7.8/10
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25 user 7 critic

The Last Flight (1931)

Passed | | Drama | 29 August 1931 (USA)
World War 1 veterans roam Paris drinking and admiring a woman they recently met.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

John Monk Saunders (novel), John Monk Saunders (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Barthelmess ... Cary Lockwood
David Manners ... Shep Lambert
Johnny Mack Brown ... Bill Talbot (as John Mack Brown)
Helen Chandler ... Nikki
Elliott Nugent ... Francis (as Elliot Nugent)
Walter Byron ... Frink
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Storyline

Cary, Shep, Bill, and Francis are pilots who have just, and only just, survived the First World War. They linger in Europe in the aftermath, drinking and ostensibly having fun, but pessimistic and flip about their futures, as each feels himself somehow lost and dead inside as a result of the horrors he's experienced. They encounter a beautiful and vivacious girl, Nikki, and adopt her, not romantically but as a sort of mascot and light around which they can hover in hopes of regaining a sense of warmth and life. Nikki does her best to reinvigorate her new friends, but despite the seeming lightheartedness of their escapades, the shadow of the war can never be dispelled. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

29 August 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Single Lady See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On 21 October 1931 (after the film's release) a musical adaptation called "Nikki," by John Monk Saunders, opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA, and had 39 performances. The opening night cast included Fay Wray as Nikki, Cary Grant as Cary Lockwood and Douglass Montgomery as Shep Lambert. See more »

Goofs

Shadow of the camera as it dollies back over the tombs of Abelard and Eloise. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Only Angels Have Wings (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Valse Brune
(uncredited)
Music by Georges Krier
Lyrics by Georges Villard
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best forgotten film of the 30's
28 March 2004 | by joeym42887See all my reviews

Richard Barthelmess, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Elliott Nugent, and John Mack Brown star in this excellent psychological war drama directed by William Dieterle about a handful of WWI veterans who do nothing but drink booze and run around Paris with flapper, Nikki (Chandler, in an elegant and moving performance).

What makes this film so special is that it's mood of despair of hopelessness has held up very well over all these years. Plus, the movie's bleak atmosphere and subject matter helps. Sometimes the performances (David Manners) and dialogue comes off as a little dated, but that is to be expected from a movie this old. It is very easy to overlook; and that is really the only bad thing about the movie.

It's a shame that this movie isn't released on DVD or even VHS (thank goodness for TCM). It's a real forgotten gem of early 1930's cinema that hopefully won't remain forgotten for long.

**** out of ****


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