Steve Black, Antique Airfield's master of classic aviation movies, is pleased to announce the schedule of titles he will be showing at the AAA-APM Fly-In this year. It's a great lineup which includes not one but two Oscar winners, as well as the one and only movie based on the 1930s serial "The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen".
Join us at the APM RUNWAY CINEMA for classic aviation movies shown outdoors under the stars!
Wednesday August 29
James Cagney made his first Technicolor appearance in the morale-boosting aviation flick Captains of the Clouds. Cagney plays one of a group of bush pilots (the others played by Dennis Morgan, Alan Hale, Reginald Gardiner, and George Tobias) flying in northern Canada.
Inspired by Churchill's "We Shall Never Surrender" speech, they enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force. They are too old, however, to be sent into combat so they are assigned to train pilots. Cagney's individualism makes him a rebel and he is court-martialed and dismissed from the service when one of his pupils is killed. He redeems himself when, as a civilian, he is ferrying a bomber to England. The unarmed flight is attacked by a Messerschmitt and Cagney rams into it, killing himself but saving the flight. Real-life Canadian WW1 flying ace Billy Biship plays a small but pivotal role in Captains of the Clouds, while the leading-lady duties were handled by Brenda Marshall (Mrs. William Holder).
In 1942, Canada has been at ware with the Axis Powers for over two years, while the United States had only just entered in December 1941. A film on the ongoing Canadian involvement made sense for the American war effort. It is rumored that Cagney disliked the script, but was persuaded to do the film by Jack Warner, who told him that he would be contributing to the war effort by accepting the role. Cagney relented, but only on the condition that his brother Bill be the producer. The movie is filmed in glorious 3-strip Technicolor. From the richly hued countryside to the brilliant colors of countless RCAF airplanes, this film is a true visual wonder and was nominated for two Oscars: for Color Cinematography and Art Direction-Interior Decoration.
Thursday August 30
No movie. Open House at the new APM Restoration Center.
Friday September 2
"Jimmie Allen, the nation's flying idol for young people, comes to the screen in "The Sky Parade". Based on the popular radio series "The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen" created by Robert M. Burtt and Wilfred G. Moore, first broadcast in 1933.
"The Sky Parade" is the story of World War I pilots Scotty Allen and his fellow airmen Speed Robertson and Tommy Wade. On their return from the war, Scotty learns that his wife has died giving birth to their first son Jimmie. Scotty and Speed join a flying circus, while Tommy joins his father's bank. Years pass, during which record-breaking flights are made around the world. Tommy's father offers to back Scotty and Speed in an attempt to cross the Atlantic in 1927. Their plane crashes before take-off, however, and Scotty is killed.
Young Jimmie Allen is raised by Speed's flame Geri Croft. Speed and Tommy eventually decide their daredevil days are over and turn to commercial aviation. By 1933, their airline, Continental, has become incorporated. A new plane they have been developing includes an auto-pilot and is in danger of being stolen by enemy agents. After a five-year absence, Geri returns with high school graduate Jimmie, who wants to learn to fly. Continental loses its mail contract to the army and is desperate to fly their new plane to Washington, D.C. and secure a patent for their new auto-pilot. When the plane takes off from Las Vegas, young Jimmie Allen stows away in the plane. When the pilot is shot, Jimmie lands the plane. Continental gets its airmail contract back, and Jimmie is now a bonafide pilot.
Saturday September 1
When a commercial airliner develops engine problems on a trans-Pacific flight and the pilot loses his nerve, it is up to the washed-up co-pilot Dan Roman to bring the plane in safely. The film follows the passengers and crew on an airline flight from Hawaii to California that develops engine problems at its mid-way point. While the captain expects a ditching, the first officer convinces him to try to make the airport. The crew eventually nurses the damaged airliner to a safe landing where an inspection reveals that it landed with virtually dry tanks.
Composer Dimitri Tiomkin won an Academy Award for his original score, while his title song for the film also was nominated for an Oscar. The song, whistled incessantly by John Wayne in the film, would later become a best-selling hit throughout the world.