Air-Tight
Hal Roach/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
2 reels

Series: All Stars w/The Boy Friends
Released: 09 May 1931
Prod. No. S-38
Filmed: Dec.22, 1930 - Jan.13, 1931
My rating: 4/10



Director: George Stevens    Producer: Hal Roach    Dialogue: H.M. Walker    Photography: Art Lloyd    Editor: Richard C. Currier    Sound: Elmer Raguse

Cast: David Sharpe, Gertrude Messinger, Mary Kornman, Mickey Daniels, Betty Bolen, Grady Sutton


Plot summary:
As the group attend a trial flight being demonstrated by pilot Dave, Secretary of the club Alabam tries to pose for his photograph whilst sitting in the cockpit of a glider. But he accidentally ends up in the air when Mickey drives away in his car with a rope attached between them. For the next ten minutes Dave and Mickey try their best to entice him down to safety but through a series of their own mishaps on the ground they fail to make much of an impression.

My favourite bit:
The scene with Charlie Hall, Mary Kornman and Grady Sutton near the beginning. Charlie's brief moment steals the entire film.

My opinion:
An ambitious film which is nothing more than a twenty minute showcase in aerial footage - poorly filmed, cut in with a nothing plot and irritating actors who seemingly do their very best to be at their very worst. Easily one of the worst films in the series... but then, that isn't saying much. Throughout the film I kept saying (referring to Grady Sutton's character) "just jump - and get this film over and done with!"

Trivia:
•Copyrighted March 19, 1931.
•Released as part of the 'All Star' series, this was the 7th 'Boy Friends' film.
•When Mary tells glider owner Charlie Hall she was going to call him Lindberg she is referring to Charles Lindberg, an aviation pilot. Incidentally, you may notice in this scene that both Kornman and Hall are exactly the same height: 5'3".
•At around 4:14 into the film when Alabam takes off there is a sound of fright which sounds very much like Billy Gilbert's voice?
•The painted text on the side of Mickey's car reads "Nero Fiddled - He Was To Fat To Fly". The first usage of the word "to" is misspelled (should say "too").
•Once again David Sharpe demonstrates the need to show off his stunt skills in scenes that really just didn't require them. Gets a bit predictable after a while. He is SO ANNOYING!
•The airport scenes were shot in San Diego, though one (usually unreliable) website claims Holywood Riviera Field, Redondo Beach, California. The name "Bowlus" is the name that was on the hangar in the film and Mr. Bowlus did operate out of San Diego.
•It is astonishing (and baffling) how Grady Sutton is billed 6th in the credits - below Betty Bolen, despite being the central character in the story.
•Director George Stevens was supposedly very proud of the film.
•There is a scene near the end of the film where the car drives through the field with the tent over its roof. If you look in the distance you can see the cars on the orad driving extremely fast, indicating that this shot was sped up.


David Sharpe
Dave
Gertrude Messinger
Gertie
Mary Kornman
Mary
Mickey Daniels
Mickey
Betty Bolen
Betty
Grady Sutton
Alabam
Charlie Hall
Glider pilot
Jack Hill
Pilot who is knocked over
Jack O'Brien
Onlooker in crowd


UNIDENTIFIED


CREDITS


STILLS


SHOT ON LOCATION



Acknowledgements:
Chris Bungo (information regarding shooting locations)

This page was last updated on: 21 January 2021