Reaching for the Sun

Reaching for the Sun is a 1941 American comedy film directed by William A. Wellman and written by W.L. River. The film stars Joel McCrea, Ellen Drew, Eddie Bracken, Albert Dekker, Billy Gilbert, George Chandler and Bodil Ann Rosing. The film was released on May 2, 1941, by Paramount Pictures.[1] [2]

Reaching for the Sun
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam A. Wellman
Produced byWilliam A. Wellman
Screenplay byW.L. River
StarringJoel McCrea
Ellen Drew
Eddie Bracken
Albert Dekker
Billy Gilbert
George Chandler
Bodil Ann Rosing
Music byVictor Young
CinematographyWilliam C. Mellor
Edited byThomas Scott
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • May 2, 1941 (1941-05-02)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States


Backwoods boy Russ Elliott goes to the big city of Detroit, hoping to earn enough money to buy an outboard motor for his boat. He meets waitress Rita at a diner, after which, In the unemployment line, he befriends Benny Hogan as both land jobs on a factory's assembly line.

Russ and Rita begin a romance and get married. They have a child and Russ saves enough money to buy his outboard motor. He is unhappy at the plant, where a brute named Herman resents him and even tries to do Russ physical harm. Rita is unhappy, too, particularly after the factory's closure, when Russ and their boarder, Benny, are out of work for months.

Russ wants to return to his roots. Rita prefers life in Detroit and insists he sell his outboard motor. The factory reopens, but Herman causes an accident that costs Russ a leg. Rita agrees to make him happy by returning to his woodland home and boat, with Benny tagging along.



  1. Frank T. Thompson (1 February 1983). William A. Wellman. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-1594-0. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  2. Crowther, Bosley (1941-05-08). "Movie Review - Reaching for the Sun - 'Reaching for the Sun,' Comedy on Auto Workers, at Paramount - New Films at Criterion and Rialto -". Retrieved 2015-03-18.

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