Parachute Jumper is a prime example of the energetic, quick-witted fare Warner Brothers was known for in the early 30's. This film showcases all three players: Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., a blonde, southern-accented Bette Davis, and Frank McHugh, but it really spotlights Fairbanks's suave and humorous side. Struggling through the depression in New York City is softened by the three characters' warm and jovial relationship with each other. They handle almost any situation with their one-liners and loyalty. Plenty of double entendres are targeted at love and authority. Fairbanks, Jr. especially handles his role with breezy panache. He deserved more material like this. I'll be watching this lighthearted film with intelligent dialogue and human characters again.
Alfred Green directs this story from the 1930s, starring Bette Davis and Douglas Fairbanks. "Alabama" meets Bill (Fairbanks) and Toodles (McHugh),and moves in. They are all looking for work. Unfortunately, they meet up with a no-good gangster (Leo Carrillo),who victimizes the three friends who are trying to get legitimate employment. and unfortunately, Davis' accent also comes and goes. we watch their ups and downs during the depression. Bill goes goes to work as a chauffeur, but the boss (Claire Dodd) seems to want more than a driver. and then it really hits the fan. Early roles for the cast. Talkies had only been around a couple years, and the film code was still pretty loose at this point, so they don't have to beat around the bush. Then Bill goes to work for the gangster, first as a chauffeur. Davis and McHugh are just along as sidekicks, for a laugh. Bill wants to do the right thing, but wants to make enough money to take care of Alabama. and then Alabama goes to work for the gangster. Bill and Toodles fly into Canada to pick up a load of hooch for the boss, and run into trouble on the way back across the border. the guys think it's just hijackers, and their pot shots knock the U.S. Border Patrol planes to the ground. When there's a big showdown at the 51 Club, Bill gets wise that his boss isn't such a good boss, and he's next in line to take the fall. When Weber demands they fly drugs one last time, they decide to turn the tables on him, and finally manage to escape the mob boss. Some great mountain scenery of southern California, as the planes fly around.
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