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The Last Flight (1931)

Not Rated | | Drama | 29 August 1931 (USA)
Cary, Shep, Bill, and Francis are pilots who have just, and only just, survived the First World War. They linger in Europe in the aftermath, drinking and ostensibly having fun, but ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
David Manners ...
Shep Lambert
...
Bill Talbot (as John Mack Brown)
...
Nikki
Elliott Nugent ...
Francis (as Elliot Nugent)
Walter Byron ...
Frink
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Storyline

Cary, Shep, Bill, and Francis are pilots who have just, and only just, survived the First World War. They linger in Europe in the aftermath, drinking and ostensibly having fun, but pessimistic and flip about their futures, as each feels himself somehow lost and dead inside as a result of the horrors he's experienced. They encounter a beautiful and vivacious girl, Nikki, and adopt her, not romantically but as a sort of mascot and light around which they can hover in hopes of regaining a sense of warmth and life. Nikki does her best to reinvigorate her new friends, but despite the seeming lightheartedness of their escapades, the shadow of the war can never be dispelled. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 August 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le dernier vol  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a separately filmed trailer, Vitaphone production reel #4665, Richard Barthelmess and Helen Chandler discuss the picture. See more »

Goofs

During the sequence in the bullfight ring in Lisbon, the footage of the actual bullfight is stock filmed during the silent era at the then-standard speed of 16 frames per second. Spliced into a sound film and projected at the sound-standard 24 frames per second, it looks unnaturally fast. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Only Angels Have Wings (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

La valse brune
(1909) (uncredited)
Written by Georges Krier and Georges Villard
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User Reviews

 
Early Talkie from the Warner Archive,
16 July 2012 | by (Salisbury, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

My DVD is a region 2, but I cannot now recall where I bought it from. This is the nearest listing that Amazon run, so...

End of the Great War, Paris - four young U.S. pilots are discharged from hospital, for fairly minor ailments, but they will never will fly again. Thousands of miles from home and all sense of responsibilities abandoned, they just yearn to get 'tight'. Hitting the bright lights and seeking the gaiety takes away the memories and the pain. Whilst out, they encounter the free-spirited Nikki.

She lives off her wealthy mother and so, soon, we are treated to the antics of the young at the time and for the most part, it's light, frothy and often funny nonsense. When I read that it was about wounded servicemen being repatriated, I was sort of expecting a 'The Best Years Of Our Lives' but for the First War. There is very little similarity and you could think, for the worse. The band of new friends then travel by train to Lisbon - and continue as before, until tragedy strikes.

Apparently, this "lost generation" of American expatriates who found themselves in Paris or Madrid in the 1920s, were characters beloved by authors F Scott Fitzgerald (who coined the phrase) and Ernest Hemingway.

To my eyes, it works best as a snapshot of a time and a certain place and for its spritely humour. I'm sure 1930's Depression-hit Hollywood wasn't the place for a serious and possibly maudlin look at War. If ever there was a film that carried the expression "What's the idea?" to the point of repetition, it's this one.


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