Review of Flight

Flight (1929)
Wrong Way To Nicaragua
15 December 2009
Frank Capra made three films with the same two actors, Jack Holt and Ralph Graves, probably in an effort to establish the male buddy film. It would take James Cagney and Pat O'Brien to get that genre off the ground. Flight is the second of those three Graves/Holt films and the first one in sound.

It also has the same kind of roughhouse humor that would characterize the work of John Ford. In fact if you didn't know this was an early Capra film, you'd swear Ford did it.

Flight is certainly a film from the headlines of the day. It begins with college football hero Ralph Graves making a spectacular run in the Rose Bowl, the wrong way. Capra made no secret of it, he was at the Rose Bowl that year with Harry Cohn and saw Roy Rieggles playing for USC get turned around in eluding tacklers and made a spectacular run the wrong way and scored the margin of victory for Georgia Tech. The poor man never lived it down.

In fact Graves decides the Marine Corps is the place for blessed anonymity and he gets involved with aviation under the tutelage of Jack Holt. But the two of them have a falling out over nurse Lila Lees. Later on they see action in Nicaragua where the USA was maintaining a presence in hunting down those original Sandinistas.

The Marine aviators rescue a company of Marines in a Dienbienphu like situation with the Sandinistas. The battle scenes were very well staged.

Flight is not a typical Frank Capra film because Frank Capra had not found his style and type of story. Still it's a well made action film for the time.
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