|Directed by||Alfred E. Green|
|Screenplay by||John Francis Larkin|
|Based on||an original story by|
|Produced by||Darryl F. Zanuck (uncredited)|
|Starring|| Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. |
|Cinematography||James Van Trees|
|Edited by||Ray Curtiss|
|Music by|| Vitaphone Orchestra conducted by|
Leo F. Forbstein
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.|
|65 minutes (also listed as 70 and 73 minutes)|
Parachute Jumper is a 1933 American pre-Code black-and-white comedy-drama directed by Alfred E. Green. Based on a story by Rian James titled "Some Call It Love", it stars Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bette Davis and Frank McHugh.
Marine pilots Bill Keller (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) and "Toodles" Cooper (Frank McHugh) are shot down over Nicaragua. When they are found drunk and unharmed in a cantina, they and the Marine Corps split ways. A New York firm offers them jobs as commercial pilots but upon arrival, they find their would-be employer has gone bankrupt. Unemployed and almost out of money, they meet blonde Southerner Patricia "Alabama" Brent (Bette Davis). Keller convinces her to share their apartment to save expenses. After escaping death in a parachuting stunt, he finds an even riskier way to make money by working for bootlegger Kurt Weber (Leo Carrillo). Thus, both Keller and Cooper become entangled in Weber's smuggling schemes, flying in contraband liquor from Canada. On a return trip, Keller shoots down two Border Patrol airplanes while mistaking them for hijackers. Fortunately, there are no fatalities.
Meanwhile, Weber and his henchman Steve Donovan (Harold Huber) set a deadly trap for two disgruntled, unpaid ex-employees. As a result, Keller hands in his resignation, but Weber persuades him and Cooper to make one more delivery. After Cooper leaves, Keller learns they are smuggling not liquor, but narcotics. The authorities close in on Weber's office. Weber and Keller get away, but Weber leaves Donovan behind to meet his fate. Weber boards a plane with Keller at the controls, and they fly away to Canada. But once again, Border Patrol planes give chase, and this time they shoot him down. Keller persuades his rescuers that he is an innocent victim and the unconscious Weber is a kidnapper. Unable to find work, Cooper decides to re-enlist in the Marines. Keller proposes to Patricia, promising he can support her if he too rejoins the Corps.
Mordaunt Hall, reviewer for The New York Times , called it "a fast-moving tale of adventure in the air and on earth ..."That review summed up the format of crime and adventure in the air that had been explored in a number of other films of the period. In a later review, Leonard Maltin called it a "Fast-moving, enjoyable Warner Bros. programmer."
Clips of Parachute Jumper are featured in the prologue of the first film version of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) as an example of the supposedly poor quality of the film work of Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) as an adult.
In an interview about his film career, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. described Parachute Jumper as "awful".
The following is an overview of 1933 in film, including significant events, a list of films released, and notable births and deaths.
Ellen Miriam Hopkins was an American actress known for her versatility. She first signed with Paramount Pictures in 1930.
Douglas Elton Fairbanks Jr.,, was an American actor, producer and decorated naval officer of World War II. He is best known for starring in such films as The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), Gunga Din (1939) and The Corsican Brothers (1941). He was the son of actor Douglas Fairbanks and was once married to Joan Crawford.
The 12th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best in film for 1939. The ceremony was held on February 29, 1940, at a banquet in the Coconut Grove at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. It was hosted by Bob Hope.
Alfred Edward Green was an American film director. Green entered film in 1912 as an actor for the Selig Polyscope Company. He became an assistant to director Colin Campbell. He then started to direct two-reelers until he started features in 1917.
Francis Curray McHugh was an American stage, radio, film and television actor.
Love Is a Racket is a 1932 American pre-Code romantic comedy-drama film, starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Ann Dvorak. The movie was written by Courtney Terrett from the novel by Rian James, and directed by William A. Wellman.
The Phantom of the Air is a 12-episode 1933 Pre-Code Universal film serial directed by Ray Taylor. The film stars Tom Tyler, who was cast most often in Westerns. Other actors include Gloria Shea, LeRoy Mason, Craig Reynolds and William Desmond.
Tailspin Tommy in the Great Air Mystery is a 12-episode 1935 Universal movie serial based on the Tailspin Tommy comic strip by Hal Forrest and starring Clark Williams, Jean Rogers and Noah Beery, Jr. The picture was the 96th of the 137 serials released by the studio.
