The Way to the Stars (1945) Johnny In The Clouds WWII Bomber Base Drama

The Way to the Stars (1945) Johnny In The Clouds poster film movie anthony asquith

Called The Way to the Stars in the UK and Johnny in the Clouds in the USA. This outstanding World War Two drama focuses on the lives of RAF bomber pilots during the course of the war. It shows the progression of new and improved aircraft being tested and flown into battle. Whilst following the day to day routine of the pilots responsible for flying them awaiting their next mission. Moving through the years of 1940 to 1944. It was released in the UK in June 1945 a few months before WWII had finished and overseas in the US during November.

The Way to the Stars (1945) David Archdale Michael Redgrave Peter Penrose John Mills

The film follows rooky pilot Peter Penrose (John Mills) as he arrives at the RAF Station Halfpenny Field airfield. With just 15 hours flight time under his belt in the Bristol Blenheim, he’d been assigned to join the bomber pilots of 720 squadron. On meeting his superior Flight Lieutenant David Archdale (Michael Redgrave) he soon discovers he will tallying up those hours, real fast.

Peter Penrose –I’m afraid I’m strictly amateur.
Flight Lt. David Archdale –There aren’t any amateurs and professionals anymore, just good pilots and bad pilots. The good pilots stay alive and the bad ones don’t. And that’s not true anymore either!

The Way to the Stars (1945) Peter Penrose (John Mills) Michael Redgrave bomber pilot

The Way to the Stars (1945) Johnny In The Clouds RAF Bristol Blenheim Bomber Squadron
Bristol Blenheim Light Bomber

Flash forward a year and we find Peter has become a first class pilot now flying bombing raids and carrying out reconnaissance onboard the US manufactured Douglas Boston A-20 Havoc. And of course, after such missions it’s always good to unwind at the local, the Golden Lion Hotel, which served lashings of pints and brandy. You could guarantee a good sing song around the piano but when last orders come, landlady Miss Todd (Rosamund John) doesn’t take any nonsense.

The Way to the Stars (1945) Bonar Colleano Johnny Hollis Douglass Montgomery John Mills beer sing song piano

The Way to the Stars (1945) Johnny In The CloudsUnited States Douglas A-20 Havoc bomber
Douglas Boston A-20 Havoc

Over the next few months a lot changes for our Peter. He’s fallen in love with Iris Winterton (Renee Asherson), been grounded and assigned ground controller. This coincides with the arrival of the United States Army Air Forces taking over the airfield for their B-17 Flying Fortress bombardment squadron. Peter becomes friends with the American crew, Captain Johnny Hollis (Douglass Montgomery) and his Lieutenant Joe Friselli (Bonar Colleano) and what else to do rather than flying? Yep you got it, drink loads of pints down the old boozer. It’s not long before Captain Johnny and his squadron head out on their bombing raids and Peter is back, this time flying the Avro Lancaster. Who will return from these treacherous missions? Can you make friends or even fall in love during such dangerous and difficult times? The Way to the Stars deals with this dilemma in this expertly observed war time drama.

The Way to the Stars (1945) Johnny In The Clouds Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
The Way to the Stars (1945) Johnny In The Clouds Avro Lancaster bomber
Avro Lancaster

A few things.

  • Directed by Anthony Asquith. I’ve featured a few of his films on here before like The Browning Version and Orders To Kill. Feel free to recommend others by him.
  • Written by Terence Rattigan who’d been a Flight Lieutenant himself in the RAF. At first writing his experiences for a play called Flare Path in 1942. The movie was produced by Anatole de Grunwald.
  • I think I prefer the title Johnny in the Clouds, especially as the film centers around the poem “For Johnny” an ode to Royal Air Force pilots written by John Pudney.
  • The eye eagled with spot Bill Owen aka Compo from the long running British comedy series Last Of The Summer Wine. It’s amazing to see he looks as old in this as he does 40 plus year later!

