An eccentric inventor and his new flying machine are the focus of this musical comedy.

Director:

(as Charles F. Reisner)

Writers:

(book) (as George G. De Sylva), (book) | 5 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Cat's-Paw (1934)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Naive Ezekial Cobb, brought up by his missionary father in China returns to America to seek a wife. Corrupt politicians enlist him to run for mayor as a dummy candidate with no chance of ... See full summary »

Directors: Sam Taylor, Harold Lloyd
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Una Merkel, George Barbier
Dodge City (1939)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Texas cattle agent witnesses first hand, the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan
Certificate: Passed Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The neglected wife of a high profile attorney dallies with a unscrupulous womanizer and finds herself involved in blackmail and murder.

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Una Merkel
Cracked Nuts (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

To impress his fiancee's aunt, a young man tries to become king in a small kingdom, but the people there have already crowned one, who has won this honor by gambling. So he plans a coup ... See full summary »

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Minerva Hatton is back in Nevada, where she grubstaked her fortune years ago. Her granddaughter Julie Westcott is visiting while getting a divorce. They are blackmailed by Julie's husband, ... See full summary »

Director: George Amy
Stars: May Robson, Harry Davenport, Margot Stevenson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A meek salesman with an uncanny ability to pick horses is virtually kidnapped by a trio of gamblers.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Frank McHugh, Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When a couple of swindlers hold young Alice Faulkner against her will in order to discover the whereabouts of letters which could spell scandal for the royal family, Sherlock Holmes is on the case.

Director: Arthur Berthelet
Stars: William Gillette, Marjorie Kay, Ernest Maupain
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Auctioneer Spot Cash Cutler is planning the scam of a lifetime, but will he get burned?

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Ann Dvorak, Claire Dodd
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Patricia O'Grady is the daughter of Irish Vaudeville performer, Rosie O'Grady, and is being raised along with her sisters by her father who believes the Vaudeville life contributed to his ... See full summary »

Director: David Butler
Stars: June Haver, Gordon MacRae, James Barton
Highway 301 (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Led by a psychotic killer, a vicious gang of armed robbers terrorizes Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina, robbing banks and payrolls and murdering anyone who might identify them

Director: Andrew L. Stone
Stars: Steve Cochran, Virginia Grey, Gaby André
Target Zero (1955)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Set during the Korean War, a unit of American soldiers, together with three British Tank Crew, find themselves trapped behind enemy lines.

Director: Harmon Jones
Stars: Richard Conte, Peggie Castle, Charles Bronson
Certificate: Passed Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A well-off bachelor finds himself at a loss for what to do when a married woman comes on to him while he's thoroughly involved with someone else's wife.

Director: Edgar Selwyn
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Leila Hyams, Norman Foster
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Rusty
Charlotte Greenwood ...
...
Sport
Kathryn Crawford ...
Eileen
Charles Winninger ...
Doctor Brown
...
Mrs. Smith
...
Mr. Smith
Herbert Braggiotti ...
Gordon
Gus Arnheim and His Orchestra ...
(as Gus Arnheim and his Orchestra)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gus Arnheim ...
Himself - the Orchestra Leader
Edit

Storyline

An eccentric inventor and his new flying machine are the focus of this musical comedy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 November 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

George White's Flying High  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actors Tommy Conlon, Tom McGuire and Harry Watson were listed as cast members in a pre-production note in the Hollywood Reporter, but they were not seen in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Brown: For somersaults and tailspins I have to test your nerves. I must see just how good you are on curves.
Chorus Girl: Oh, we're very good on curves.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Plane Nuts (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Over There
(1917) (uncredited)
Written by George M. Cohan
Played during the "I'll Make a Happy Landing" number with the dancers forming the letters "LINDY"
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Sky's the Limit
6 June 2008 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

FLYING HIGH (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1931), directed by Charles Reisner, marked the motion picture debut of comedian Bert Lahr (1892-1967), best known today for his memorable performance as the Cowardly Lion in the musical fantasy, THE WIZARD OF OZ (MGM, 1939). Reprising his theatrical role of Rusty from George White's 1930 Broadway musical, the screen version is very much a showcase for Lahr, with co-star Charlotte Greenwood, who can always be counted on to deliver a hilarious performance, coming a close second as a man-chasing spinster whom Lahr's character describes as a woman who "makes love like an alley cat." Greenwood's role parallels what she'd previously done with another Broadway gone Hollywood entertainer, Eddie Cantor, in PALMY DAYS (Samuel Goldwyn, 1931). While Cantor continued to perform steadily in films through most of the 1930s, FLYING HIGH was to be Lahr's sole venture into the new medium until his return to the screen by 1937 in secondary roles. What PALMY DAYS and FLYING HIGH have in common is not so much having Broadway comics in the lead and Greenwood as their foil, but the benefit of dance director Busby Berkeley, in his pre-Warner Brothers days, whose two production numbers benefits FLYING HIGH more than the plot itself.

Bert Lahr stars as Emil "Rusty" Krause, a hack-eyed inventor of the "aerocopter" who's unable to find a backer for his product. He becomes partners with "Sport" Wordell (Pat O'Brien), who doesn't have any money either. Sport acquires an investor named Fred Smith (Guy Kibbee), who's just as broke as he is. After falling in love with Smith's daughter, Eileen (Kathryn Crawford), Sport works out an angle acquiring the much needed $500 through Pansy Potts (Charlotte Greenwood), a tall, homely waitress having just inherited $1600 from her late uncle, by promising her a would-be husband in that of Rusty (by using a photo of Clark Gable!!).  With additional tunes by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, the motion picture soundtrack is as follows: "Happy Landing" (sung by Kathryn Crawford); "It Will be the First Time for Me" (sung by Charlotte Greenwood and Bert Lahr); "Examination" (recited by Charles Winninger and female patients); "Dance Until the Dawn" (sung by Kathryn Crawford) and "Happy Landing" (reprise/cast).

Kathryn Crawford, no relation to Joan, (though slightly resembling vocalist Kitty Carlisle), sings two songs choreographed by Berkeley. "Happy Landing" contains some of the best Berkeley ingredients, including overhead camera shots of the chorus resembling airplanes and spelling out the names of great aviators of Byrd, Hawks, Lindy in formation. "Dance Until the Dawn," which comes a half hour later, is another Berkeley highlight, with chorus in dance formations with airplane propellers. Portions of this sequence were used in the theatrical documentary of THAT'S DANCING (1986), with the commentator concluding that, "Flying High never really got off the ground."  Although portions of this 80 minute feature tends to drag, it's brought to life by its lively tunes, for the most part are as forgotten as the film itself.

Notable comedy highlights belong to Bert Lahr. Aside from he being chased around by Greenwood (having some experience going through the motions with Eddie Cantor), and his unusual medical examination by the doctor (played by a young looking Charles Winninger), he gets his chance to demonstrate his "aerocopter" at the air show by flying high enough to be out of this world. Other participants in the cast include Hedda Hopper; Gus Arnheim and his Orchestra; Clarence Wilson and Tom Kennedy (as the bully who picks on Rusty).

Rarely seen on commercial television since the 1960s, and never distributed on video or DVD, look for FLYING HIGH the next time it tail spins on Turner Classic Movies cable station. (** landing gears) 


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
this film is NOW available on DVD Grinnygog
Discuss Flying High (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?