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Flying Devils

(1933 b 62')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A flying circus develops a love triangle when a younger brother joins the flyers.

Speed Hardy and His Flying Circus is performing in Wichita. Screwy (Cliff Edwards) has women from all over sign his suit and gets one to give him a stocking for good luck. Three planes perform loops. Ann Hardy (Arline Judge) walks on the wing and parachutes. Screwy drinks and almost crashes. Ann makes him start wearing a parachute. Ace (Bruce Cabot) greets his younger brother Bud (Eric Linden). Bud has been going to law school but wants to fly with them. He takes Ace up in his plane; but when the wing is falling off, they have to bail out together with one parachute. Although Ace discourages him, Bud joins the act. Speed (Ralph Bellamy) suggests he do the single parachute jump in the arms of his wife Ann. Screwy tells women war stories, and Ace complains they got run out of the mail service because of running booze for Speed. Ann treats Bud's injured shoulder, and Speed is jealous. Speed warns Bud about Ann. Ace tells Bud they're leaving; but he changes his mind when Bud refuses to go. Ann washes clothes while Bud sings to her. Screwy is drunk and kisses "jail bait."

Bud doesn't think Speed loves Ann and is going to leave. To get away from the fog Ann and Bud go up in a plane. They run out of fuel and crash land, wrecking a wheel. They walk in the woods and find an empty house. Bud makes a fire and tells Ann he loves her. She asks him not to leave her, and they stay the night there. In the morning Ace and Speed find them. Bud tells Speed that he and Ann want to get married. Speed asks about Ann and agrees to get a divorce. He plans a head-on stunt with Bud; but drunk Screwy sees him cutting Bud's parachute. Ace gives Ann a letter from an airline for Bud. Screwy tells Ann that Speed cut the parachute, and Ann tells Ace to stop them. Ace goes up and signals Bud. Speed chases Bud; but Ace crashes into Speed, and both planes burn. Ann tells Bud how Ace got him a job with an airline. In the final scene Bud and Screwy are flying for the airline; Screwy is seeing women, and Bud is greeted by his wife Ann.

The danger of barnstorming adds to the drama of this love triangle. Speed's jealousy destroys two lives, as Ace sacrifices himself for his brother. In this story Screwy's alcoholism and woman-chasing is not as deadly as Speed's violent jealousy.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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