Directed by William A. Wellman
Adventure / Drama / History
Richard Barthelmess as James 'Jim' Blaine
Sally Eilers as Jill Collins
Tom Brown as Neil 'Bud' Blaine
Grant Mitchell as Mr. Blaine
James Murray as Eddie Hughes
Claire McDowell as Mrs. Blaine
Willard Robertson as Havana Airport Manager
Arthur Vinton as Amarillo Airport Manager
Charles Sellon as Man in Wreck (scenes deleted)
John Wayne as Co-Pilot in Wreck (Uncredited)
After Jim Blaine’s plane crashes during a storm, he is grounded from ever flying passenger planes again. He finds a job flying for female daredevil Jill Collins and falls for her. However, he does not want to marry her because he believes that pilots lead too dangerous a life to commit to marriage. Jim gets injured in an accident, and his younger brother Neil, who is also a pilot, takes over his job, and also falls for Jill. Neil doesn’t have his brother’s compunctions about marriage, and asks Jill to marry him. Jim finds out about their marriage by finding them in bed together as he was going to propose to Jill himself. He punches his brother and storms out and attempts to stifle his anger by flying dangerously. However, when he learns that his brother’s plane goes down in a storm in the Gulf of Mexico, only Jim is reckless enough to brave the storm to save his brother.
Notes: See if you can spot John Wayne in a bit part as the co-pilot in a crash. This is one of John Wayne’s first appearances, and wasn’t even enough to warrant a credit in the movie.
Director William A. Wellman was famous for his silent films, with Wings being one of his most famous. He also seemed to enjoy flight pictures, as he also directed John Wayne again later in the acclaimed Island in the Sky .