User Reviews (6)

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Low budget thriller about a new secret aircraft made out of plastic. Richard Arlen plays the test pilot whose job it will be to fly the aircraft on it's first flight. Don Castle plays Arlen's brother and one of the designers of of the plane. Of course there needs to be a sub-plot where the two brothers fall out over the same woman. Also standard to these films is the comedy relief supplied in this case by the company mechanic. Nothing great but for fans of early 40's aircraft it is a must see with several somewhat rare aircraft. What I found interesting about this film is that it is an early film from John Alton. Alton is well know to film-noir fans as perhaps the best director of photography of that genre. He also won an Oscar for "AN American IN Paris". Again, if you have an hour to kill and are into vintage aircraft then this is for you.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Standard aeroplane fare for the time: test pilot doesn't want younger brother to fly, terribly unfunny mechanic failing to provide laughs, race to build a new trainer for the Army, and will it work. Oh, and blind aircraft designer and beautiful daughter whom brothers fight over. As regards the plane, the choice is between laminates (which crash) and a geodetic construction made out of plastic. I had thought only Vickers used geodetic construction, but in this film there are shots of several fuselages of a two seat trainer of this type. I suspect the makers of the film used the idea as being an advanced technique to bafflegab the audience. Anyway, the plane works, despite the incompetence of the Army who nearly crash it. In the end, the right brother gets the girl. Acting honour's to her Piper Cub.

    Interestingly when the laminated aircraft goes into its fatal vertical crash dive, the actual crash footage is famously of a GeeBee racer flying flat and low which goes out of control (the full sequence is available on YouTube).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In the ever changing world of aviation, new technology improves height, distance, smoother rides and the ability to avoid crashes. Blind inventor Thomas W. Ross has been working on improving these aspects of the industry and along with daughter Jean Parker pays a visit on veteran pilot Richard Arlen. Unbeknownst to her, she encounters his enthusiastic younger brother Don Castle who flirts with her shamelessly before the truth is revealed. The two brothers, seemingly not very close, vie for her affections while detail testing the new advanced machinery which results in some thrilling air shows. The three leads are sincere in their performances, and Parker is a lovely heroine, with noble and dignified Ross as her father. Helen Mack, Roger Pryor and Cliff Edwards give fine support, with Edwards obviously providing comic relief utilizing a horse shoe as a major prop for his schtick. There's a brief bit by as a helium voiced broad (Helen Lynd) who fortunately doesn't stick around after her flirtation with Edwards. It's pretty obvious how the romantic triangle will end, because that's the weakest element of this plot anyway.
  • "Power Dive" is a picture from Pine-Thomas Productions...a branch of Paramount studios that exclusively made B-movies. Bs were short and relatively cheap full-length films intended to he shown as a second film in a double-feature. Some Bs managed to be very good....many others were just cheap and forgettable...like "Power Dive"!

    Richard Arlen used to be an actor in top-tier films, such as "Wings" (1927). However, by the late 30s and early 40s, he was making Bs by the dozen. Most were enjoyable...few were outstanding. "Power Dive" doesn't quite manage to be enjoyable.

    Brad (Arlen) is a test pilot. His dream is to come up with a plane made from plastic parts...but until this finale there is a girl (Jean Parker) and a few forgettable story elements. During all this, you have the extensive use of recycled footage as well as some cheaply made aerial sequences. The word to remember for all this...cheaply.

    So is this any good? Well, it's not horrible. But unless you adore Bs and watch everyone you can find (like me), it's really not worth your time.
  • bkoganbing16 February 2015
    The dollar Bills of Paramount Studios, William Pine and William Thomas tackle a routine aviation drama something along the lines of Men With Wings and I Wanted Wings, A budget productions from their studio. Pine- Thomas couldn't do much with Power Dive however.

    The usual aviation clichés are all present with the rivalry between brothers Richard Arlen and Don Castle over aviation and over Jean Parker whose father Thomas Ross has invented a new plastic plane that he wants to sell to the army.

    That's not as silly as it sounds, if you'll remember Howard Hughes was also experimenting with a plywood airplane, the legendary Spruce Goose a few years later. Still when one says plastic airplanes I automatically think of the model ships and planes one glued together as a child back in the day.

    It's a weak story and Cliff Edwards as the airplane mechanic and comic relief was singularly unfunny. Aviation buffs will like it, few others.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    John Alton's fans won't thank you for putting them wise to this credit as Alton's photographic work is just as undistinguished as Jimmy Hogan's lackluster direction and the routine script dreamed up by Maxwell Shane and Edward Churchill. True, the players try hard to put a bit of life into the clichéd proceedings – too hard in the case of "comedian", Cliff Edwards – but nothing happens that we haven't seen a hundred times before. It's difficult to pick who is the least interesting player. Don Castle, the juvenile, Thomas Ross (the heroine's dad) or even the lovely Helen Mack who is admittedly stuck in a thankless role, but she does absolutely nothing to give it bite or personality. No wonder our lead, Richard Arlen, looks so glum. And Alton doesn't photograph him very flatteringly either!