High Flyers

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High Flyers
Directed by Edward Cline
Produced by Lee S. Marcus
Samuel J. Briskin (executive producer)
Written by Benny Rubin (screenplay)
Bert Granet (screenplay)
Bryon Morgan(screenplay)
Victor Mapes (based on a play by)
Starring Bert Wheeler
Robert Woolsey
Lupe Vélez
Marjorie Lord
Margaret Dumont
Music by Roy Webb
Cinematography Jack MacKenzie
Edited by John Lockert
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release dates November 26, 1937
Running time 70 minutes
Country United States
Language English

High Flyers (1937) is a musical comedy film, released by RKO Radio Pictures starring the comedy team Wheeler & Woolsey. It would be the last film the duo made, as Robert Woolsey died a year later.


Jeremiah "Jerry" Lane and Pierre Potkin are a couple of carnival workers running an airplane ride. The duo leave their job when they are hired by smuggler Dave Hanlon to fly a real plane in order to retrieve a lifesaver. They believe that the lifesaver only consists of harmless photos, but soon find inside the lifesaver stolen jewels and cocaine. Jerry and Pierre eventually land in the backyard of the Arlingtons' estate. Initially, the Arlingtons believe that the duo are police officers, and readily allow them to stay in their home. As it turns out, the Arlingtons are good friends with Hanlon. When Hanlon is informed that Jerry and Pierre are at the Arlingtons', he convinces the family that the two men are actually lunatics from an asylum. Hanlon and some of his cronies (posing as doctors) show up at the mansion in order to bump off Jerry and Pierre, and get the smuggled jewels. However, the jewels have been hidden by the Arlingtons' kleptomaniac dog. A frantic and confusing search around the manor soon occurs, with dozens of cops added into the mix.


  • Based on the 1926 Broadway play "The Kangaroos" by Victor Mapes.
  • Robert Woolsey was suffering from kidney disease throughout production of this film, as well as the previous film On Again-Off Again. Though it occurs in the middle of the film, the "I'm a Gaucho" musical number with Woolsey and Lupe Vélez would be the last scene he shot. Ultimately, this would be Wheeler and Woolsey's last film. Bert Wheeler would continue to work regularly on the stage, and later did four more films (two features and two shorts). He would also occasionally appear on television well into the 1960s, most notably as "Smokey Joe" in the short-lived Brave Eagle series.
  • Bert Wheeler does an impersonation of Charlie Chaplin at one point in the film. Wheeler's Chaplin impersonation was actually a part of his stage act before he teamed with Robert Woolsey. Chaplin was actually very fond of Wheeler's impersonation of him.
  • The censor board refused to allow Wheeler and Woolsey to become intoxicated by cocaine in the film. As a result, the name "cocaine" was changed to something more comical.


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