Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers (left), Richard Arlen and Gary Cooper.
Photograph: Silent Era image collection.
B&W : 13 reels / 12,267 feet
Directed by William A. Wellman
Cast: Clara Bow [Mary Preston], Charles Rogers (Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers) [John ‘Jack’ Powell], Richard Arlen [David Armstrong], Jobyna Ralston [Sylvia Lewis], El Brendel [Patrick O’Brien], Richard Tucker [air commander], Gary Cooper [Cadet White], ‘Gunboat’ Smith [sergeant], Roscoe Karns [Lieutenant Cameron], Arlette Marchal [Celeste], Henry B. Walthall [Mr. Armstrong], Julia Swayne Gordon [Mrs. Armstrong]; George Irving [Mr. Powell], Hedda Hopper [Mrs. Powell], Nigel de Brulier [French peasant], Margery Chapin Wellman [peasant woman], Gloria Wellman [peasant child], James Pierce [military policeman], Carl von Hartmann [German officer], Charles Barton [soldier hit by ambulance], Ormer Locklear [pilot], Leo Nomis, Dick Grace [pilot], Tommy Carr [pilot], Rod Rogers [pilot], William A. Wellman [stunt pilot], Captain Bill Taylor, James Hall, Frank Clarke, Harry Reynolds, Hoyt Vanderberg, Frank Andrews, Hal George, Earl E. Patridge, Sterling R. Stribling, Clarence Irvine, E.H. Robinson, John Monk Saunders
Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation production; distributed by Paramount Pictures Corporation. / Produced by Lucien Hubbard. Executive producers, Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky. Associate producer, B.P. Schulberg. Scenario by Hope Loring and Louis D. Lighton, from a screen story by John Monk Saunders. Production manager, Frank Blount. Costume design by Edith Head. Engineering effects by Roy Pomeroy. Flying sequences supervision by S.C. Campbell, Ted Parson, Carl von Hartmann and James A. Healy. Stunt pilot, Dick Grace. Assistant directors, Norman Z. McLeod and Richard Johnston. Cinematography by Harry F. Perry, with additional cinematography by Paul Perry, E. Burton Steene, Alfred ‘Buddy’ Williams, Russell Harlan, Bert Baldridge, L.B. Abbott, Cliff Blackstone, Faxon M. Dean, Frank Cotner, Herman Schoop, L. Guy Wilky, Al Lane, Ray Olsen, Sergeant Ward, Gene O’Donnell, Harry Mason, Alberts Meyers, William H. Clothier, Guy Bennett, and Ernest Lazell (Ernest Laszlo). Assistant cameraman, Cliff Shirpser. Special effects by Roy Pomeroy and Paul Perry (which received an Oscar). Supervising editor, E. Sheldon Lloyd. Intertitles by Julian Johnson. Edited by Lucien Hubbard. Music score by J.S. Zamecnik. Presented by Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky. / © 5 January 1929 by Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation. Premiered 12 April 1927 at the Criterion Theatre in New York, New York. General release, 12 August 1927. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format. Magnascope sequences. Color-tinted and hand-tinted prints. General Electric Kinegraphone (later called RCA Photophone) sound-on-film sound system (music and sound effects added for 1927 sound rerelease). / Original running time 141 minutes, plus intermission. The production was shot at Paramount Studios and on location at Camp Stanley Army Reserve, Brooks Field, and Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas. Paul Mantz has been listed as one of the pilots, but this is in error. An Army pilot was killed in a flying accident during production. The film’s production costs were approximately $2,000,000. Academy Award winner for Best Production. / Silent film.
Drama: Action: World War I.
Survival status: Prints exist in the Cinémathèque Française film archive; and in the film holdings of the Mary Pickford Institute for Film Education [16mm reduction positive].
Current rights holder: (unknown)
Keywords: Accidents: Airplane - Airplane pilots - Death - Sacrifice - Soldiers - Synchronized sound film - Transportation: Airplanes - War: World War I (28 July 1914-11 November 1918)
Listing updated: 6 May 2010.
References: Film credits, film viewing : Bohn-Light pp. xxv, 81, 93, 179, 241; Brownlow-Parade pp. 166, 168, 170, 171, 173, 174, 175, 176, 324, 578; Drew-Speaking p. 2; Everson-American pp. 203, 292, 310u, 363; Geduld-Birth pp. 86-87; Kerr-Silent p. 8; Leish-Cinema p. 53; Limbacher-Feature p. 277; Maltin-Guide pp. 1427-1428; Maltin-Selected p. 196; Parish-Combat pp. 217, 247, 448-451; Perry-British p. 56; Pitts-Hollywood p. 9; Shipman-Cinema p. 96; Sinyard-Silent pp. 68, 69; Smith-Colman p. 300; Sweeney-Coming p. 129; Thompson-Lost p. 11; Vermilye-Twenties pp. 170-173, 188, 200, 208; Weaver-Twenty p. 57 : AmerCine-199510 p. 98; ClasIm-225 p. 16 : Website-Pickford.
Home video: DVD.