SKY PARADE (1936)
Article #1140 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-28-2004
Posting Date; 9-25-2004
Directed by Otho Lovering
Featuring Jimmie Allen, William Gargan, Katherine DeMille
This is the story of the trials and tribulations of a group of World War One pilots attempting to find their place in the world after the war. It also recounts the mythic origins of that legendary teenage pilot, Jimmie Allen.
At the outset I’ll point out that the fantastic elements in this tale are slight; they don’t appear until the latter half of the movie, and they involve the creation of an automatic pilot and the attempts of spies to acquire the secret. If this doesn’t fire your interest, than it may interest you to know that this is the sole movie appearance of Jimmie Allen (who is billed above the title and plays himself); apparently, “Jimmie” was a character in a popular radio drama of the thirties who was played by John Frank, though since John Frank was over forty when he played the part on the radio, I highly doubt that he’s playing “Jimmie Allen” here. If the movie still doesn’t appeal to you, you should know it also features the comedy stylings of Syd Saylor. If that doesn’t trip your trigger, then I’ll just mention that the movie has lots of airplane footage. If you still find the movie less than enticing, then you’re out of luck; the tepid and uninvolving story really doesn’t make for a memorable cinematic experience. Personally, the most interesting thing I found about the movie (other than the “Jimmie Allen” story) is the presence of Bowery-Boy-to-be Benny Bartlett as a younger version of Jimmie Allen; it’s been only two days since I encountered him as an ersatz Bowery Boy in THE GAS HOUSE KIDS IN HOLLYWOOD. It’s a small world.