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A veteran World War I fighter pilot returns home a war hero and immediately regains his former job as a railroad company detective. His first case: recover a stolen satchel filled with $25,000 of company payroll, locate a missing employee, and capture a gang of railroad thieves. Written by
The 15th Annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival, David Jeffers for SIFFblog.com
Saturday July 17, 2pm, The Castro, San Francisco
"Bad news travels fast."
A railroad agent disappears under suspicious circumstances and former detective, World War Aviator Billy Stokes (Lawrence Criner) is enlisted to solve the crime.
The paymaster for the M. N. and Q. Railroad and the $25,000 Eastern Division payroll he is carrying vanish from the Mayport station and the stationmaster is questioned. Rendered unconscious during the incident, the old man offers Billy only clues. A mysterious local flyer and rival for the affections of the stationmaster's daughter Ruth (Kathryn Boyd) clashes with Billy's investigation. Assisted on the ground by 'Peg' his mechanic, Billy apprehends the crooks as the film concludes with a mid-air rescue from a burning plane and a song.
The sixth of seven feature films produced by Florida based Norman Pictures, an independent black studio, The Flying Ace is an exciting, romantic and humorous (while somewhat old-fashioned) whodunnit that fulfilled the need of its segregated audience for quality entertainment.
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