Tailspin Tommy in Stunt Pilot (July 2, 1939)
Released on July 2, 1939: A movie director filming an airplane war movie commits the almost perfect murder, with Tailspin Tommy as the unwitting killer.
Directed by George Waggner
Written by Hal Forrest, Scott Darling and George Waggner.
The Actors: John Trent (Tailspin Tommy Thompkins), Marjorie Reynolds (Betty Lou Barnes), Milburn Stone (Skeeter Milligan), Jason Robards Sr. (Paul Smith), Pat O'Malley (Sheehan the director), George Meeker (Earl Martin), Wesley Barry (Glenn), George Cleveland (the Sheriff), John Daheim (Tex), Tod Sterling (Charlie), Mary Field (Ethel), Buddy Cox (Bobby), Forrest Taylor (the doctor), David Newell (radio operator), Carleton Young (reprter Trent), Ray Turner (the porter), Jack Kirk (crewman), Monte Rawlins (sound man Hanson), Jack Hendricks (movie set worker), Charles Morton (Chuck), Wally West (movie set soldier).
In 1939 airplanes were still the subject of adventure and danger, and the comic page of every local newspaper was often the most read page of the paper. The adventures of Tailspin Tommy brought a daily moment of adventure to many young boys and girls . . . and probably to their older mothers and fathers as well. Charles Lindbergh made his historic flight from America to France on May 21, 1927, and a bit less than a year later, on April 30, 1928, Tailspin Tommy hit the newspaper comic pages. Tailspin Tommy was created by Hal Forrest with many story lines by Glenn Chaffin and grew quickly from appearing in four newspapers to more than 250 newspapers around the country. In the comic strip Tommy Tomkins, from Littleville, Colorado learned to fly airplanes by taking a correspondence course by mail and became one of the best pilots of the era. Movie studios in 1934 and 1935 created two movie serials with short cliff-hanging episodes shown every week before the main feature. In 1939, near the peak of Tailspin Tommy popularity, John Trent, Marjorie Reynolds, Milburn Stone and Jason Robards Sr. starred in four full length feature films about the adventures of Tailspin Tommy. This is the second of the four, and it is a movie within a movie. In this story a movie director is filming a war epic with airplane fight scenes, and Tailspin Tommy gets involved with some of the stunt work. What he doesn't know is that the director wants to murder another stunt pilot who years earlier ran off with his wife. Tailspin Tommy is set up with real bullets in his plane instead of blanks and he shoots down and kills the other stunt pilot. All looks pretty bad for Tommy as he goes on the run from the police as an accused murderer. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.
John Trent as Tailspin Tommy in Stunt Pilot
Bobby Cox in Stunt Pilot
Bobby Cox as Skeeter's nephew
Forrest Taylor and Milburn Stone
George Cleveland as the town Sheriff
George Cleveland in Stunt Pilot
George Meeker and Pat O'Malley
George Meeker as stunt pilot Earl Martin
Jason Robards Sr. in Stunt Pilot
Jason Robards Sr. is the airport manager Paul Smith
John Daheim and John Trent in Stunt Pilot
John Daheim as Tex the airport mechanic
John Trent and Marjorie Reynolds in Stunt Pilot
John Trent and Monte Rawlins
Marjorie Reynolds and George Meeker in Stunt Pilot
Marjorie Reynolds as Betty Lou Barnes in Stunt Pilot
Mary Field and John Trent
Mary Field and Milburn Stone
Mary Field as the movie set hairdresser in Stunt Pilot
Milburne Stone is dizzy after falling from the rafters after Marjorie Reynolds untied his ropes
Milburn Stone is Skeeter Milligan in Tommy Tailspin's Stunt Pilot
Pat O'Malley and George Meeker in Stunt Pilot
Pat O'Malley and Jason Robards Sr. in Stunt Pilot
Pat O'Malley as the director of the movie within this movie