Father Takes the Air


1h 1m 1951

Film Details

Also Known As
Father Flies High
Release Date
Jun 17, 1951
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Mayflower Productions, Inc.; Monogram Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Distributing Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by D. D. Beauchamp.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 1m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

When Riverdale flight school owner Charlie Twitchell is drafted, Barbara Latham determines to help Twitchell's pregnant wife by running the school while he is away. Barbara's father, lawyer Henry Latham, lets Barbara take a leave of absence as his secretary and asks Mayor George Colton to try and line up more students. Some time later, as Henry and George spruce up the school for Barbara, she hires pilot Hob Davis. Hob, who is attracted to Barbara, drives her home that afternoon and promises her younger brother David to take him flying. Davey then rides his bike over to the Colton house to tell the mayor's son Georgie. When George learns from Georgie that Henry has decided to start flying again, he is aghast, remembering that Henry, with whom he served in the same World War I squadron, was a terrible pilot. Later, after the men stuff themselves into their old flying uniforms, they meet at Benny's airport diner. Despite their good-natured disdain for each other's flying abilities, both men decide to take flying lessons from Hob and are so excited that they wager $50 to see who will be the first to fly solo. Each tries to bribe Hob to give him extra lessons, but he refuses, much to the amusement of Barbara, who tells him that Henry and George have been the best of friends and staunchest of rivals since childhood. Some time later, after the town's Chief of Police and Councilman Haggarty advise George that he must do "something spectacular" if he is to win re-election, George is in his office contemplating his predicament when he sees a plane flying erratically outside his window. Deducing that it is Henry, and furious to lose the bet, George tells his secretary Miss Wells to call the police, then rushes to the airport. He arrives just as Henry's descending plane narrowly misses the police, who dive for cover. The angry policemen arrest Henry, but the Chief later calls George to reveal that Henry has not broken any laws. Still angry, George tells the Chief to find one and fine Henry $50. The next day, Henry admits to George that he secretly took extra flying lessons in another town, but lambastes his friend for having the police arrest him instead of looking for the bank robber and murderer who is on the loose. Later, at his diner, Benny listens to a radio report about the fugitive, whose name is Gordon Bennett. The report says that Bennett may be near Riverdale, driving a white car with Oregon plates and accompanied by a blonde. Bennett hears the same report on his car radio and decides to abandon the car and the blonde. Furious because Bennett took the car keys and left her stranded, the blonde starts to walk and soon flags down a police car. A short time later, Bennett walks into Benny's diner, but Benny does not recognize him from the radio description. When Bennett asks where he can hire a plane, Benny directs him to Barbara's office. Because Hob is away, Barbara turns down Bennett's offer, until her father hears that the man is willing to pay $500 for a flight to Las Vegas and begs her to let him take the flight. Barbara is reluctant because Henry does not have a commercial license, but eventually relents. Bennett is nervous about flying with the obviously incompetent Henry and his equally inept navigator, George, but has no other choice. After a tenuous taxi down the runway, Henry eventually gets the plane into the air, unaware that the fuel tank is almost empty due to the incompetent meddling of his busybody neighbor, Minerva Bobbin. As the plane takes off, a customer casually tells Benny that the police stopped him because he looked like Bennett, and Benny suddenly realizes that the man in the diner earlier is the bank robber. In the air, when the plane's engine starts to sputter, George and Henry realize that each thought the other had filled the tank. Much to George's horror, Henry looks for a place to set down the plane and narrowly misses landing on a congested highway. Just as Benny tells Barbara about Bennett, she gets a radio call from the aviation board telling her they received a report that her father's plane was going down. She tells them to summon the police because a desperate criminal is on board, and everyone drives toward the field where the plane went down. Bennett faints during the landing, but George and Henry continue to bicker. When they hear the police sirens, they assume that they will be arrested and Henry suggests that they "act non chalant." When the police, Barbara and Benny arrive, the police arrest Bennett. Henry and George are baffled until the Chief congratulates them and says that they will share the reward for capturing Bennett. Finally realizing what has happened, George and Henry both faint. The next day, reporters listen skeptically to the story that George and Henry make up about knowing all along who Bennett was, but they print the story, assuring George's re-election. He then invites the Latham family over for a celebratory dinner. That night, while Barbara tells Hob that their business is now booming, her family's drive to the Coltons' is hampered by a flat tire and the unwanted assistance of Minerva.

Film Details

Also Known As
Father Flies High
Release Date
Jun 17, 1951
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Mayflower Productions, Inc.; Monogram Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Distributing Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by D. D. Beauchamp.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 1m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's working title was Father Flies High. The picture was the fifth and final entry in "The Latham Family" series (also known as the "Henry" series), that began in 1949 with Henry, the Rainmaker. Father Takes the Air was the only film in the series that was not based on a previously published short story by D. D. Beauchamp, although Beauchamp wrote the film's screenplay. For more information on the series, consult the Series Index and see the entry for Henry, the Rainmaker in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50.