A quick little review this week of a fun, if somewhat odd, 1937 romance: Non Stop New York.
Based on the novel Sky Steward by Ken Attiwill, it centers on a man wrongly accused of murder who can only be cleared by a lovely young chorus girl – and no one will believe that she’s the star witness because hey, we need a plot device. The dialogue is witty, the special effects were quite good for the time, and the cast is top notch.
The film is full of people you recognize, even if you didn’t know their names. You may know the name of Anna Lee, who stars as Jennie Carr, the aforementioned witness. The primary Scotland Yard investigator, Jim Grant, is played by John Loder. Loder and Lee have a great chemistry together, and just look like they are having the best time, even when fighting (which is often).
The Chief Bad Guy, Hugo Brant, is performed by Francis Sullivan. You will likely recognize Sullivan if you ever saw 1946 Great Expectations (Jaggers), or the 1948 Oliver Twist (Bumble), or the 1948 Joan of Arc (Count-Bishop of Beauvais), or any other large number of films. Then there’s the weaselly Sam Pryor, a bookie-cum-blackmailer, played by the classically trained Shakespearean actor Frank Cellier.
The film is sometimes categorized as Sci-Fi due to futuristic elements. Most of those elements have to do with the “Air Mail”, the trans-Atlantic plane our characters take on a non-stop flight from England to New York (hence the title). Picture a cross between a small cruise ship and a double-decker DC-10. The craft has staterooms, a dining area, a lounge, various storage rooms, hallways, stairs, and even an observation deck. I know I enjoy stepping outside for some fresh air at 20,000 feet, don’t you? I suppose on an 18 hour flight, one occasionally wants to step out and stare at the water.
This is a fun flick for a rainy afternoon, and at a shade over 71 minutes, it’s a quick bit of brain candy.
This is the print I watched, which was generally decent condition, though there is a small amount of distortion at the bottom of the screen (about 3% of the image) at times. The sound is very good as well.
This print is more popular, but a bit more blurry. It has the same screen distortion as the one above.