Give Us Wings
Universal Pictures

Directed by Charles Lamont
Written by Arthur T. Horman and Robert Lee Johnson
Story by Eliot Gibbons
Featuring The Dead End Kids and The Little Tough Guys
A Ken Goldsmith Production

Released November 13, 1940

The ambitions of a group of tough kids to learn aeronautical mechanics in an NYC Work Program plant includes taking flying lessons with their meager savings.  Victor Jory, operator of a crop-dusting firm in the south, hires the quintet to fly his fleet of outmoded crates. 
     But Manager, Wallace Ford, refuses to allow the kids to undertake the hazardous work without plenty of training, and thus gains their enmity.  Eventually, Jory cajoles Bobby Jordan into a crop-dusting flight that ends disastrously, and shows the kids that Ford was really protecting them against sure death.

     The boys provide plenty of mugging and double-takes as the flying neophytes, Jory is villain, while Ford catches audience sympathy as the protector of the overly-ambitious kids.  Anne Gwynne is the sole femme member of the cast, for light romantic interest.



Billy Halop

Huntz Hall

Anne Gwynne ... Julie Mason

Gabriel Dell

Bernard Punsly

Bobby Jordan

Wallace Ford

Victor Jory (also, one of top Acting Teachers in Hollywood)

Shemp Howard

Milbur Stone   of "Gunsmoke" fame


Arthur T. Horman, Robert Lee Johnson- Writers 

Charles Lamont- Director 

Juan Valdez- Producer

John Boyle- Cinematographer

Frank Gross- Editor

Full Storyline

Tom, Pig, Rap, Ape and String, five boys who are learning aeronautical mechanics in a National Youth Administration Work Program plant, are taking flying lessons with their meager savings. Although the boys are eager to become pilots, they are ineligible to attend the Civil Aeronautics Authority school because none of them have completed high school. Consequently, when Arnold Carter, an unscrupulous operator of a crop dusting firm, offers them a job flying his decrepit old planes, the boys jump at the opportunity.

When they appear for work, however, York, Carter's manager, believes that they are too inexperienced to fly, and so assigns them to ground work while they practice their flying technique. When Tex, Carter's only experienced pilot, crashes, the company begins to fall behind in their contracts, and so Carter orders the boys into the air. York finally agrees that all the boys, except for Rap who is terrified of flying after witnessing the crash of Tex's plane, can fly, and they take to the air.

York also refuses to dust a particular field because of the dangers of its tall groves of trees, and Carter, defying York's judgment, cajoles Rap into doing the job. While flying over the trees, Rap snaps off one of the plane's wings and crashes to his death. Losing his nerve, Carter tries to make a getaway in a plane, but Tom follows in another craft and forces him to earth with a dose of dust. He is met by the other boys, who turn him over to the authorities.


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