The war is over but a new struggle begins for former World War I flyboys Cary Lockwood and his three friends. They are all shell-shocked by their combat experiences and ill-fitted for a world of workaday responsibility.
The war is over but a new struggle begins for former World War I flyboys Cary Lockwood (Richard Barthelmess) and his three friends. They are all shell-shocked by their combat experiences and ill-fitted for a world of workaday responsibility. For them, the night life of Paris is an irresistible siren's call. Then comes the allure of Lisbon with its passion and bullfighting. Then may come the tragic result of the quartet's inability to rediscover the selves the war took from them.Airman-turned-Hollywood-writer John Monk Saunders (Wings, The Dawn Patrol) continued his tales of men and flying machines with this alternately bonhomie-infused and poignant drama directed by William Dieterle (The Hunchback of Notre Dame).
Curiously reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway's SUN ALSO RISES, THE LAST FLIGHT dramatizes the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. Four Yankee army buddies (Richard Barthelmess, Johnny Mack Brown, David Manners and Elliot Nugent) are invalided out of service during World War One, victims of profound physical and emotional injuries. Disillusioned by their wartime experiences, the foursome head to Paris, there to spend their waking hours getting drunk. They meet an enigmatic young American woman named Nikki (Helen Chandler), a kindred spirit who becomes their constant companion. Because of their reluctance to invest their true emotions in anything, an unspoken agreement between the five lost souls precludes sex with Nikki, but this does not stop a mutual friend (Arthur Byron) from clumsily trying to seduce the girl. In search of excitement, Nikki and the boys head for Portugal, where on impulse one of the men jumps in the ring during a bullfight. He is mortally wounded, and when asked why he exposed himself to certain death, he replies "It seemed like a good idea at the time." Gradually the friends' ranks diminish due to misadventure and sudden death, until only Richard Barthelmess is left. He meets Nikki on a train bound for Lisbon, where the two melancholy expatriates finally declare their love for each other.
Paris, France |
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