Going Wild is a 1930 Warner Brothers Pre-Code comedy film, based on the 1910 play The Aviator by James Montgomery, and directed by William A. Seiter. The film stars a bevy of musical stars in addition to the three comic stars, Joe E. Brown, Frank McHugh and Johnny Arthur. The flying sequences are the highlight of the film.
The Eagle and the Hawk is a 1933 American Pre-Code aerial war film set in World War I. It was directed by Stuart Walker and Mitchell Leisen and was based on an original story by John Monk Saunders. The film stars Fredric March and Cary Grant as Royal Flying Corps fighter pilots. The supporting cast includes Carole Lombard, Jack Oakie, and Sir Guy Standing.
Flying G-Men is a 15-episode 1939 adventure film Film serial, directed by James W. Horne and Ray Taylor. The serial was the sixth of the 57 serials released by Columbia.Four "Flying G-Men" battle with enemy saboteurs intent on destroying American military defences.
Ex-Lady is a 1933 American pre-Code comedy/drama film directed by Robert Florey. The screenplay by David Boehm is a remake of the Barbara Stanwyck film Illicit (1931), both crediting a story by Edith Fitzgerald and Robert Riskin. The film focuses on a pair of lovers, commercial illustrator Helen Bauer and advertising writer Don Peterson, who have been living together quite happily for some time. One night, after hiding in Helen’s bedroom until their party guests have all left, Don announces that he is tired of sneaking around. He wants marriage—and possibly children—and Helen finally agrees, although she is afraid that it will wreck their relationship. Her predictions of trouble—increased by the stresses of opening their own advertising agency—come true, but in the end, with the serendipitous intervention of their perpetually inebriated friend, Van, they reconcile and resume the mixed blessings of wedded bliss.
Clipped Wings is a 1937 American crime and aviation Kier-Phillips production for National pictures, directed by Stuart Paton from an original story and screenplay by Paul Willett. The film stars Lloyd E. Hughes, Rosalind Keith and William Janney.
The Air Mail is a 1925 American silent drama film directed by Irvin Willat and starring Warner Baxter, Billie Dove, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.. It was produced by Famous Players-Lasky and distributed through Paramount Pictures. Filmed in Death Valley National Park and the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada, it was released in the United States on March 16, 1925.
Rulers of the Sea is a 1939 American historical drama film directed by Frank Lloyd and starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Margaret Lockwood and Will Fyffe. The film's story is based on the voyage of the SS Savannah, the first steamship to cross the North Atlantic, from Britain to the United States. The film was made by Paramount Pictures, but featured Lockwood and Fyffe who were two of the leading stars of the British Gainsborough Pictures studios. The supporting cast features Alan Ladd.
Air Hawks is a 1935 American aviation-themed science fiction film based on Ben Pivar's "Air Fury", an unpublished story. Director Albert Rogell who had moved from shorts to B-films, was interested in aviation and had already helmed The Flying Marine (1929) and Air Hostess (1933). In Air Hawks, the studio was able to add an A-list star, Ralph Bellamy, as well as exploiting the fame of record-setting pilot Wiley Post in his only feature film appearance.
Flying Devils is a 1933 American Pre-Code action film dealing with aviation. The film was directed by former Hollywood agent Russell Birdwell and photographed by film noir cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca. The screenplay was written by Byron Morgan and Louis Stevens, based on an original story by Stevens. In an unusual move, Bruce Cabot was the star, with perennial "good guy" Ralph Bellamy playing the villain in a love triangle involving Arline Judge and Eric Linden. Although considered a "B" feature, audiences enjoyed the aerial scenes, which helped elevate the feature to a minor box-office hit.
Sky Bride is a 78-minute 1932 drama film, produced by Paramount Pictures and directed by Stephen Roberts. The film stars Richard Arlen, Jack Oakie and Virginia Bruce. Sky Bride depicts the life of barnstorming pilots flying in the years following World War I. All over North America, skilled pilots, many of them veterans of the aerial combat of World War I, plied their trade on the barnstorming circuit of the 1920s in small towns where impromptu air shows were staged.
The Sun Never Sets is a 1939 American drama film directed by Rowland V. Lee and starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Basil Rathbone and Barbara O'Neil.