Ceiling Zero (1936)

95 mins | Drama | 25 January 1936

Director:

Howard Hawks

Producer:

Howard Hawks

Cinematographer:

Arthur Edeson

Editor:

William Holmes

Production Designer:

John Hughes

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to onscreen credits, the film is dedicated to the air mail pilot. According to contemporary sources, Warner Bros. backed the stage version of Ceiling Zero. DV notes that flying scenes were shot on location at United Airport in Burbank, CA. Daily studio production reports indicate that Ann Dvorak was originally cast as "Mary Lee." After participating in rehearsals and wardrobe tests, she was replaced by Martha Tibbetts. Modern sources list additional credits as: Pilot, Howard Batt; Jayne Manners (Tall girl), Maryon Curtiz and Margaret Perry. The 1941 Warner Bros. film International Squadron (also known as Flight Patrol), starring Ronald Reagan, was also based on the Frank Wead play. ...

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According to onscreen credits, the film is dedicated to the air mail pilot. According to contemporary sources, Warner Bros. backed the stage version of Ceiling Zero. DV notes that flying scenes were shot on location at United Airport in Burbank, CA. Daily studio production reports indicate that Ann Dvorak was originally cast as "Mary Lee." After participating in rehearsals and wardrobe tests, she was replaced by Martha Tibbetts. Modern sources list additional credits as: Pilot, Howard Batt; Jayne Manners (Tall girl), Maryon Curtiz and Margaret Perry. The 1941 Warner Bros. film International Squadron (also known as Flight Patrol), starring Ronald Reagan, was also based on the Frank Wead play.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
23 Oct 1935
p. 2
Daily Variety
21 Nov 1935
p. 4
Film Daily
24 Dec 1935
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 1935
p. 3
Motion Picture Daily
21 Dec 1935
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald
28 Dec 1935
pp. 64-65
New York Times
20 Jan 1936
p. 22
Variety
22 Jan 1936
p. 14
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Cosmopolitan Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Les Selander
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Stage and scr by
Contr to scr const
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
SOUND
Oliver Garretson
Sd
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Ceiling Zero by Frank Wead (New York, 11 Apr 1935).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 January 1936
Production Date:
ended 2 Nov 1935
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
20 January 1936
LP6074
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
95
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1709
SYNOPSIS

Jake Lee, the hard-driving, fast-talking field boss for Newark's Federal Airlines, rehires his old friend, ace pilot Dizzy Davis, against the wishes of company supervisor Al Stone. Dizzy, famous for his daredevil flying and his success with women, arrives at the airline and immediately goes after female flyer Tommy Thomas. In order to further his romance, he feigns heart trouble, sending his pal, Texas Clark, out on a dangerous flight. Tex's plane crashes while trying to land in bad weather, and Tex is near death. When Jake learns that Tex was tricked and that his own wife Mary was once involved with Dizzy, his friendship wavers. Jake proves his loyalty when, after Department of Commerce Inspector Joe Allen revokes Dizzy's license, Jake agrees to Allen's suggestion that he buy a fleet of inferior planes from Fred Adams in exchange for using Adams' pull in Washington to get Dizzy's license restored. Nobly, Dizzy refuses Jake's offer. When the news comes that Tex has died, Jake consoles his widow Lou, leaving the guilt-stricken Dizzy in charge. Against Jake's orders to cancel Tay Lawson's night flight because of freezing conditions, Dizzy decides to fly the route himself. He knocks Lawson unconscious and appropriates the plane. Although Dizzy sacrifices his life during the hazardous flight, he manages to solve a design problem in the new de-icing mechanism before dying. Tommy can now marry Lawson, who is geniunely in love with her, while Jake resumes his duties with stalwart ...

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Jake Lee, the hard-driving, fast-talking field boss for Newark's Federal Airlines, rehires his old friend, ace pilot Dizzy Davis, against the wishes of company supervisor Al Stone. Dizzy, famous for his daredevil flying and his success with women, arrives at the airline and immediately goes after female flyer Tommy Thomas. In order to further his romance, he feigns heart trouble, sending his pal, Texas Clark, out on a dangerous flight. Tex's plane crashes while trying to land in bad weather, and Tex is near death. When Jake learns that Tex was tricked and that his own wife Mary was once involved with Dizzy, his friendship wavers. Jake proves his loyalty when, after Department of Commerce Inspector Joe Allen revokes Dizzy's license, Jake agrees to Allen's suggestion that he buy a fleet of inferior planes from Fred Adams in exchange for using Adams' pull in Washington to get Dizzy's license restored. Nobly, Dizzy refuses Jake's offer. When the news comes that Tex has died, Jake consoles his widow Lou, leaving the guilt-stricken Dizzy in charge. Against Jake's orders to cancel Tay Lawson's night flight because of freezing conditions, Dizzy decides to fly the route himself. He knocks Lawson unconscious and appropriates the plane. Although Dizzy sacrifices his life during the hazardous flight, he manages to solve a design problem in the new de-icing mechanism before dying. Tommy can now marry Lawson, who is geniunely in love with her, while Jake resumes his duties with stalwart professionalism.

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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.