Test Pilot is an actioner against a new approach to the aviation theme, fortified by a strong romance.
Spencer Tracy is Clark Gable’s ground aide – the Gunner. Gable as a crack but arrogant pilot is forced down on a Kansas farm, where Myrna Loy is introduced as a romance interest. Ensuing action, backgrounded by ultra-modern aviation tests and experiments, plus a military note attendant to the US aviation service, vividly portrays the strong Loy-Gable romance.
Her disposition to understand the peculiar ways of the men with wings, and the pilot’s appreciation of this understanding, have been artfully limned by director Victor Fleming. Three stars are capital in their assignments, particularly Gable, because it’s a tailor-made role.
Story bespeaks authority in detail, obviously explained by the fact that Capt Frank Wead, who authored the original, has had practical aviation background.
1938: Nominations: Best Picture, Original Story, Editing