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HISTORY

Principal photography began on 17 Apr 1928, as stated in the 26 May 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World. The 12 May 1928 Motion Picture News claimed that lead actress Sue Carol was giving flying lessons to co-stars Arthur Lake and David Rollins while production was underway. Elmer G. Dyer was credited as aerial photographer by the Jul 1929 AmCin, and an item in the 11 Jul 1928 Var attributed the subtitles to scenarist Norman Z. McLeod.
       According to articles in the 13 Jun 1928 Var and 14 Jul 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, producer Sol M. Wurtzel gave his recently married director, Howard Hawks, permission to temporarily close production for a one-month honeymoon in Honolulu, HI.
       The 18 Jul 1928 Var reported that the picture’s working title, Aviation, had been reinstated. The decision was later reversed.
       The Air Circus opened 1 Sep 1928 at the Gaiety Theatre in New York City, as part of a program of Fox Film Corp. productions, all of which employed the Movietone optical sound process. The theater charged a premium admission price of $2.00 for adults. That same day, Motion Picture News heralded the film as “the first Movietone feature with dialogue to be released by any company.” In addition to talking sequences, the picture included sound effects and music. A general release followed on 30 Sep 1928.
       Reviews were mixed: While the 8 Sep 1928 Motion Picture News stated that the film had strong commercial potential, the ... More Less

Principal photography began on 17 Apr 1928, as stated in the 26 May 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World. The 12 May 1928 Motion Picture News claimed that lead actress Sue Carol was giving flying lessons to co-stars Arthur Lake and David Rollins while production was underway. Elmer G. Dyer was credited as aerial photographer by the Jul 1929 AmCin, and an item in the 11 Jul 1928 Var attributed the subtitles to scenarist Norman Z. McLeod.
       According to articles in the 13 Jun 1928 Var and 14 Jul 1928 Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, producer Sol M. Wurtzel gave his recently married director, Howard Hawks, permission to temporarily close production for a one-month honeymoon in Honolulu, HI.
       The 18 Jul 1928 Var reported that the picture’s working title, Aviation, had been reinstated. The decision was later reversed.
       The Air Circus opened 1 Sep 1928 at the Gaiety Theatre in New York City, as part of a program of Fox Film Corp. productions, all of which employed the Movietone optical sound process. The theater charged a premium admission price of $2.00 for adults. That same day, Motion Picture News heralded the film as “the first Movietone feature with dialogue to be released by any company.” In addition to talking sequences, the picture included sound effects and music. A general release followed on 30 Sep 1928.
       Reviews were mixed: While the 8 Sep 1928 Motion Picture News stated that the film had strong commercial potential, the 15 Sep 1928 Harrison’s Reports argued that it was merely an overpriced programmer, further diminished by a particularly mawkish dialogue sequence. Critics also disagreed as to whether the absence of a romantic subplot was a positive aspect. Regardless, the 19 Oct 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review announced that the picture had been selected as one of the six best releases of the month by Photoplay magazine.
       The 17 Sep 1928 Exhibitors Daily Review reported that the film was endorsed by the National Exchange Clubs, which were partnering with Fox to “further stimulate interest in aviation.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Jul 1929
p. 4
Educational Screen
Jan 1929
p. 14
Exhibitors Daily Review
8 Sep 1928
p. 3
Exhibitors Daily Review
17 Sep 1928
p. 1
Exhibitors Daily Review
15 Oct 1928
p. 4
Exhibitors Daily Review
19 Oct 1928
p. 7
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
26 May 1928
p. 102
Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World
14 Jul 1928
p. 38
Film Daily
18 Jun 1928
p. 4
Film Daily
9 Sep 1928
---
Film Mercury
4 Jan 1929
p. 14
Harrison's Reports
15 Sep 1928
p. 146
Harrison's Reports
20 Oct 1928
---
Motion Picture News
12 May 1928
p. 1571
Motion Picture News
25 Aug 1928
p. 607
Motion Picture News
1 Sep 1928
p. 727
Motion Picture News
8 Sep 1928
p. 797, 803
New York Times
3 Sep 1928
p. 14
Variety
13 Jun 1928
p. 4
Variety
11 Jul 1928
p. 21
Variety
18 Jul 1928
p. 23
Variety
5 Sep 1928
p. 14
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Aviation
Release Date:
30 September 1928
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 1 Sep 1928 at the Gaiety Theatre
Production Date:
began 17 Apr 1928
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 September 1928
Copyright Number:
LP25586
Physical Properties:
Silent with sound sequences
Talking seq, sd eff, and mus score by Movietone
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
88
Length(in feet):
7,702
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Buddy Blake and Speed Doolittle set out for the Pacific School of Aviation with all the confidence of youth. Along the way they meet Sue Manning, a pretty aviatrix whose brother is a flight instructor. Once at the school, the boys lose their conceit and set about learning to fly. On his first solo flight, however, Buddy is suddenly gripped with fear and almost kills himself and his instructor. Buddy despairs of becoming an aviator, and his mother comes to comfort him. When Sue and Speed take off in an airplane with defective landing gear, Buddy overcomes his fear and pilots another airplane to warn his ... +


Buddy Blake and Speed Doolittle set out for the Pacific School of Aviation with all the confidence of youth. Along the way they meet Sue Manning, a pretty aviatrix whose brother is a flight instructor. Once at the school, the boys lose their conceit and set about learning to fly. On his first solo flight, however, Buddy is suddenly gripped with fear and almost kills himself and his instructor. Buddy despairs of becoming an aviator, and his mother comes to comfort him. When Sue and Speed take off in an airplane with defective landing gear, Buddy overcomes his fear and pilots another airplane to warn his friends. +

GENRE
Genre:


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.