Air Eagles (December 20, 1931)
Released on December 20, 1931: Two rival dare devil pilots barnstorm their way across America competing against each other for fame and the love of Eve, a carnival dancer who wears nothing but a smile.
Directed by Phil Whitman
Written by Walter Q. MacDonald, Hampton Del Ruth, E.V. Durling and Lewis R. Foster.
The Actors: Lloyd Hughes (Bill Ramsey), Norman Kerry (Otto Schumann), Shirley Grey (Eve), Berton Churchill (Windy J. Bailey), Matty Kemp (Eddie Ramsey), Otto Harlan (Mr. Ramsey), Kathrin Clare Ward (Mrs. Ramsey), Eddie Fetherston (pickpocket), Olin Francis (guard), John Ince (the doctor), Lew Meehan (guard), George Morrell (onlooker).
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When I was 15 years old I got a job for a week with a travelling carnival that stopped in Somerset, Pennsylvania, a few miles from my home in Shanksville. There were a half dozen rides and a line of tents with games of chance, like knocking a pile of metal milk jugs off of a small table with a baseball. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, this small carnival didn't have any 'side shows' with bearded ladies and other oddities. In this motion picture the main characters are carnival performers. Two pilots who gained fame in WWI put on a barnstorming air duel at the carnival vie for the love of Eve, a carnival dancer who, along with her Garden of Eden dancers, wears nothing but a smile inside the side show tent for all of the gullible men paying one thin dime to watch. We join the carnival during the final stop of the season, and it happens to be in the small hometown where one of the pilots lives. The two pilots and Eve stay with the hometown pilot's family, and Eve falls in love, but not with either of the dare devil pilots, but with the younger brother of the hometown pilot. This would be a romantic comedy from small town America, but there is a crime involved, and one of our pilots will try to involve the rest in a crime that might send them all to jail. Instead of a car chase, the high point in this thriller is a duel in the sky between our two dare devil pilots and the novice younger brother pilot trying to shoot each other out of the sky. If you like old planes and the danger of flying in the early years of aviation, pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn and get ready for adventure in the air and on the ground.
Berton Churchill and Shirley Grey
Berton Churchill as Windy J. Bailey, carnival barker
Eddie Fetherston and Berton Churchill
Eddie Fetherston prepares to pick the pocket of the local sheriff
The gullible men flock to the Garden of Eden side show where the girls wear nothing but a smile
Kathrin Clare Ward and Berton Churchill
Lloyd Hughes as Bill Ramsey, dare devil pilot
Matty Kemp and Kathrin Clare Ward in Air Eagles
Matty Kemp meets Shirley Grey in Air Eagles
Norman Kerry and Lloyd Hughes are dueling dare devil pilots in Air Eagles
Norman Kerry and Shirley Grey
Norman Kerry as dare devil pilot Otto Schumann in Air Eagles
Otis Harlan as Pa Ramsey in Air Eagles
Shirley Grey and Lloyd Hughes
Shirley Grey and Lloyd Hughes in Air Eagles
Shirley Grey as carnival dancer Eve in Air Eagles