Lost in the Stratosphere is one of three Monogram vehicles for James Cagney's look-alike brother William (later a successful producer). Inspired by the U.S. Army's recent experiments with atmospheric balloons, the film stars Cagney and Edward Nugent as inveterate practical jokers Cooper and Wood. Their friendship cleft in twain by the arrival of pretty Evelyn (June Collyer). The climax occurs when one of the boys' pranks misfires, sending both of them aloft in a fragile weather balloon. By the time they've managed to land the darned thing, they've become heroes. The film's laughable special effects (one can see the process-screen clouds "bleed" through the actors) are counterbalanced by the overall energy and enthusiasm of its stars.