography makes the entire affair enjoyably atmospheric to watch.

Be forewarned that, given the time it was released, this propaganda film posits the Japanese as sneaky and evil.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Rosalind Russell as Tonie Carter
  • Lee Garmes’ cinematography

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a look if you’re curious. Listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “Flight for Freedom (1943)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see.

    Overall, this is rather dull stuff. Russell can’t really be faulted but I’m not really ‘on-board’ with this for much else.

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