Murder in the Air (1940)

Approved   |    |  Action, Thriller, Drama

Murder in the Air (1940) Poster

The corpse of a hobo with a $50,000 money belt helps Brass and Gabby crack a cell of fifth columnists bent on sabotage.


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5 March 2009 | morrisonhimself
| 'B' Movie? 'B' as in beautiful
"B" as in "basic" and "B" as in "Brass Bancroft," this B-movie series was fairly typical of the fare turned out by studios, partly to give training and a build-up to new actors or directors or writers, and partly just to pump out product to fill the bills at theaters.

"B" movie didn't mean "bad": It just meant lower -- or low -- budget.

Even in his obituaries, less-than-knowledgeable, or less-than-honest, writers kept calling Ronald Reagan "a B movie actor," continuing to carp probably because they didn't agree with what they understood his political philosophy to be. (For people who don't know the history, let me add this word: Being anti-communist was an unforgivable sin in many segments of the media, including even motion pictures.)

Many, if not most, actors began their careers making B movies. Reagan graduated to A features, apparently right after making "Murder in the Air." And his performance in this film was one reason: He was likable, good looking (though kinda skinny without his shirt), and believable in the action scenes.

John Litel was a superlative actor, keeping busy for nearly 40 years, and giving good performances always.

Others in the cast did a good job, some were even great, but most stayed unknown and viewers today might, mistakenly, judge a film by the names connected thereto.

Instead, they should suspend their disbelief, remember the context, and sit back and enjoy.

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