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Central Airport (1933)

Unrated | | Drama | 15 April 1933 (USA)
Aviator Jim Blaine and his brother Neil are rivals not only as daredevil flyers, but also for the love of parachutist Jill Collins.


, (uncredited)


(screenplay), (story "Hawk's Mate") | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Jill Collins
Neil 'Bud' Blaine
Mr. Blaine
Eddie Hughes
Mrs. Blaine
Havana Airport Manager
Arthur Vinton ...
Amarillo Airport Manager
Man in Wreck (scenes deleted)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert W. Craig ...
Chef (scenes deleted)
Swarthy Man (scenes deleted)
Milton Kibbee ...
Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)


Commercial pilot Jim Blair is blackballed after his plane crashes in a thunderstorm. Depressed, he begins working as a bank teller until he meets beautiful Jill Collins, a barnstorming parachutist working with her daredevil pilot brother. Jim's immediately attracted, and when her brother's killed in a freak crash, he reveals his past to her and volunteers to replace her dead sibling in their air carnival act. As they tour throughout the Southwest, their affection turns physically intimate when they're on the road as they characteristically sleep in adjoining hotel rooms. Jill wants marriage but is resisted by Jim, who believes that his risky lifestyle precludes the luxury of a wife and family. When Jim's brother Bud joins them, he too is immediately attracted to Jill but respects his brother's relationship, However, after another freak accident puts Jim in the hospital for a prolonged convalescence, Jim returns to find them married and in bed together. Angry and bitter, he becomes a ... Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Desperately he courted death because he loved an unfaithful girl! See more »









Release Date:

15 April 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aeropuerto Central  »

Box Office


$356,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (dvd release)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to an interview with William Wellman, Jr. in the special features for the DVD of "The High and the Mighty," his father used John Wayne as a stuntman in this film. See more »


The title is Central Airport, yet the story does not revolve around any single airport, and there is no airport in the movie by that name. Only two airports are identified by name in the movie and both are called Grand Central Airport (one in English, one in Spanish). See more »


[last lines]
Havana Airport Manager: [as Jim flies off] there goes one of the greatest flyers that ever stepped behind the stick!
Neil 'Bud' Blaine: Yeah, and the greatest gut that ever lived!
See more »


Referenced in The Sid Saga Part 2 (1987) See more »


Music by Ishmael Aguilar Ramos
See more »

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User Reviews

Exciting Air/Sea Rescue
10 July 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Other than fans of John Wayne who want to see if they can spot the Duke in a film where he has no lines at all, the main reason to see Central Airport is a very exciting air/sea rescue sequence. Of course aviation fans will love seeing all the vintage planes, it seems like between them Richard Barthelmess and Tom Brown flew about everything there was circa 1933.

Barthelmess is a commercial pilots who makes a bad call in trying to fly through bad weather and cracks up. He loses his ticket, no airline will hire him, so he's reduced to scratching for a living in the aviation game. That matters not to his brother Tom Brown who worships Barthelmess.

Both of them become rivals for aviatrix Sally Eilers, but when Barthelmess says fliers shouldn't get married, she teams up with Brown.

Of course later on when one of the brothers cracks up at sea, the other flies to rescue him. That's the best part of the film, every bit as exciting as the landing of that much larger commercial plane at San Francisco International airport in William Wellman's The High and the Mighty.

In fact Central Airport is the trick answer to the trivia question what is the first film Wellman directed John Wayne in. Not either of the classic The High and the Mighty or Island in the Sky, or the less successful and non-aviation story Blood Alley. This one where Wayne is a co-pilot of one of the wrecks.

Central Airport is a routine soap opera made better than it is by the rescue scene. For fans of aviation films in general, William Wellman in particular and those who want to spot the Duke.

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