|A good picture...not a great picture.|
The collection is still available, I hasten to add, through The Sprocket Vault and Amazon.) I was not, however, well-acquainted with any of their cliffhanger serials…but that situation was rectified last week when Kit Parker sent me a screener for The Mysterious Airman (1928)—a Super Chapter Play of the Air!
Who is “Pilot X”? The Mysterious Airman has no shortage of suspects—it could be Barney Madden (James Fitzgerald), a loyal pilot at Baker Aircraft. Or Albert Orren (Eugene Burr), the company’s superintendent and stockholder. It could be forces outside the outfit—like competitor William Craft (Robert Walker), general manager of Globe Air, or Craft’s girlfriend Fawn Nesbit (Dorothy Talcott), “an aviatrix who seeks the fame as the first woman round-the-world flier.” (Until I looked it up, I thought “aviatrix” was a wingless bird with hairy feathers…and then I remembered that’s an “apteryx”—from the comic strip B.C.) There’s even Perkins (Arthur Morrison), a sinister butler who always seems to be in the vicinity (arranging flowers) whenever serious matters are being discussed and…nah, he’s a little too obvious. All is revealed after ten exciting chapters of this “thrilling and death defying” photo-play, according to the serial’s promotional art.
|Eugenia Gilbert, Walter Miller|
|Richard M. Roberts|