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Cock of the Air (1932)

An opera diva sets her sights on a womanizing army officer.


Tom Buckingham


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Cast overview:
Chester Morris ... Lt. Roger Craig
Billie Dove ... Lilli de Rosseau
Matt Moore ... Terry
Walter Catlett ... Col. Wallace
Luis Alberni ... Capt. Tonnino
Kathryn Sergava ... Italian Girl #1 (as Katya Sergeiva)
Yola d'Avril ... Italian Girl #2
Vivien Oakland ... Irate Woman in Restaurant
Emile Chautard ... French Ambassador
Ethel Kenyon Ethel Kenyon ... Lilli's Companion (as Ethel Sutherland)
Peggy Watts Peggy Watts ... Lilli's Maid


An opera diva sets her sights on a womanizing army officer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

23 January 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ask Melikesi See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Caddo Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (re-release)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was heavily censored upon release, with over 12 minutes of scenes removed from the print (some lasting mere seconds, others lasting several minutes). In 2007 the University of Las Vegas (NV) received an original uncut print from the Howard Hughes estate. However, while picture elements were complete, the soundtrack was missing, likely lost forever. In 2016 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences premiered a restored version. Using the soundtrack from the censored version and the original script (also included in the Hughes estate donation), contemporary actors dubbed the missing dialogue. New sound effects and music were also recorded. While it is unknown how close the 2016 soundtrack matches the original release, it has allowed contemporary audiences a chance to watch the film the way the filmmakers likely intended. See more »


Referenced in Howard Hughes: The Man and the Madness (1999) See more »


You Would If You Could
Lyrics by David Silverstein and Bernie Grossman
Music by Alfred Newman
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User Reviews

2 November 2016 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

I just came from the Museum of Modern Art in which this movie was shown in its original, uncensored form -- almost. When they went to reinsert the censored sections, the restoration team found the sound track was missing -- so they rerecorded it. They did a good job of it, since the only way I noticed the reinterpolation was that a little icon appeared in the lower right corner of the screen. Image quality was great, and they made the soundtrack indistinguishable from the rest, adding a low-level white noise that mimicked the standards of the era.

The opening was also fine, with a bunch of elderly diplomats asking Billie Dove to get out of town; it seems that all the Allied officers are hanging around her instead of leading their soldiers to glorious death in the field. When we next see Miss Dove, she is in Venice during Carnival, and that sequence is beautifully shot with a gorgeous moving camera that makes you think it is traveling throughout the Serene City. There she meets Chester Morris....

...And there the movie falls to pieces. With Robert E. Sherwood and Charles Lederer as the writers, I went in expecting some great Pre-Code dialogue. Unfortunately, what we got was dialogue offered uninterestingly amidst a story line that veered between scenes lifted, for no reason, from other movies, like an aerial sequence, and plot points that were both predictable and uninterestingly presented.

While the money spent on this movie shows at all time on the screen, from the high-ceiling conference room to the magnificent garden of Miss Dove's palazzo, after the wonderful opening, this one turns into dull mediocrity.

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