Episode titles: 1. The Death Plunge 2. Snatched Into Space 3. Trapped in the Flames 4. Dead Wings 5. The Brink of Eternity 6. The Fangs of the Wolf 7. The Sky Hitcher 8. The March of Death 9. Headlong to Earth 10. No Man's Land See more »
exciting aviation-thrills serial from late silent era
1928 was the last year when silent films dominated the market, and this aviation-based action serial from Pathe was one of the studio's last. Some pieces are no longer extant (half of chapters 3&6, all of 7, 8, and 9, and the beginning of the 10th and final chapter), but the beginning and end are there as well as enough to follow the action adequately. The surviving Grapevine print is beautifully restored and tinted in spots, although you can tell the print is deteriorated in some of the surviving sections. Basically, an inventor (Josef Swickard, in a role not unlike the one he later played in THE LOST CITY) has created a silencer/muffler for planes to silence any engine sounds, and the bad guys are out to steal the invention and put it to evil use. Frank Clarke, a real-life aviator whose other film credits seem to be all aviation-related, stars as the hero who also romances the scientist's daughter. The aviation stunts and photography are impressive as is the location shooting in Baja California. This seems to be the only IMDB directorial credit James F. "Jimmie" Fulton, most of whose credits are as an actor--in fact, he acted in other 1928 Pathe films. Just imagine you are in a small-town theatre the year before sound arrives in your town and is still just a rumor. Get some popcorn, settle back, and enjoy the action and the photography.
The surviving footage of the serial runs about 1 hour and 50 minutes.
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