Fourteen-year-old Tessa is hopelessly in love with handsome composer Lewis Dodd, a family friend. Lewis adores Tessa, but has never shown any romantic feelings toward her. When Tessa's ... See full summary »
Famous motor-racing champion Joe Greer returns to his hometown to compete in a local race. He discovers his younger brother has aspirations to become a racing champion and during the race ... See full summary »
Two friends return home after their discharge from the army after the Civil War. However, one of them has had deep-rooted psychological damage due to his experiences during the war, and as ... See full summary »
Arnold Boult is determined to make his son a success at all costs. He commits arson, causes two suicides, and bribes people. His wife, unable to leave him, becomes alcoholic and dies. His ... See full summary »
Chris Hunter kills an intruder and tells her husband and lawyer it was an act of self-defense. It's later revealed that he was actually her lover and she had posed for an incriminating ... See full summary »
During the war off Nova Scotia a fishing boat comes across a badly damaged Danish schooner with only the captain aboard after it has apparently been shelled by a German U-boat. Not ... See full summary »
Andy is going to Wainwright College as did his father. He sees a pretty blonde on the train and he is alternately winked at or slapped every time he sees her. Andy is clueless. On the train... See full summary »
textbook example of efficient, exciting b-movie programmer
The b-level programmers of Columbia Pictures during the 1930's are often quite exciting and well-paced. The studio's assembly line produced audience-satisfying product quickly and inexpensively. And, in this case, with a director like Albert Rogell, veteran of dozens of fine b-westerns in the silent era and who would continue working in bread-and-butter product through the 1950's, AIR HOSTESS (not the most exciting title!) has all the elements of a textbook example of the exciting, efficient b-movie. Daring stunt flier James Murray (of King Vidor's THE CROWD, who would die a few years later due to alcohol) sees his friend and mentor get killed during WWI and helps watch over the friend's young daughter over the years. The film soon switches to the early 30s, where the daughter (played by the perky Evalyn Knapp, perhaps best-known today for starring with John Wayne in the long-time public domain, dollar-rack favorite HIS PRIVATE SECRETARY in 1933) is a grown up airline hostess and Murray is a pilot who is still a daredevil but also an inventor of aviation technology looking for an investor to help see his plans to fruition. Needless to say, they fall in love, a number of problems arise, Thelma Todd appears (looking especially regal!!!!) as "the other woman", and the film ends up with an amazing train-plane sequence. Knapp is quite appealing (although a few flubbed lines are left in, reminding us that Columbia was NOT a major studio in 1932!), and James Murray shows the charisma that made him a star in THE CROWD. He has a brash quality, and had he lived, he surely could have made a career of playing wisecracking newspaper reporters and leads in b-action films. Interestingly, his character is drunk in about 1/3 of the film--one wonders if that was written into the film to capitalize on the bad publicity Murray had received for his drinking problems, or if he actually was drunk on the set and the writers quickly decided to play along with it (I'm betting the former). In any event, he is quite impressive and this is a major role for him, though the movie was undoubtedly a bottom-of-the-bill product that vanished quickly from theaters. In less than 65 minutes, we laugh, we cry (the scene where the WWI flier has his daughter's letter read to him is a real tearjerker), we feel for the characters, we cheer them on, we worry about them, and we are brought to the edge of our seats in a nail-biting climax. What today's directors could learn from a film like this and a director such as Albert Rogell. Also, it's not every film that's set in Albuquerque (at least half of it is!). Finally, those who collect films with spanking scenes can put this one on their lists, although it's a brief one. Highly recommended to lovers of classic fast-moving early 30's b-movies.
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