Classic movie site with rare images, original ads, and behind-the-scenes photos, with informative and insightful commentary. We like to have fun with movies!
Archive and Links
grbrpix@aol.com
Search Index Here




Friday, June 21, 2019

Precode's Speed Breed


Central Airport (1933) Dares Death In The Sky

Speed was not just a preference in a first third of the 20th century --- it was a religion. Everyone wanted to get there faster because now they knew they could. Locomotives once belching steam kettles sleeked into silver bullets with names like "Super Chief," and you were just nobody till you went up in a plane. Central Airport, the title a misnomer because no one airport is central or singular site of action, has a first reel contest between a speeding train and overhead plane buzzing it. No one sees risk; there's just exhilaration for living at a time where no spot seemed distant anymore. When getting there fast seemed everyone's goal, I wonder how dangerous roads became by the 20's and 30's, far fewer of them paved then, let alone blessed with multiple lanes for travel. Speed-crazy Richard Barthelmess and kid brother Tom Brown make the case for damn-the-danger in sky-larking, their multiple crack-ups to be expected and even relished toward conquest of the sky.




Central Airport was directed by William Wellman, who had real-life thumbed nose at doom and knew what fun was had in danger. I wonder how many barnstormers got start for watching Wellman movies. Parents should have kept offspring away from these instead of worrying about sex content of precode, although Central Airport has plenty of that too. The film was sold as The Crowd Roars of the air, latter from Howard Hawks having come out the previous season, and virtually remade here. How many screen families split over junior brother following his elder into hazardous enterprise? (before, and later, it would be war service) A Barthelmess, Cagney, Richard Dix, many others, were poor collective influence from a mother's standpoint. Trouble was, fast cars, trains, even airborne jennys (called the Model T of planes during the 20's) were easily got at by whoever of a public cared to fly, even in rural spots to which itinerant aviators came and gave lessons. Central Airport was merely one of devils crooking a finger at youth to come take the stick and stare fate down. Thanks to relentless lure like this, we'd not lack for personnel to conquer the air, then wipe it clear of enemies who'd attack from above.

2 Comments:

Blogger DBenson said...

Find myself recalling the serial version of "Tailspin Tommy". Tommy was a plausible small-town boy who has an extraordinarily ordinary life for a serial hero. He's an aviation buff who lives with his nice parents, lands a job as a pilot with a small airline (mainly shuttling items around in biplanes), and socializes with a nice aviatrix (who works as a waitress at the airfield diner. Nobody questions why she doesn't seek a pilot job herself). It's an agreeable cliffhanger, reveling in the airfield atmosphere. A few times they seem to forget about the villains at a rival airline entirely.

There are perils and plummets, including some big stuff culled from features (a Hollywood sidetrip justifies WWI dogfights, and an impressive earthquake comes out of nowhere). There's also a mad scientist who's in and out in one episode. But it's all presented as eminently do-able, and survivable, for a teenager just out of school. He doesn't need to be an orphan, a scientist's nephew, or a tagalong on an expedition. He builds a simple flight trainer in the garage and lucks into a small outfit willing to give him a break. "Central Airport" may have inspired daydreams, but I wonder if "Tailspin Tommy" inspired more kids to take actual steps.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Reg Hartt said...

https://ok.ru/video/537947015920

7:17 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

grbrpix@aol.com
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • January 2012
  • February 2012
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • July 2012
  • August 2012
  • September 2012
  • October 2012
  • November 2012
  • December 2012
  • January 2013
  • February 2013
  • March 2013
  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013
  • January 2014
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • May 2014
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2014
  • September 2014
  • October 2014
  • November 2014
  • December 2014
  • January 2015
  • February 2015
  • March 2015
  • April 2015
  • May 2015
  • June 2015
  • July 2015
  • August 2015
  • September 2015
  • October 2015
  • November 2015
  • December 2015
  • January 2016
  • February 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016
  • June 2016
  • July 2016
  • August 2016
  • September 2016
  • October 2016
  • November 2016
  • December 2016
  • January 2017
  • February 2017
  • March 2017
  • April 2017
  • May 2017
  • June 2017
  • July 2017
  • August 2017
  • September 2017
  • October 2017
  • November 2017
  • December 2017
  • January 2018
  • February 2018
  • March 2018
  • April 2018
  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • January 2019
  • February 2019
  • March 2019
  • April 2019
  • May 2019
  • June 2019
  • July 2019
  • August 2019
  • September 2019
  • October 2019
  • November 2019
  • December 2019
  • January 2020
  • February 2020