This is what film-making is all about! The Vitaphone audio recording process challenges itself almost continuously in this early talkie. You aurally count the number of planes coming in (off-camera) while watching the reaction of the principals inside the office. You even get the correct fidelity of the wind-up gramophone as characters talk over it. Meanwhile, you watch aerial dogfights that switch seamlessly from soundstage re-creations to actual footage made by a camera mounted at the front of an aeroplane, without any jarring sense of displacement. The melodrama remains palpable with very little over-acting. I'm taking one point off for that occasional over-acting, and for the really dumb use of Southern California semi-desert topography in which the planes take off and land. It wouldn't have been that hard to find a location with a few more trees and more grass. Oh, well. The movie still must have knocked the original audiences' socks off.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?