“Crimson Romance” - World War One Airplane Fighting Adventure
released on October 12, 1934
running time 58 minutes
The Actors: Ben Lyon (Bob Wilson), Sari Maritza (Alida Hoffman), Erich von Stroheim (Captain Wolters), James Bush (Fred von Bergen), William Bakewell (Adolph), Hardie Albright (Hugo), Herman Bing (Himmelbaum), Bodil Rosing (Mama von Bergen), Vince Barnett (the courier), Arthur Clayton (Baron von Eisenlohr), Oscar Apfel (John Fleming), Purnell Pratt (Franklyn Pierce), Jason Robards Sr. (Pierre), Wilhelm von Brincken (Von Gering), Brandon Hurst (English Officer), Crauford Kent (English Officer), Jameson Thomas (English Officer), Eric Arnold (Von Muller), Harry Schultz (drill sergeant), Frederick Vogeding (German Colonel)
Greater Love Hath No Man . . .
Bob Wilson and Fred von Bergen have been best friends since they were very young. Today they are test pilots for the first airplanes in 1916, flying high were men have never been before. Airplanes are still very new and experimental, and the design and structure of planes is not yet anywhere near perfect, or even acceptable.
Bob and Fred fly the first planes out of the factory, and when they crash, adjustments are made to the next plane to make it stronger, lighter, faster and safer. Bob and Fred grew up together and now they fly together, and if providence wishes, they will die together. But suddenly something happens that threatens their friendship. Fred is of German ancestry, and Germany is beginning to fight in what will be called World War One, and although the U.S. is still neutral in this skirmish, our hearts are with the British, who are already battling the Germans.
Since Fred has a German last name, he is fired from his test pilot job, and when he is fired, his best friend Bob quits . . . He will stick with his best friend Fred through thick and thin. The two best friends cannot find work anywhere because no one will hire them when they discover Fred’s German last name. So Fred decides to return to the land of his grandparents and fly for the Germans . . . Breaking up his life-long friendship with Bob.
When Fred boards the train for New York to catch a ship to Germany he is a bit saddened that Bob didn’t come to the station to see him off, but once on the train discovers that Bob has decided to go with Fred and fly together with him, even if it is for the Germans. Friendship is thicker than politics for these two boys. When they get to Germany they meet a beautiful young girl who is an ambulance driver, and Fred falls madly in love with her, but Bob wants to add her to his little black book of conquests. This girl may do what warring nations could not do . . . Split up a beautiful friendship.
But as that is happening, something even bigger sticks its ugly head into the picture to break the best friend’s loyalty to each other. America has entered the war and Bob must make a decision . . . He must either fly and shoot down American planes, or quit the war . . . And face German court martial and death for deserting the German air force. Ahhh . . . . What choices we must sometimes make . . . . . Choices that are a disaster no matter which path we take. . . . Choices that war between nations often brings . . . . Today men will fight . . . . Tomorrow women will weep. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
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