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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 Norman Studio complex - where a number of early black cast silent films were produced - still stands in Jacksonville, Florida. The property is located at 6337 Arlington Road and is in the process of renovation and transformation into a silent film museum. See more »
Capt. Billy Stokes (Laurence Criner) is a war hero and when he returns home he goes back to his detective job for the railroad. It's just in time because $25,000 in payroll has been stolen so he must try and figure out what happened even though it seems like it might have been an old man behind the crime.
THE FLYING ACE comes from the Normal Film Manufacturing Company and is an all black cast melodrama. Clocking in at just 65-minutes the film is certainly worth watching as an early example of a race film but there's no question that there are a few flaws to be found here. The biggest flaw is the fact that there are a few too many characters here and I can't help but eliminating one or two probably would have been beneficial to the film.
As far as the mystery itself goes, this here is actually pretty good and I thought director Richard E. Norman did a pretty good job keeping you interested in what's going on in regards to the story. The lead character is a very strong one as he's a war hero and I thought Criner did a very good job in the role. Kathryn Boyd plays the daughter to the man (George Colvin) accused of the crime. Boise De Legge also offers up a nice supporting performance.
THE FLYING ACE is certainly rather routine in ways and there's no question that it's not a masterpiece or even a very good film. With that said, considering the budget it was probably working with the film is certainly entertaining enough to make it worth watching.
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