The Way to the Stars (1945) John Mills Douglass Montgomery Bill Owen Nobby Last Of Summer Wine

  • Look out for Trevor Howard, in his first credited role, playing Squadron Leader Carter. His next film would be Brief Encounter!
  • Every year in my home town of Bournemouth there’s an airshow on the coast. Sally B the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a regular flyer and she’s a wonder to watch. Incredible sound. She’s the last airworthy B-17 in Europe. You can read about her story on the official website Sally B
IMGP3032
Sally B the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

There’s a few things that really set this film aside. It’s brilliant to see, especially as the war had not yet ended, the way all the different aircraft are introduced through the years. Starting with the lighter bombers and moving on to the more famous named heavier bombers that were essential for the strategic bombing campaign.

The other standout was the way death on the air base was revealed. We see no battles as we are grounded on the base but we wait with binoculars and bated breath and count the returning aircraft. Left to see who walks back through the door. Who’s come back? It’s simple and extremely effective. You can only imagine that is what it would of been like. You mutter the words “Bad show old boy” pick up your kit and carry on, with a cup of tea, of course.

The film feels like a grand tribute to the allied bomber pilots that risked their lives throughout World War Two. It’s a very recommend watch if you haven’t seen it.  Thanks for having a read. All the best.. Mikey Wolf

The Way to the Stars (1945) Johnny In The Clouds American poster
Apparently it didn’t do very well at the American box office and surely that bland poster didn’t help matters.
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Forbidden World (1982) Sleazy Space Nooky And Hungry Mutant Monster Fun

Forbidden World (1982) alien cult film corman space movie poster

Bountiful boobies and softcore sex in space from the wonderful Roger Corman studios. Seriously what more could you want? Ok, ok, let’s throw in an Alien rip-off to add to the bonanza of mayhem. Get ready for a slice of sleazy science-fiction cult action fun and who really cares if it’s actually any good or not? Forbidden World is a sure-fire, it’s so bad it’s good space romp.

Tagline – The seed is planted… the nightmare grows

Forbidden World (1982) Mike Colby (Jesse Vint) SAM-104 robot space ship cockpit

Space maverick Mike Colby (Jesse Vint) is peacefully sleeping in his stasis pod dreaming of wet t-shirt competitions. Until he’s rudely awaken by a fleet of approaching ships intent on blowing him to smithereens. Lucky his trusty robot SAM-104 (Don Olivera) is holding the fort but as the deadly force gets ever closer he needs Mike’s battle skills. After an explosive battle the victorious duo of Mike and Sam find the ship is in need of repairs. Piece of luck, they just so happen to be on course for the planet Xarbia. Now let’s get straight into the flirting.

Forbidden World (1982) Mike Colby (Jesse Vint) Dr Barbara Glaser (June Chadwick) naked gown

Dr. Barbara Glaser –I hear you’re the biggest trouble-shooter in this part of the galaxy.”
Mike Colby –That’s what they tell me.
Dr. Barbara Glaser –How’d you like to see some… trouble?

Mike and Sam just so happen to have landed on a remote scientific research center. Met at the airlock by sexy blond Dr Barbara Glaser (June Chadwick) and Dr. Gordon Hauser (Linden Chiles). “You’re a new face around here, we don’t often get new faces” “That’s a truth” replies Barbara with a glint in her eye. Barbara is in need of some new eye candy. Mike is happy. But wait! There’s another beautiful young lady, Tracy Baxter (Dawn Dunlap) and she’s even more of a stunner. Mike has hit the jackpot! Oh boy, little does he know what is installed for him in the next hour.

Forbidden World (1982) Dr Barbara Glaser (June Chadwick) Tracy Baxter (Dawn Dunlap) togetherForbidden World (1982) Dr Barbara Glaser (June Chadwick) Tracy Baxter (Dawn Dunlap) naked shower scene

Dr Gordon informs are two visitors that the research center has been working on a genetic experiment to create a new food source. With a seemingly brilliant breakthrough with Subject 20. Things unfortunately went wrong in a spectacular way! Subject 20 began to mutate and in doing so ripped to shreds all the test animals in their cubicles. It’s a totally shit storm in the laboratory with dead bloodied carcasses scattered around in frenzied carnage. Still, no one really seems that bothered by this! Especially the forever smoking and coughing lead scientist Dr. Cal Timbergen (Fox Harris).

