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Absolute Quiet

(1936 b 70')

En: 5 Ed: 5

A governor, a reporter, and actors are detained by two murderers at his adversary's ranch after a plane crash.

Gerald Axton (Lionel Atwill) arranged a screen test for Zelda Tadema (Ann Loring) and asks movie star Gregory Bengard (Louis Hayward) to help her, sending them on a plane. When he learns the governor rejected his bill, Axton collapses. His doctor tells him he needs absolute quiet, and he flies with Laura Tait (Irene Hervey) to his ranch. Axton sends Pedro to town in the only car to get a cook.

On a plane reporter Chubby Rudd (Stuart Erwin) asks Governor Pruden (Raymond Walburn) about his rift with Axton. Laura's husband Barney Tait (Harvey Stephens) takes off while drinking in bad weather. Radio reports that convicted murderers Jack (Wallace Ford) and Judy (Bernadene Hayes) escaped. The plane with the governor has to land at Axton's ranch. Jack and Judy arrive there with guns looking for a better car. They won't let Axton turn on the lights so the plane can land. Jack knocks out Axton. The plane crash-lands in the dark, and both pilots die. The Governor pushes his way out first, and they go in the house. Laura takes Zelda to her room. The Governor meets his nemesis Axton, and Rudd learns the phone is cut. Movie star Bengard realizes his face is injured. Rudd fixes the wire and reports his story on the phone. Bengard hits the Governor's secretary Jasper Cowdray (Robert Gleckler). The Governor tells Cowdray to keep Axton quiet. Judy asks Jack to play the piano. Axton tells Judy that the Governor has power over the prisons. Rudd offers Bengard publicity, but he rejects it.

News of Jack and Judy comes on the radio, and Jack changes the channel; but they pull their guns. Axton tells the Governor to pardon them. Jack keeps Rudd from talking to his newspaper. A call reports that Barney Tait is coming there. The Governor signs a blanket pardon, and Jack and Judy plan to go back into show business. Axton tells Zelda to give up acting, and he informs Bengard that Jack and Judy were responsible for the crash. Bengard goes outside and finds a gun. Cowdray invents a story to make the Governor look good and to explain the pardon. Axton says he'll deny it and says they should make Jack and Judy heroes. The Governor refuses. Bengard comes in and shoots Jack and Judy several times, and they die. Rudd tries to call in the story, but Cowdray rips out the wire. Barney lands his plane and is greeted by Laura. The Governor says he'll never be the same.

Ex-Vaudevilleans turning to crime symbolizes the change in entertainment to violent melodrama such as this one during the Depression. Politicians and actors are also revealed with their shortcomings.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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