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The story follows six midshipman after they graduate from Annapolis. Their goal is to become U.S. Navy pilots and three of them are eliminated at the San Diego Naval Base. The remaining three undergo grueling weeks of training at Pensacole Florida, and one crashes. The remaining two get their "wings" and are sent back to San Diego as full-fledged "Sea Hawks", and prepare there for the first Honolulu flight. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
MGM was one of the last studios to convert to sound, and this is one of their late silents. By 1929, studios could easily add synchronized sound effects and music scores to films. It was synchronized speech by identifiable individual persons that so grounded the camera and caused so many problems.
This late silent, written by one of the founders of naval aviation, has a good if somewhat predictable story with some sound effects to accompany the flight and naval action scenes. The story opens on six graduating seniors at the Naval Academy on the eve of their graduation. The six have been the best of friends for four years, and all six want wings, but only two will make it all the way through. The other four don't make it for a whole number of reasons from being expelled on the eve of graduation, to something as simple and unpreventable as bad eyesight. The last two not only get their wings, they are competing for the affection of a young lady (Anita Page) who lives in San Diego.
It's got plenty of action and moves along nicely and absolutely could not have been shot as a sound film for at least a couple of more years when sound technology could finally go outdoors - and in the air - with ease. It's ironic that one of the first of these sound films, 1931's "Dirigible", also stars Ralph Graves playing the same kind of swaggering character that he does here.
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