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 Movie Review:
- Worth a look if...

dir. Alfred E. Green at Warner Bros.
with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (as Bill), Bette Davis (as Alabama) and Frank McHugh (as Toodles)

Bette Davis always loathed this movie, one of her early Warner Bros. contract obligations. It’s not a bad movie -– there is a pretty substantive plot and a few funny scenes -– but don’t watch it expecting to see Bette Davis; she’s little more than a dame in this picture.

Fairbanks and McHugh play marine flyers who fall on hard times after the war and take in Bette because Fairbanks takes a fancy to her, even though they can hardly afford to feed themselves. Eventually they end up as unwitting participants in a narcotics ring. You might call this an aerial gangster picture (if there is such a thing), because it involves a reasonable quantity of flying and shootouts. Anyway, Fairbanks is his usual charming self, McHugh contributes more than his fair share of the comic moments, and Bette does a good job with the little bit of personality her character is allowed to display, but overall it’s not much more than a Saturday matinee B-picture. Watch it for a good example of why Bette Davis walked out on Warners three years later, complaining about the quality of her assignments, or if you’re interested to see planes flown with a joystick and floor pedals. Also of note: a brief scene in which McHugh raises his middle finger at a passing car that declines to give him a ride.

Reviewed: February 27, 2000

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