18 March 2005 | GaryWang
Wyman is as cute as a Kewpie doll and the American Airlines DC-3 looks pretty snappy, too
Jane Wyman was one of the cutest actresses ever to grace the silver screen and she proves here that she still had IT in abundance in this anachronistic 1951 romp in which she portrays a stewardess adapting to the heady life and unique romantic opportunities that the flight attendant profession once represented for smart career-minded women a long, long time ago. American Airlines would have paid a hefty product placement fee in 2005 for all the great promotion they receive in this film, parts of which were shot aboard a real DC-3 (The Spirit of Washington) as it cruises the skies. The sunny natural cabin lighting does not do Van Johnson any favors inasmuch as the nasty scar across his forehead which MGM's make-up people always managed to conceal so adroitly is prominent to the point of distraction. I found his sardonic graduate-level researcher character to be a bit of an imperious drip. Sullivan is rarely anything more than a plot device: he never seems to be seriously in the running for her hand while Pilot Howard Keel is at his handsomest and he and Miss Wyman seem to share a real chemistry, so I was kept pleasantly off-balance throughout. There are some exciting scenes of downtown Chicago from the air (look for the River winding along Wacker Drive past the Merchandise Mart) and they have a camera fixed beneath the DC-3's fuselage which provides some stunning footage of actual landings. The uniforms are fun, and it effectively shows us the world of air travel that existed just prior to the dawn of the jet age. It's a memorable little trip for commercial aviation buffs, made only five months before Wyman's ex went back to the altar with Nancy Davis and turned her into the second Mrs. Ronald Reagan.