Men with Wings is a giant bomber from the Paramount hangar, designed on a lavish scale by the skilled air picture mechanic, William A. Wellman, and polished off beautifully in Technicolor. The action scenes, including a dog fight in the air, are exceptionally impressive.
While the romance, involving three people, is subjugated to the story of the development of aviation from Kitty Hawk, NC, in 1903 down to the present, the love interest is never left very far in the background.
Story stems from the beginning of aviation when the Wright brothers got off the ground at Kitty Hawk 35 years ago. It opens on the refusal of a small-town editor to believe the story of a breathless reporter that he had just seen a man fly. History is that this reporter’s story, placed on the wires and scooping the world, was used by only three newspapers when filed.
In this first scene the three kids of the picture, who grow up into Fred MacMurray, Ray Milland and Louise Campbell, are charmingly pictured in an effort to fly with a kite, successful as it happens.
Action progresses through various stages of Wellman’s aviation cavalcade down to the last, MacMurray leaving his wife (Campbell) and baby again for the Sino-Jap war. Milland as disappointed suitor but faithful friend, plays his part with fine restraint, understanding and poise. The reckless but fairly likable character of the flier who can’t stay down, done to a crisp by MacMurray is reminiscent of Gable in Test Pilot, which also contained the wife angle.