30 November 2005 | rsoonsa
Tedious Efforts Fail To Yield Comedic Results.
Very lightweight fare indeed is this hollowly energetic film designed to showcase a lovely and lively Fay Wray, a work that is hindered by a poorly constructed script that is full of predictable dialogue and sequences, so that despite adequate production support from Columbia Pictures, only the stunt work is completely satisfying, although Wray does contribute a good deal of pepper with her performance as a pampered rich girl. Dan Bailey (Ralph Bellamy) is a professional instructional pilot employed, during this highly cinematically pictorial biplane era, by Western Petroleum, owned by E.J. Reid (Thurston Hall) whose daughter Joyce (Wray) is madly in love with Bailey, but after the latter insults Reid he is fired, immediately thereafter hiring on with another company that ships him, along with two airplanes, by freighter to China for oil exploration purposes, Dan being unaware that his new employer is actually under the control of Reid whose intent through this sea voyage is to have the Pacific Ocean between romance coated Joyce and the flier. Ruthless Chinese warlord Fang Wu has suborned the services of the freighter captain, placing his surrogate Mister Wong (Paul Guilfoyle) on board playacting as the skipper's ostensible servant, while in reality controlling the ship's passage while Bailey, his sidekick Andy (Edward Gargan), along with the pair of aircraft are being shanghaied into the custody and service of Fang, an unfortunate Joyce, remaining smitten with Dan after his canning by her father and stowing away to be near him, also being ensnared. There are some exciting stunts seen in the air and upon the ground, but elsewise journeyman director Albert Rogell has scant material available from within a weakly cobbled script to elevate the silly storyline. Wray garners acting honours, obviously enjoying her part and always looking good, substantially due to costumer Samuel Lange, while Otto Meyer's able editing helps to smartly move along this largely forgettable fondue.