Ceiling Zero


1h 35m 1936

Brief Synopsis

War veteran pilots Dizzy Davis, Texas Clark and Jake Lee are working in an airline. Dizzy is fooling with one of the younger pilot's girl-friend and due to this, he changes flights with Texas. Texas' plane crashes attempting to land on their airfield under extremly bad weather circumstances, he is killed in this accident. Dizzy feels guilty for his friend's death and takes the next flight under even worse circumstances, testing a new anti-ice device on the plane.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Action
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 25, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
First National Pictures Corp.; The Vitaphone Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Ceiling Zero by Frank Wead (New York, 11 Apr 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

Jake Lee, the hard-driving, fast-talking field boss for Newark's Federal Airlines, rehires his old friend, ace pilot Dizzy Davis, against the wishes of company supervisor Al Stone. Dizzy, famous for his daredevil flying and his success with women, arrives at the airline and immediately goes after female flyer Tommy Thomas. In order to further his romance, he feigns heart trouble, sending his pal, Texas Clark, out on a dangerous flight. Tex's plane crashes while trying to land in bad weather, and Tex is near death. When Jake learns that Tex was tricked and that his own wife Mary was once involved with Dizzy, his friendship wavers. Jake proves his loyalty when, after Department of Commerce Inspector Joe Allen revokes Dizzy's license, Jake agrees to Allen's suggestion that he buy a fleet of inferior planes from Fred Adams in exchange for using Adams' pull in Washington to get Dizzy's license restored. Nobly, Dizzy refuses Jake's offer. When the news comes that Tex has died, Jake consoles his widow Lou, leaving the guilt-stricken Dizzy in charge. Against Jake's orders to cancel Tay Lawson's night flight because of freezing conditions, Dizzy decides to fly the route himself. He knocks Lawson unconscious and appropriates the plane. Although Dizzy sacrifices his life during the hazardous flight, he manages to solve a design problem in the new de-icing mechanism before dying. Tommy can now marry Lawson, who is geniunely in love with her, while Jake resumes his duties with stalwart professionalism.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Action
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 25, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
First National Pictures Corp.; The Vitaphone Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Ceiling Zero by Frank Wead (New York, 11 Apr 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to onscreen credits, the film is dedicated to the air mail pilot. According to contemporary sources, Warner Bros. backed the stage version of Ceiling Zero. Daily Variety notes that flying scenes were shot on location at United Airport in Burbank, CA. Daily studio production reports indicate that Ann Dvorak was originally cast as "Mary Lee." After participating in rehearsals and wardrobe tests, she was replaced by Martha Tibbetts. Modern sources list additional credits as: Pilot, Howard Batt; Jayne Manners (Tall girl), Maryon Curtiz and Margaret Perry. The 1941 Warner Bros. film International Squadron (also known as Flight Patrol), starring Ronald Reagan, was also based on the Frank Wead play.