Forbidden World (1982) Mike Colby (Jesse Vint) Dr Barbara Glaser (June Chadwick) Cal Timbergen (Fox Harris)Forbidden World (1982) face hugger alien gore blood horror

Let the havoc and bloodshed begin with the usual cannon fodder crew ready to be consumed in one way or the other. Gore, splatter, guts and a right goopy mess is thrown across the research center as the mutant transforms into Ripley’s Alien crossed with Audrey 2 from Little Shop Of Horrors.

Mike Colby – “Let’s go bag ourselves a Dingwhopper!”

Forbidden World (1982) outside space ship geared up alien world mutant

So what to do whilst this carnage is happening? Well let’s get naked! We get Barbara and Tracy in a shower scene together. There’s time for a montage lovemaking sequence between Barb and Mike that is truly awful and hilarious at the same time. A scientist wanders, thinking in his dressing gown. A sweaty jealous man watches the action on a monitor as he spins a kids toy! Barb checks out Mike’s dodgy scars whilst crew member, Brian Beale (Raymond Oliver) plays a future flute to the bizarre steamy saucy scene. Oh and later to chillout after all the mayhem, Tracy decides to go for a naked sauna whilst Mikes just happens to walk in and now he’s ready for seconds!

Tracy Baxter –You know what? It looks like you could really use the steam bath!
Mike Colby –Well, I had a hard night.
Tracy Baxter –So fair’s fair. Get naked.

Forbidden World (1982) Tracy Baxter (Dawn Dunlap) sauna steam bath naked bottom cheekyForbidden World (1982) Brian Beale (Raymond Oliver) plays a space future flute

A few things.

  • Don’t judge a book by its cover or a movie poster for that matter! That artwork for Forbidden World might be awesome but it hasn’t any resemblance to the film.
  • Directed by Allan Holzman from a story and screenplay from Tim Curnen and Jim Wynorski.
  • Forbidden World is also known as Mutant and Subject 20 at various times.
  • June Chadwick is probably best known as Lydia, one of the invading aliens from the 80s sci-fi series V. If memory serves me well she was 2nd in command to Diana (Jane Badler)

June Chadwick Lydia 80s sci-fi series V with Diana (Jane Badler)

  • Jesse Vint had a part in the superb eco science fiction movie with Bruce Dern and one of my favs, Silent Running (1972)
  • Investigated to see what else the lovely Dawn Dunlap had been in. Oh my! a blast from the past, Barbarian Queen (1985)! I remember renting that turkey on VHS. Sold on the cover. Hey don’t judge, I was a teenager hehe.

Barbarian Queen (1985) vhs cassette tape cover no man can touch her naked steel

  • Forbidden World shares some of the same Corman sets recycled from Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) and Galaxy of Terror (1981)
  • If you’re looking for another naughty science fiction movie with some boobies then Android is good fun.

I’ll leave the plentiful nakedness, the mutant and the rest of the crazy action scenes for you. Yeah of course Forbidden World is bad but hey bad can be really good fun. Go check it out if you can and if you have and fancy dropping a comment, then by all means feel free to do so. Maybe pop in for some tasty technicolor food? Yummy!

Forbidden World (1982) space mutant some tasty technicolor food Yummy

Hangover Square (1945) Murdering Maundering Madman Is Musical Genius

Hangover Square (1945) Laird Cregar Linda Darnell film noir movie poster

With no messing about, this film jumps straight into a POV murder. First a stab with a dagger then a double tap with a gas lamp. The victim isn’t just gonna die, he’s gonna burn too! In the first of a series of shocking and macabre death scenes Hangover Square really grabs your attention. I love it when a movie gamble pays off. Went into this film really for it’s short runtime. Not the ideal way to pick a film, I know. Had way too many late nights and the thought that if I ain’t digging it I’ll turn it off and get myself an early night. Haha no chance. I was hooked and instantly invested in the plight of George Harvey Bone (Laird Cregar), right from that first hard hitting opening scene. Continue reading “Hangover Square (1945) Murdering Maundering Madman Is Musical Genius”

Babylon (1980) A Movie That Helped Shape My Life Gets Its First US Theatrical Release.

