Keep ‘em Flying

Gonigle’s Air Circus and Carnival, pilot Jinx overhead and his two crew members working the midway.

They leave the “corny show” behind for the U.S. Army Air Corps, training at the Cal-Aero Academy nearby.

Variety and the New York Times (Crowther) complained of no plot and no movie, which is like a bridge dummy requesting a new deck.

The intricate plot bears out the title as a lesson learned from a Kafkaesque comedy dedicated to airmen and ground crews alike.

The Academy’s motto is Safety First, then Technical Precision.




Even though there are resemblances to D.O.A., The Postman Always Rings Twice, and They Made Me a Criminal, the real kinship is to Executive Suite. “All I did,” says Frank Bigelow, “was notarize a bill of sale.” Impact begins where Executive Suite ends, you might say, and it’s worth noting with a slight hilarious tickle a certain theme from Nabokov’s King, Queen, Knave just grazed upon.

The charm of the performances is a great pleasure, and above all that of Charles Coburn’s detective, which looks as though it ought to have been repeated.

If D.O.A. is a representation of marriage in terms of business, Impact (with its comically ambiguous “dictionary-definition” opening) is quite the opposite, a business transaction viewed as a marriage crisis. This is handled with spectacular ease merely by having Brian Donlevy repeat the office brouhaha to Helen Walker at home, where it’s overheard and misunderstood by Anna May Wong.


Footsteps in the Fog

A key masterpiece in the construction of Losey’s The Servant.

It will be seen that Stephen Lowry is practically Mr. Hyde in his bloody murder of the constable’s wife, and from there the rest follows.

A work of genius, without a doubt. Benjamin Frankel’s score conveys the entire idea.


Lady Godiva of Coventry

The language is Saxon and Norman, the time before Magna Carta, the issue a bond of matrimony enforced by Edward the Confessor.

The inner theme of Russell’s The Devils, the one mainly ignored by critics and flatly denied by Canby, is thus advanced.

The script is musical, a verse chronicle of the time in the same sort of way the settings and costumes are. Always in Lubin the two realms, or nearly always.

Establishing the tradition, Bosley Crowther of the New York Times pronounced the work “ponderous and dull.”

The Catholic News Service Media Review Office says “this shallow costume melodrama is a frivolous exercise in popular history.”

Strife of the earls, woe of the people, a stratagem.

“Dreary”, says Hal Erickson (All Movie Guide), “interesting only for its supporting cast.”

Ford’s The Quiet Man, Olivier’s Henry V, etc. According to Halliwell’s Film Guide, “tames a Saxon shrew... comic strip... for midwestern family audiences.” Godwin and Leofric endure “houses of God on both your domains,” a dedication of Renoir’s Le Carrosse d’or. “Corn flakes be damned,” says the Englishman at breakfast, “bring me cold beef and a tankard of ale.”

The madness of Leofric, the peril of Harold, another stratagem.

The punishment of an unfaithful wife “in olden days”, on a white horse led by a nun with a crook in her hand.

End of the Normans in England, “suivez-moi,” says Eustace.


The Incredible Mr. Limpet

This is practically a remake of Impact, and requires of the U.S. Navy more decorum than usual. These duties fall to Jack Weston, Andrew Duggan, Larry Keating, Charles Meredith, and on the home front, Carole Cook.

Lubin’s characteristic refinement is evident in the military discipline exerted over his half of the film, the rest being placed in the capable hands of Termite Terrace with some wonderful animation under the tactical supervision of no less than Robert McKimson.

The modesty of Don Knotts’ performance (he is largely represented by a charming caricature) is compensated by his singing “I Wish I Were a Fish”.