Level headed Mike Miller runs Desert Airport, an air mail base full of daring young pilots risking their lives to get the mail through-regardless of the weather. Following the death of one ...
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Level headed Mike Miller runs Desert Airport, an air mail base full of daring young pilots risking their lives to get the mail through-regardless of the weather. Following the death of one pilot in a horrific crash, Miller is forced to engage the wild and arrogant, yet skillful, Duke Talbot. When pilot Dizzy Wilkins crashes and dies in a storm, Talbot runs off with the young Mrs.Wilkins, leaving Miller to complete the last leg of Wilkins' mail run. Miller crashes on a mountain. Alive but in an inaccessible location, Miller tries to endure his injuries while futile attempts are made by air mail pilots to rescue him. Hearing of the impossibility of reaching Miller's crash site in time to save him, Talbot can't resist the challenge of trying an airborne rescue himself. Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At the time of the film's production, Universal built a special stage to film miniature scenes. A gantry was constructed above the stage so a model biplane could be 'flown' over a huge miniature set. The stage is still on the Universal lot and is numbered 27. The stage also contains a large water tank. At one time it was known as the John Fulton Stage since when the stage was built, Fulton was in charge of all visual effects for Universal. See more »
This is about a band of rugged air mail pilots who risk death to deliver the mail. It seems pretty silly nowadays, but I think people would have accepted the premise in 1931. Ralph Bellamy is excellent playing the heroic John Wayne style hero (Ford made 14 pictures with Wayne). He is a man of extraordinary courage and dedication and few words. Pat O'Brian is quite good as a hot shot, devil-may-care, egotistical flyer. Lacking any real villains, he plays the antagonist in the film. Slim Summerville gives a nice, comical sidekick performance. Besides them, Lilian Bond, as a faithless, bad girl, and Gloria Stuart (Titanic) as a faithful good girl are fun to watch.
The flying scenes are not as thrilling as they were in 1931, and it is not a masterpiece, but it is entertaining enough to hold your attention for the 84 minute running time.
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