The Last Flight

Saw William Dieterle's "The Last Flight" with Richard Barthelmess in the lead role, and I thought it was terrific . The opening aerial battles, for all their primitive effects, were thrillingly edited; you even got the sense of high-spirited tomfoolery the combatants showed each other, even when one's shooting down the other.

The dialogue afterwards...well, I'm not too familiar with Hemingway's "lost generation" or with books and films on the subject, but did everyone talk in a somewhat hick accent then? I don't think so. Still, the characters do grow on you and in the end it's a pretty compelling portrait of a group of people desperately carousing, trying to forget the horrors they went through.

Good stuff. I'm surprised the film isn't better known; actually, I'm surprised Dieterle isn't better known.

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