Babylon (1980) poster reggae film movie art work release dub

Babylon is one of those movies that helped shaped my life. One of those films that appear in your life at a certain age and hit that perfect note, right when you are discovering yourself. Continue reading “Babylon (1980) A Movie That Helped Shape My Life Gets Its First US Theatrical Release.”

Woman on the Run (1950) Banter, Roller Coasters, A Feisty Lady And A Packet Of Smokes

Woman on the Run (1950) Film noir Robert Keith Ann Sheridan Dennis O'Keefe poster

If your looking for a nifty noir with razor sharp dialogue and a killer roller coaster ride through the streets of San Francisco then Woman On The Run is just the ticket.

Taglines – As Startling as Your OWN Scream in the Night!

Continue reading “Woman on the Run (1950) Banter, Roller Coasters, A Feisty Lady And A Packet Of Smokes”

Across the Bridge (1957) Rod Steiger And A Train Trip To Mexico For A Fistfull Of Dollars

Across The Bridge (1957) Rod Steiger Ken Annakin Graham Greene amazing Movie Poster

Bizarrely this is actually a British film. Even with the fact it’s a train trip featuring New Yorker Rod Steiger through America into Mexico. In reality all the interior shots are filmed at Shepperton Studios in England whilst the exterior Mexico landscapes were filmed in Spain. Rod Steiger plays Carl Schaffner a German businessman who’s become a British citizen. Schaffner is extremely wealthy and relentlessly obnoxious with it. To be honest he’s not far removed from a Nazi gestapo officer! Shouting orders and demands at all his lackeys. He’s the brains of the organisation. The big man in the high tower. Until, one day a simple phone call flips his world upside down. Continue reading “Across the Bridge (1957) Rod Steiger And A Train Trip To Mexico For A Fistfull Of Dollars”

The Informers (1963) Underworld Gangsters, Snitches And Inspector Nigel Patrick

The Informers (1963) incredible drwn artwork poster one sheet Nigel Patrick

Yes I may be of a rotund nature but I’m sure the ladies liked my cuddly frame. Happy go lucky was my motto. Besides, I was a self employed man happy to wander around the good old bars of London supping on whatever booze flowed it’s way into my mouth. A beer always followed a whiskey very nicely. And quite frankly when the whiskey dried up there was always brandy, gin or even a sherry. To be honest I wasn’t fussy. If I was in the pub I could go to work. Me, Irish Jimmy Ruskin (John Cowley) liked to gather information. Observe everything that was happening around me. This knowledge had a price and that price paid for this here nice lifestyle of mine. I wasn’t made for lifting, grafting or labouring. My specialty was collecting crime intelligence and passing it on to my good friend, John. It just so happened that John was otherwise known as Chief Inspector John Edward Johnnoe (Nigel Patrick). Continue reading “The Informers (1963) Underworld Gangsters, Snitches And Inspector Nigel Patrick”

Green for Danger (1946) Doctors, Flirting, Doodlebugs, Murder and Alastair Sim

Green for Danger (1946) Alastair Sims murder mystery whodunit movie poster

Joseph Higgins (Moore Marriott) was the friendly village postman. He fondly remembered back to before the war had turned his quaint little village into a WWII hospital. Now it was over run by doctors, surgeons and nurses. Being on the flight path of the German V1 rocket bombardment of England there wasn’t a day go by without that terrible sound filling the skies. The probability you were gonna be blown to smithereens was an everyday worry! Oh how he wished to be sat in the local pub knocking back a few bevvies with his mates. Continue reading “Green for Danger (1946) Doctors, Flirting, Doodlebugs, Murder and Alastair Sim”

A Man Escaped (1956) Imprisoned French Resistance Fighter Seeks Liberation

A Man Escaped (1956) Robert Bresson film prison POW french resistence movie poster

Caught. Wedged on the back seat of a speeding car. Three men. Two handcuffed, one not. Maybe not enough cuffs to go around? He’s by the door. The door handle beacons. Should he make a run for it? He’s likely to be killed anyway, whatever he does. He’d chance it, go for it. No! the car is travelling too fast. At the traffic lights he’d make a break for freedom. The car speeds through. His hand taps the door handle. A tram is coming. Now’s his chance! Continue reading “A Man Escaped (1956) Imprisoned French Resistance Fighter Seeks Liberation”