A Marine flyer and his flight school mentor fall for the same beautiful nurse.


(as Frank R. Capra)


(story), (dialogue) (as Frank R. Capra)


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Complete credited cast:
Panama Williams


A Marine flyer and his flight school mentor fall for the same beautiful nurse.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The First All-Talking Air Drama







Release Date:

1930 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Flieger  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Frank Capra was upset with Jack Holt's refusal to stand up in the plane that was flying, until he learned that Holt had been playing with the ripcord. The parachute had opened, and had Holt stood up he would have been dragged out of the plane. A red ribbon was tied to Holt's ripcord for the remainder of filming. See more »


When Lefty Phelps is polishing an aircraft, Sergeant Williams calls to him by yelling "Hey, soldier!" As both men are US Marines, the sergeant would not have addressed him that way. Soldiers are members of the US Army and a Marine would actually consider that remark to be an insult. See more »


Steve Roberts: [On the Nicaraguan rebels] You know damn well what's going to happen if these people come along and catch you alive.
See more »


(1862) (uncredited)
Written by Daniel Butterfield
Played offscreen when Lefty burns the airplane
See more »

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User Reviews

A Little Off the Top... and the Bottom
15 March 2008 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

One of several attempts to talk-up William A. Wellman's high flying "Wings" (1927) **********. This time, the leading threesome form the more traditional triangle of love -- younger Marine pilot Ralph Graves (as Lefty Phelps) and his mentor/Sergeant Jack Holt as (Panama Williams) are in both love with lovely nurse Lila Lee (as Elinor Murray). Ms. Lee loves Mr. Graves (in a romantic way). Mr. Graves loves Lee (in a romantic way) and Mr. Holt (in a fatherly way). Circumstances put the characters' relationships in turmoil, and danger…

An interesting early effort by director Frank Capra; but, of course, it is nowhere near his best. Harold Goodwin has a great supporting role (as Steve Roberts). Graves and Holt are a reliable team. Graves seems a little younger and Holt a little older than they appear; the actors are about the same age, however; and, they have a nice rapport.

Watch for a scene right after the "stuck in the mud" segment concludes -- in their tent, Holt scolds Graves for wanting to go out and get "tight"; he tries to pull his pal's shirt off, but Graves resists. Then, the men wrestle, which ends up with Holt pulling Graves' legs up to give him a spanking! As a bonus, Graves' hairpiece almost flips off his head!

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