Wings in the Dark

Synopsis: Aeronautical engineer Ken Gordon and his faithful mechanic Mac are devoted to developing technology that will enable pilots to safely fly blind during adverse weather conditions. An irresponsible newsman, Nick Williams, publishes a premature story about a planned long distance flight Gordon hopes will prove his theories. Because of Williams, he loses funding but is introduced to skilled aviatrix Shiela Mason. After Gordon is literally blinded in a workshop accident, Shiela undertakes dangerous stunt flying jobs in order to secretly support Gordon's continuing research. When she undertakes a dangerous Moscow to New York non-stop flight and is in jeopardy of crashing over a fog-bound Roosevelt Field, there is only one person capable of saving her.
Director(s): James Flood
Production: Paramount Pictures
75 min

It looked swell, Sheila.

Thanks. It was a perfect

day for it.

Yeah, but holy smokes,

what a way to dot an "I."

Well, it got dotted,

didn"t it?

L"ll say it did.

Take Bonzo in

and give her a drink.

L"ll be using her tomorrow.

All right.

Hi, boys.


Hi, Sheila.

Did you make it?

And how.

Hello, Top.

Hello, Sheila.

Cup of coffee

and chocolate parfait.

What was it this time, Sheila,

a parachute jump into

Sheepshead Bay for dear old

Dooley"s Little Liver Pills?

Nope, just a simple little

spelling lesson

for the morons.

Not skywriting?


Oh, dear, oh, dear, l"d love

to be a flyer, wouldn"t you?

Way up there in the air.

It must give one a sense

of freedom, like, like...

Like a bird?

Yeah, a bird.

That"s it. Just like a bird.

All right, you monkeys,

kid if you like,

but $50 is $50.

Did they pay you $50

for doing that?

Sure. Me they did.

Go out and get yourself

a reputation.

What do you mean, reputation?

I only got 7,000 hours

in the air.

And 10,000 hours

in the seat of your pants

on that chair.

I guess that grounds you,

my friend.

What"d you use, Sheila,

that crate of yours?

Sure, why not?

Better watch it.

L"ll have to ground you.

What do you mean, Top?

Bonzo"s still good

for 200 hours.

It"s not me,

it"s the government.

I only work for them.

Quit worrying, Top.

The kid"s got luck.

Sure, just like me.

I remember one time I was

flying an old girl who had a

son in Omaha with a toothache.

Hi, boys. Hi, Sheila. Hi, Top.

How"d you make out?

Well, l"m here.

Good. Here"s your money,

minus my fin.

Now about tomorrow,

I got something swell.

How swell?

Well, 25 bucks.

But you don"t have to do

practically nothing.

And just what is nothing?

You don"t think l"d ask you

to do anything dangerous,

do you? L"m your manager.

I got everything

to lose.

Go on.

Now, look, there"s a little

joint out in New Jersey, see?

And they got a bridge.

And they want somebody

to fly under it?


What"d they build

a bridge for, anyway?

Civic pride.

Now look, you can do it

with your eyes closed.

It"s about 20 feet high

and 40 feet wide and a nice

little river underneath.

That"s in case

I miss.

You can"t miss.

After that, all you gotta do

is a parachute jump.

Oh, that"s all?


Is that before the bridge

or after the bridge

or under the bridge?

Now, Sheila, it"s a cinch.

Okay. What time does

this cinch take place?

00. The sun"s right

at your back.

You think of everything,

don"t you?

Why don"t you hire this guy

to shoot you, Sheila?

Save a lot of trouble.

Now quiet, Top, quiet!

Hey, Top, ain"t that

Ken Gordon coming in?

Ken Gordon?


Over the south runway.

Don"t you see him?

That"s Ken, all right,

flying that blind

goose of his.

We"ve just passed

over the field.


L"m going to turn and go down.

Now, take it easy, Chief!

What"s he doing here?

Flying blind in a hop

from his own field.

Flying blind, now?

Yes, l"ve been expecting him.

I think l"ll take a peek

at that jalopy.

Me, too.

Here we go.

L"m leveling off.

Well, I hope Top saw

that landing. It"ll save

an awful lot of conversation.


What a flyer.

Did you ever meet him, Sheila?

Once, but he wouldn"t

remember me.

Hey, what"s he got

that we haven"t?

He"s a flyer, son.

Well, we fly, too, you know.

I know, but when you go out

and pick a couple of people

off ice floes

and fly serum through

a blizzard to a lot

of sick Eskimos,

then l"ll buy your violets.

See that landing?

Anything wrong

with it?


Was it blind?

Yes, and the take-off, too.

Take a look.

L"d like to.

Some board you"ve got up here.

Certainly is blind, all right.

We gave her the works

didn"t we, Mac?

L"ll say. And we brought

her down

in our own field

last week with the fog


Even the birds were walking.

Looks like you"re in.

I am in. When do I go?

Paris is a long way off,

Ken, blind.

It"s a long way off any way

you take it, but l"m going.

It"s your funeral, not mine.

Come on, Top.

Get on the phone to Washington

and tell those red-tape

artists what you saw today.

I can"t miss, l"m telling you.

When do you want to take off?

Why, right away.

Tomorrow, if the

weather"s right.

L"ll see what I can do.

All right, but keep it

under your hat.

I don"t want any ballyhoo

until after it"s through.


Like to take a ride?

Me? In that? L"m working

for the government,

not dying for it.

Hi, Ken.

Hi, Nick.

Nice little plane

you got here.

Like it?

They tell me

you fly her blind.

That"s how I landed.

What are you going

to do with her?

Just kick it around.

Get you lots of publicity

with this.

You know, those ballyhoo

flyers you work for

are getting you down.

You got the wrong slant.

Now, let me handle you

and l"ll put you

on every front page

in the country

and boy, how that front page

pays off.

Yeah. Some day a front page

is going to walk right up

and bite you,

and you"ll be sorry.

All right, all right,

just talking for your

own good. You"ll learn.

Well, I got to be going.

Be seeing you.

Keep after that, Top.


All clear?



How"d you like to fly to Paris

with that guy?

How"d I like to what?

If you"re a good girl,

I might be able to fix it.

Hold it.

How"s it coming?

Eighty-five here, Chief.

How many all around?

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Jack Kirkland

Jack Kirkland (Born July 25, 1902 in St. Louis, Missouri, died February 22, 1969 in New York City) was an American playwright, producer, director and screenwriter.Kirkland's greatest success was the play Tobacco Road, adapted from the Erskine Caldwell novel. His other plays included Frankie and Johnny, Tortilla Flats, Suds in your Eye, Mr. Adam, Man with the Golden Arm, and Mandingo.Kirkland collaborated with Melville Baker on several screen projects including Zoo in Budapest (1933) starring Loretta Young and Gene Raymond, Now and Forever (1934) starring Gary Cooper, Carole Lombard and Shirley Temple, and The Gilded Lily (1935) starring Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray and Ray Milland. Jack Kirkland was married several times and had several children, one of whom was the ballerina Gelsey Kirkland. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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