In World War I, pilot Bob King is shot and killed in France. His friends Ted "Lucky" Hunter (James Murray) and Pa Kearns (J.M. Kerrigan) pledge to look after his daughter, Kitty (Evalyn ...
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In World War I, pilot Bob King is shot and killed in France. His friends Ted "Lucky" Hunter (James Murray) and Pa Kearns (J.M. Kerrigan) pledge to look after his daughter, Kitty (Evalyn Knapp).[Note 3] Years later, after the war, Kearns, now blind, works at an airport as an engine expert while Kitty is a TWA stewardess. Her father's friends still look after her as meddling chaperones. A grandstanding Ted flies over the airport, meeting Kitty who is enamored with him. After a night on the town, he flies her back to the airport, but is met by angry mechanics and pilot Dick Miller (Arthur Pierson), who is in love with Kitty and ends up in a fight. Ted soon announces his marriage to Kitty and forces her to quit her job. Dick gets her her job back when Ted is unable to make a living. Rich, three-time divorcee Sylvia Carleton (Thelma Todd) offers Ted a chance to build a radical new aircraft that can fly across the Pacific. A tête-à-tête between Ted and Sylvia in Albuquerque turns into a ...
Aside from supporting performances by Thelma Todd and Jane Darwell, very few today will recognize the actors in this B-film from Columbia Studios. Likewise, it seems to be the sort of old fashioned film that few would watch today. However, me being an airplane buff and B-movie fanatic, it's a natural I'd see this film.
Although the film begins in WWI, it soon switches to the present (1933) and features folks working with the early airlines. I loved seeing all the great old planes, such as the Ford Tri-Motor, as this is a period in aviation history that it almost forgotten today.
Cute Evalyn Knapp stars as the daughter of one of the pilots killed in the prologue. Now a decade and a half later, she's working as an air hostess (flight attendant) for one of these airlines founded by pals of the dead pilot. The men have sort of adopted Knapp--keeping an eye out for her and protecting her at every turn. Eventually, a bad boy (James Murray) turns up and Knapp marries him--mostly to spite her protectors. The new couple struggle to make ends meet and Evalyn is forced to return to her job as an air hostess. Unfortunately, Murray ends up spending much of the marriage feeling sorry for himself because he is having trouble making a go of his new business idea as well as falling under the influence of the evil vamp (Thelma Todd). Will the marriage last through these strains or will Murray and Todd hurt poor little Knapp? See this one for yourself to find out what happens next.
Overall, this isn't a terribly great film. The plot is awfully familiar and there's not much to make it stand out--unless, as I said above, you are an aviation nut (like me). Not bad, but not especially noteworthy--that is until the dopey ending. In a very contrived twist, the two men who love Knapp have to work together to save her life--she's on a train bound for a bridge that has just washed out and there isn't a second to lose!!! This ending loses a point from the overall score.
By the way, at the beginning of the film you see some footage of WWI air combat. I am not sure which, but the film clips were lifted from either "Hell's Angels" or "Wings" (I am inclined to think "Hells Angels"). I recognized these clips--particularly the scene with the pilot bleeding from the mouth. If anyone can figure out which of the films it was from, drop me a line.
Note--About halfway through the film, Murray gives Knapp a playful little smack on the rump. Such goings on could not have occurred in this film had it come out a year later--after the toughened Production Code was enacted.
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