4 user 1 critic

The Flaming Signal (1933)

Passed | | Action, Drama | 25 July 1933 (USA)
A pilot and his dog crash-land on an island run by a psycho who owns a motel--and most of the locals.


(co-director), (co-director) (as C. Edward Roberts)


(story), (screenplay) (as C. Edward Roberts) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview:
... Flash (as Flash)
John David Horsley ... Lt. Jim Robbins (as John Horsley)
... Molly James
... Otto Von Krantz
... Rev. Mr. James
... Molly
... Manu--High Priest
Francisco Alonso ... Taku
Jane'e Olmes ... Rari
Anya Gramina ... French Girl


Army flyer Lt. James Robbins plans to fly his famous endurance plane - "The Spirit of '76" - from Los Angeles to Hawaii, and though his dog Flash always accompanies him on his flights, the need for each gallon of gas is so much that he has to - he thinks - leave Flash behind. Flying through a night-long storm, Jim realizes he is off course, just as a fire starts in the fuselage of the plane. Flash comes out of his hiding place and warns his master. Jim puts his parachute on Flash who - trust me - is a trained jumper and Jim crash-lands the plane in the ocean where he is rescued by Flash. They make their way to a strange island, known as Tabu, which is divided between Sally James and her missionary father on one side with Von Krantz, a bestial trader who operates the only store and trading post (which in no way resembles the above-reported motel), and his woman Molly who, as they were wont to say in those days, had known better times. Von Krantz plays his trade by cheating the natives ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama






Release Date:

25 July 1933 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Chicago Saturday 26 February 1949 on WGN (Channel 9). See more »


At the end of the film, a rescue aircraft arrives. The stock footage used first shows a floatplane with twin floats landing. It next shows a floatplane with a large central float and two small outrigger floats taxiing on the water. The final shot shows a twin-float aircraft flying off. See more »


Edited into Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

How could you make a movie with this many interesting story elements this boring?!
26 March 2014 | by See all my reviews

"The Flaming Signal" is an awfully bad film made on a shoestring budget by a tiny studio. In order to save money, they used an awful lot of stock footage and blending it in with the scenes they actually shot was far from seamless.

The film begins with Lt. Jim Robbins flying about setting all sorts of flying records. And, on most of these trips, his doggy Flash (played by Flash) accompanies him. On one particular occasion, he tries to leave his beloved pooch behind, but Flash, like other German Shepard heroes of the era, KNOWS he's needed and sneaks aboard the plane. Soon, the plane crashes near a tropical island that just happens to have a sexy naked WHITE lady--and Flash soon finds her. During this scene, the audience is treated to a lot of skin since this is a Pre-Code movie--and pretty much anything went during this era! Additionally, a Bluto-like character named Von Krantz (Noah Beery) rapes a girl and the islanders go on the warpath. Unfortunately, the pilot, his dog, the missionary and the missionary's daughter (the one who was naked) are all about to be killed because of this idiot. So what do they do? Pretty much nothing! Even when Von Krantz then murders an islander, the other white folks do nothing to stop or kill him. Later, when he kills the priest again (it's not worth getting into that), there is a big fight in which one of the worst old movie clichés occurs--the bad guy drops his gun by the lady's feet and she just stands there watching the fight! Hello, stupid...pick up the gun and shoot the crazed killer and sex pervert!! And since she doesn't have the guts, the ever faithful Flame crushes the guy's throat. But does that please the villagers? Nah...they just love to hold grudges--so it's up to Flame to murder another one. The probably rabid doggy then falls about 100-200 feet while killing the next one but he is fine--just a sprained paw!! He probably would have killed more, but a plane soon lands and the surviving white folks beat a hasty retreat along with their demented dog.

This is a profoundly silly film with bad acting, horrible script-writing (if there even was a script) and sloppy production values. However, it IS funny...unintentionally so, but it does at times make you laugh because the film is so incompetently made--hence instead of a 1, I score this one a 2.

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