Sky Patrol (September 12, 1939)
Released on September 12, 1939: (running time 59 minutes) The adventures of the first flying border patrol pilots as they chase smugglers and kidnappers.
Produced by Paul Malvern
Directed by Howard Bretherton
Written by Hal Forrest , George Waggner and Norton S. Parker
The Actors: John Trent (Tailspin Tommy Tomkins), Marjorie Reynolds (Betty Lou Barnes), Milburn Stone (Skeeter Milligan), Jackie Coogan (Carter Meade), Jason Robards Sr. (Paul Smith), Bryant Washington (Bainbridge), Boyd Irwin (Colonel Meade), LeRoy Mason (Mitch), Hans Joby (Jackson), John Daheim (Ryan), Dickie Jones (Bobby Landis), Dick Dickinson (thug), Kit Guard (Pat, thug shot by Tommy)
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The Pilot who Couldn’t Shoot, and Pilot who Couldn’t Swim
If you are an old fogey like me, you might remember television from the 1960’s and 1970’s. In the first scene of this airplane adventure we will meet a young man who is training to become a pilot in the Sky Patrol, a military unit tasked with patrolling our borders in search of smugglers. If he looks a tiny bit familiar, just imagine him thirty years later, without any hair on his head. Yup, in thirty years he will play the part of Uncle Fester in the 1970’s television show “The Addams Family.”
Next, watch for the young pilot who operates the radio at headquarters and becomes the leading man’s side-kick. In this adventure he is Skeeter Milligan, who appeared in all four of the 1939 Tailspin Tommy adventure movies. Before becoming a successful actor, he was a singer with the big band of Harry James, who also was the first bandleader to give Frank Sinatra a singing contract. Now think ahead to the iconic cowboy show “Gunsmoke,” and picture old Doc Adams, the Emmy winning physician in that historic series. Yup, one and the same Milburn Stone.
This is the third of four Tailspin Tommy movies, and in this one Tommy and Skeeter are training military pilots to fly and shoot their airplane machine guns accurately before they begin patrolling the skies for smugglers and outlaws. Our first future television star, Jackie Coogan, can fly an airplane all right, but he has trouble shooting the machine gun, and is in great fear of killing anyone. Our second future television star, Milburn Stone, does not know how to swim, and the bad guys are smuggling weapons to a ship in the Gulf of Mexico, and our heroes will be swimming for their lives before the sun sets. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Boyd Irwin and Jackie Coogan
Boyd Irwin and John Trent
Bryant Washburn and LeRoy Mason
Jackie Coogan and LeRoy Mason
Jason Robards Sr.
Jason Robards Sr. and Boyd Irwin
Jason Robards Sr., Marjorie Reynolds, Boyd Irwin
John Trent as Tailspin Tommy in 1939
John Trent, Jackie Coogan
John Trent, Milburn Stone
John Trent, Milburn Stone
Milburn Stone and John Trent
Milburn Stone and Marjorie Reynolds