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Parachute Jumper (1933)

To share expenses unemployed Alabama move in with also unemployed Bill and Toodles. Bill is hired by a gangster's mistress and ultimately becomes the gangster's bodyguard. Alabama ... See full summary »

Director:

Alfred E. Green

Writers:

Rian James (story "Some Call It Love"), John Francis Larkin
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Bill Keller
Bette Davis ... Patricia 'Alabama' Brent
Frank McHugh ... Toodles Cooper
Claire Dodd ... Mrs. Newberry
Leo Carrillo ... Kurt Weber
Harold Huber ... Steve Donovan
Thomas E. Jackson ... Detective Lt. Coffey
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lyle Talbot ... Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

To share expenses unemployed Alabama move in with also unemployed Bill and Toodles. Bill is hired by a gangster's mistress and ultimately becomes the gangster's bodyguard. Alabama unknowingly applies for a stenographer's job at Mr. Weber's (the gangster's) business. Bill is forced to fly a plane carrying narcotics into the U.S. but fights back. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 January 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Em Plenas Nuvens See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$206,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was Bette Davis's least favorite film to do. See more »

Quotes

Pilot with Alabama: Well, the worst is over, lady. The chutes open.
Patricia 'Alabama' Brent: But, he's fallin' so fast!
Pilot with Alabama: Well, he's got to come down.
See more »

Connections

Featured in All About Bette (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Marines' Hymn
(uncredited)
Traditional Marines song (circa 1850)
Played during opening credits and often as background
See more »

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User Reviews

Lightweight Pre-Code Fun
28 August 2013 | by jimjo1216See all my reviews

PARACHUTE JUMPER (1933), famously singled out by Bette Davis as one of the awful films she was required to make in the early years of her Warner Bros. contract, certainly isn't anything substantial. But it's a surprisingly fun Pre-Code flick.

The movie is carried by its three stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bette Davis, and Frank McHugh. Fairbanks in particular gives a winning, charismatic performance. Fairbanks and McHugh play a couple of ex-airmen who are desperate for work during the Great Depression. They're so broke that they take turns wearing one suit of clothes.

Fairbanks hops around from job to job, from aerial stuntman one day to chauffeur the next, ultimately getting mixed up with rum-running gangsters. (This is a Warner Bros. film, after all.) McHugh has less luck finding employment. Davis, playing an out-of-work stenographer called "Alabama", uses a Southern accent throughout. (Why not?) Fairbanks invites Davis to share the apartment he's got with McHugh, and the three become one little happy family, cheering each other on and scraping around to put food in their stomachs.

Fairbanks and McHugh play off each other well as the two buddies. Miss Davis is young and blonde and sweet and pretty, and fits in nicely with the boys. Her great acting triumphs were still to come, but she's always a pleasure to watch (even in films she despised).

There are a few Pre-Code touches that stand out to the trained observer. Firstly, the sound of a toilet flushing (before Hollywood was forced to ignore the very existence of toilets). There are also a couple of rather amusing (if homophobic) scenes where Fairbanks and McHugh joke around in "sissy" voices. And when a car passes by when Frank McHugh is thumbing for a ride, he gives the driver an entirely different hand gesture.

As far as 70-minute Pre-Code films go, PARACHUTE JUMPER is rather enjoyable. The story isn't very deep, but it's not exactly something you've seen before. Fairbanks, McHugh, and Davis seem to have a good time. There's biplanes and booze, gangsters and guns, good girls and shady dames, romance and wisecracks, and even some parachute jumping. The movie's got just about everything, and it's all rather fast-paced and light-hearted. A good time.


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