IMDb > Central Airport (1933)
Central Airport
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Central Airport (1933) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 35% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Rian James (screenplay)
Jack Moffitt (story) ...
View company contact information for Central Airport on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 April 1933 (USA) See more »
A Man's Courage and a Woman's Faith Put to the Supreme Test See more »
Aviator Jim Blaine and his brother Neil are rivals not only as daredevil flyers, but also for the love of parachutist Jill Collins. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Daring precode in the political as well as sexual category See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Richard Barthelmess ... James 'Jim' Blaine

Sally Eilers ... Jill Collins

Tom Brown ... Neil 'Bud' Blaine

Grant Mitchell ... Mr. Blaine

James Murray ... Eddie Hughes

Claire McDowell ... Mrs. Blaine

Willard Robertson ... Havana Airport Manager
Arthur Vinton ... Amarillo Airport Manager

Charles Sellon ... Man in Wreck (scenes deleted)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert W. Craig ... Chef (scenes deleted)

Harold Huber ... Swarthy Man (scenes deleted)
Milton Kibbee ... Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)

Irving Bacon ... Amarillo Weatherman (uncredited)

Louise Beavers ... Hotel Maid (uncredited)

Harry C. Bradley ... Doctor (uncredited)
James Bush ... Amarillo Pilot (uncredited)
Harry Depp ... Hotel Telephone Operator (uncredited)
James Donlan ... Havana Driver (uncredited)

Lester Dorr ... Hotel Desk Clerk #3 (uncredited)

Dick Elliott ... Man Looking for Driver (uncredited)

James Ellison ... Amarillo Pilot Crossing Fingers (uncredited)
Betty Jane Graham ... Little Girl in Wreck (uncredited)
Harrison Greene ... Pomona Air Circus Announcer (uncredited)

Charles Lane ... Amarillo Radio Operator (uncredited)
Chris-Pin Martin ... Havana Air Port worker (uncredited)
Sam McDaniel ... Train Porter (uncredited)
Frances Miles ... Mother of Little Girl in Wreck (uncredited)
John 'Skins' Miller ... Hotel Desk Clerk #2 (uncredited)

Walter Miller ... Havana Airfield Official (uncredited)

Bert Moorhouse ... Havana Pilot (uncredited)

J. Carrol Naish ... Drunk in Wreck (uncredited)
Theodore Newton ... Radio Operator (uncredited)

Bradley Page ... Scotty Armstrong (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Chef (uncredited)
Jed Prouty ... Hotel Desk Clerk #1 (uncredited)

George Regas ... Havana Mechanic (uncredited)
Harry Semels ... Havana Airfield Worker (uncredited)

Harry Strang ... Havana Pilot (uncredited)
Phil Tead ... Duke, Airplane Ticket Agent (uncredited)

Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ... El Paso Craps Shooter (uncredited)

John Vosper ... Man in Wreck (uncredited)
Lucille Ward ... Waitress (uncredited)

John Wayne ... Co-Pilot in Wreck (uncredited)
Charles Williams ... El Paso Hotel Desk Clerk (uncredited)

Toby Wing ... Air Show Observer (uncredited)
Jack Wise ... Amarillo Airport Clerk (uncredited)

Directed by
William A. Wellman 
Alfred E. Green (uncredited)
Writing credits
Rian James  screenplay &
Jack Moffitt  story "Hawk's Mate" &
James Seymour  screenplay

Produced by
Hal B. Wallis .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Howard Jackson (uncredited)
Bernhard Kaun (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Sidney Hickox  (as Sid Hickox)
Film Editing by
James B. Morley  (as James Morley)
Art Direction by
Jack Okey 
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dolph Zimmer .... assistant director (uncredited)
Paul Mantz .... stunt pilot (uncredited)
Frances Miles .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Mary Wiggins .... stunt performer: parachute jumps (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Elmer Dyer .... aerial camera operator (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
Cliff Hess .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Fred Jackman .... technical effects
Crew verified as complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
72 min | USA:76 min (dvd release)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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 »
Revealing mistakes: When Neil and Jill are inside the passenger plane talking to the friend who had seen Neil's brother Jim, the view out the window beside Jill shows the plane at first parked (as the pilot excuses himself and moves up the aisle between them to take the controls), then begins moving on the ground and picking up speed and taking off. But the entire time, the sound of an idling engine is heard very loudly in the background. The engine sound should have changed to a high-rev sound for takeoff.See more »
Jill Collins:[Referring to song on the jukebox] Remember that song? The birds do it... the bees do it...
James 'Jim' Blaine:[Cynically] Yeah, and ducks do it, but who wants to be a duck?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Sid Saga Part 2 (1987)See more »
You're Getting to Be a Habit With MeSee more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Daring precode in the political as well as sexual category, 10 April 2010
Author: calvinnme from United States

Richard Barthelmess plays Jim Blaine, an airplane pilot with over 4500 hours in the air when his plane crashes and he is unfairly held at fault for the incident. After he recovers from his injuries, he returns home where he finds his brother Neil (Tom Brown) has also gotten the flying bug. Jim voluntarily gives up flying knowing that no company will hire him after he has been branded as he has been. Later, working as a teller, he encounters stunt flyer Jill Collins (Sally Eilers) after her parachute lands her in a tree. Shortly thereafter her partner and brother is killed in a crash, and Jim asks for the job of piloting her plane in the air circus. She gives him that chance and soon sparks are flying between the two both in the air and on the ground. However, there is one problem. Jim has seen enough death in the air to dissuade him from the responsibility of a family given that he might not be around to support them. This is an opinion he voices often much to the disappointment of Jill. After an accident at the air circus that lays Jim up in the hospital for over a month, brother Neil offers to take over for Jim in the air circus. While recuperating, Jim has a change of heart and catches up to the air circus with a proposal ready for Jill. However, the dynamics between the three - Jill, Neil, and Jim - shift mightily when Jim surprises his brother and Jill and finds them snuggling close together - in bed.

Not only is this film daring sexually, it is still quite interesting and exciting today, especially the aerial sequences. Since director William Wellman was a flyer himself, this does not surprise me. What does surprise me is that Richard Barthelmess just never seemed to score a hit with 30's audiences in spite of some strong performances in some very good pictures of which this is one. Someone has already mentioned the other pre-code element of this film, but it's worth mentioning again particularly considering the red scares of the time. Late in the film Jim jumps into his plane which bears the marking of his mercenary wanderings as a pilot. The plane has several flags on it which I didn't recognize, but it had one symbol that is universally recognizable even today - the hammer and sickle. It is mentioned earlier in the film that Jim had been flying for a faction in a civil war in China, so apparently Jim was working for the Communist Chinese, who were fighting on the mainland as early as the 1920's. To me this was a daring piece of symbolism even for the pre-code early 30's. Highly recommended if you like good action films and precode cinema.

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