Flight to Nowhere

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Flight to Nowhere
Flight to Nowhere.jpeg
Directed by William Rowland
Produced by William B. David
Written by Arthur V. Jones
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Marcel Le Picard
Edited by Gregg C. Tallas
Production
company
Golden Gate Pictures [1]
Distributed by Screen Guild Productions (US)
Exclusive (UK)
Release date
  • October 1, 1946 (1946-10-01) (United States)
Running time
79 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Flight to Nowhere is a 1946 film noir crime film directed by William Rowland and stars Alan Curtis and Evelyn Ankers.[2]

The film was one of the first postwar productions to deal with the atom bomb secrets.

Plot[edit]

In Honolulu, an operative carrying a map revealing secret uranium deposits in the South Pacific was gunned down. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, "Hobe" Carrington (Alan Curtis) tries to turn down Countess Maria de Fresca's (Micheline Cheirel) request to hire him as a pilot for a flight to Death Valley. She changes his mind by promising him a dinner date. Before they can depart, Carrington is approached by his former superior in the armed forces, Bob Donovan (Jack Holt), now an FBI agent. Donovan tells Carrington to keep an eye out for the missing map.

The Countess and her party, including wealthy Catherine Forrest (Evelyn Ankers), Catherine's friend, James Van Bush (Roland Varno), Catherine's brother, Claude Forrest (John Craven), and mining engineer Gerald Porter (Jerome Cowan) are told they might need oxygen masks mid-flight in overflying a storm. Catherine and the Countess switch seats, but his oxygen mask has been disconnected, forcing Carrington to dive to save Catherine's life. The Countess later tells Carrington she fears someone may have actually been meaning to kill her.

Agent Donovan beats the flight to Death Valley and explains to Carrington that his passengers may be international racketeers who likely have the map. The group meets up with Tom Walker (Gordon Richards), another mining engineer. While separately trying to buy the map from Claude Forrest, Walker tries to bribe the Countess for a secret letter about Claude. By coincidence, Carrington's ex-wife, Irene Allison (Inez Cooper), also in Death Valley, knows the Countess is really Dolly Lorraine, an aspiring actress, who Irene worked with in a magic show. Later, Carrington rescues Catherine from Van Bush by throwing the annoying masher into the swimming pool. Carrington then discovers that Catherine has an unusual gold ring from Japan given to her by Claude. During the course of the evening, the secret letter is stolen five times, the fifth time stolen from Tom Walker, who is murdered.

The group is briefly questioned about the murder, and (having failed to sell the map), they have Carrington fly them to Las Vegas. As Irene lives in Las Vegas and wishes to return home, she asks to join them. In Vegas, Claude tries to sell the map to another engineer, Joseph Herman Ruehl (Michael Visaroff). Donovan tells Carrington that the secret letter revealed Claude committed treason, working with the Japanese to find uranium, and the two realize the map is actually Catherine's ring. Irene, a licensed pilot, borrows Carrington's aircraft, which has been sabotaged, and dies in a crash. Porter has been waiting for an opportunity to steal the map and, after a struggle, kills Claude at Ruehl's horse ranch. The Countess and Ruehl are detained by Donovan before they can leave town. Carrington, discovering that Van Bush is no more than a gold digger after Catherine's money, shoves Van Bush in a pool again. Carrington and Catherine arrive at the ranch, looking for Claude, and Porter demands Catherine's ring. Donovan arrives in time to shoot Porter before he can harm Carrington or Catherine. In the end, Catherine and Carrington will fly to Las Vegas to be married, with Donovan as the best man.

Michael Visaroff in the film

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was announced in April 1946.[3]

Flight to Nowhere was a B film, hampered by a modest budget although the film featured Evelyn Ankers, an actress who had made her reputation as a "scream queen" in that low-cost world. [4] With the plot based on a pilot caught up in a smuggling ring, a Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior (c/n 1258, s/n 38-541, NC19933) was used.[5] [Note 1]

On location shooting took place just outside and mainly in Las Vegas, Nevada and Death Valley, California. Two hotels, the Furnace Creek Inn in Death Valley, and the Last Frontier hotel in Las Vegas, were featured.[5]

Reception[edit]

According to film historian Christian Santoir, Flight to Nowhere is a historical document. He notes: "In spite of a good casting, this film with a meager budget, is handicapped by a confused scenario, in which the plane holds a very small part, although one of the main characters is a pilot. On the other hand, we have time to appreciate the hotels in Death Valley and Las Vegas (the "Last Frontier" with its swimming pool, its bar, its casino, Club "21" ...) in 1948, a time when Las Vegas as a city is still sparsely populated, but growing fast."[5]

"It offers the usual sinister character, sluggings, etc none of it worth your time," wrote the Chicago Tribune.[7]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ NC19933 also appeared in State of the Union (1948) and Donovan's Brain (1953).[6]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Schallert, E. (1946, Apr 25). Latin to lure mickey; 'body' signs for 'wolf'. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/165659863?accountid=13902
  2. ^ Flight to nowhere. (1947, Monthly Film Bulletin, 14, 156. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/1305808843?accountid=13902
  3. ^ Special to THE NEW,YORK TIMES. (1946, Apr 24). DAVID NIVEN TO DO AARON BURR ROLE. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/107373284?accountid=13902
  4. ^ McClelland 1988, p. 206.
  5. ^ a b c Santoir, Christian. "Review: 'Flight to Nowhere'." Aeromovies. Retrieved: February 5, 2017.
  6. ^ "US Aircraft." Aeromovies. Retrieved: February 5, 2017.
  7. ^ Tinee, M. (1946, Nov 11). Here are two films that go just nowhere. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/177311260?accountid=13902

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]