Absolute Quiet


1h 10m 1936
Absolute Quiet

Brief Synopsis

Murder follows when a plane filled with shady characters is forced to land on a tycoon's ranch.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Apr 24, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

After Gerald A. Axton, a domineering tycoon, sends his mistress, Zelda Tadema, and down-on-his-luck actor Gregory Bengard to Hollywood on a plane, he has a slight heart attack and is ordered to take a rest at his Western ranch. At the isolated ranch, he sends Kedro, his handyman, to town for the night, then promises his secretary, Laura Tait, that her co-pilot husband Barney will be flying in that night. Meanwhile, though, Axton orders Barney and his drunken pilot to take off for "urgent business" during a dangerous fog. As Axton and Laura listen to radio weather reports, another plane, carrying Axton's political enemy, Governor Sam Pruden, is lost in the fog and forced to attempt a landing at Axton's private airfield. Just before they land, however, two escaped condemned convicts, Judy and Jack, arrive and take Axton and Laura hostage. Because they refuse to let Axton turn the landing field's lights on, the plane crashes, killing the pilots and injuring some of the others, including Zelda and Gregory, who has serious facial scars. After the crash, Pruden tries to stop reporter Oscar "Chubby" Rudd from contacting his paper about the governor's obvious cowardliness. Then Jack and Judy, pretending to be Axton's niece and her husband, cut the telephone wires, making the radio their only contact with the outside world. Axton secretly urges Judy and Jack to force the governor to pardon them after their true identities are revealed, and they hold him at gunpoint. Hoping to ruin Pruden's career, Axton urges him to write the ludicrous pardon. Euphoric over their pardon, Judy and Jack discuss giving up crime to go back into vaudeville, while Axton stirs up other members of the group with cruel talk. Then Judy and Jack try to get the governor to give them assurance that their pardon will stick, as he plans to release a story about his heroism during the ordeal. Axton tries to convince him that Jack and Judy should be the heroes of the story, though, thus justifying their pardons. During their argument, Gregory, insane with worry over the end of his career, enters the room and shoots Jack and Judy and they die in each other's arms. Just after they die, Barney's plane lands safely at the same time that an ambulance arrives. As Laura and Barney are reunited, the governor says he will never be the same, to which Axton replies that if that is true, then Jack and Judy had not lived in vain.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Apr 24, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Articles

Absolute Quiet


This offbeat shuffling of Doctor X (1932) and The Petrified Forest (1936) finds financier Lionel Atwill ordered to give his bum ticker a rest with Absolute Quiet (1936) at his secluded country getaway. While attempting to grab some alone time with pretty personal secretary Irene Hervey (whose pilot husband he has dispatched on unspecified business), Atwill is forced to play host to the survivors of an airplane crash, among them political rival Raymond Walburn, dissembling gubernatorial advisor Robert Gleckler, Atwill's former mistress Ann Loring, faded movie star Louis Hayward, and former vaudevillians Wallace Ford and Bernadene Hayes, a song and dance team turned by misfortune to Bonnie and Clyde-style banditry. As a storm howls without, the unwilling houseguests turn on one another within, with Atwill playing the role of puppet master, aggravating standing grievances and doing his level best to create new ones. Lionel Atwill would star in more than his fair share of stranded-for-the-night thrillers (1942's Night Monster would even reteam him, albeit briefly, with Irene Hervey) in a career that took him from the arms of Marlene Dietrich to the grip of the Frankenstein Monster. Screenwriter Harry Clork's original ending for Absolute Quiet had Atwill's wry manipulator succumbing to a karmic coronary until the howls from preview audiences demanded that the elegant rotter live, triumphant in his villainy. Director George B. Seitz later went on to helm MGM's wholesome Andy Hardy film series, starring Mickey Rooney.

By Richard Harland Smith
Absolute Quiet

Absolute Quiet

This offbeat shuffling of Doctor X (1932) and The Petrified Forest (1936) finds financier Lionel Atwill ordered to give his bum ticker a rest with Absolute Quiet (1936) at his secluded country getaway. While attempting to grab some alone time with pretty personal secretary Irene Hervey (whose pilot husband he has dispatched on unspecified business), Atwill is forced to play host to the survivors of an airplane crash, among them political rival Raymond Walburn, dissembling gubernatorial advisor Robert Gleckler, Atwill's former mistress Ann Loring, faded movie star Louis Hayward, and former vaudevillians Wallace Ford and Bernadene Hayes, a song and dance team turned by misfortune to Bonnie and Clyde-style banditry. As a storm howls without, the unwilling houseguests turn on one another within, with Atwill playing the role of puppet master, aggravating standing grievances and doing his level best to create new ones. Lionel Atwill would star in more than his fair share of stranded-for-the-night thrillers (1942's Night Monster would even reteam him, albeit briefly, with Irene Hervey) in a career that took him from the arms of Marlene Dietrich to the grip of the Frankenstein Monster. Screenwriter Harry Clork's original ending for Absolute Quiet had Atwill's wry manipulator succumbing to a karmic coronary until the howls from preview audiences demanded that the elegant rotter live, triumphant in his villainy. Director George B. Seitz later went on to helm MGM's wholesome Andy Hardy film series, starring Mickey Rooney. By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

A preproduction news item in Hollywood Reporter refers to the film as Absolutely Quiet, but this May have been a typographical error.