Sky Racket (1937)
Article 5566 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Sam Katzman
Featuring Bruce Bennett, Joan Barclay, Monte Blue
What it is: Action thriller
A runaway bride stows away on a mail plane designed to serve as bait to catch a bunch of criminals using a death ray that kills the engines of planes.
If it’s the thirties and the plot involves an airplane and it has some science fiction content, it’s a fairly safe bet that the movie’s fantastic content will feature a death ray designed to bring down planes; there are exceptions, but not many. Since the opening quarter of the movie consists of about 95 percent of the footage involving the runaway bride (which plays as a comedy) and only 5 percent of the footage setting up the death ray angle, you can forgive me for hoping that the movie was going to vary the formula a bit by combining the plane-downing death ray story with a screwball comedy angle, but in truth it pretty much sticks to the routine, but then, what do you expect from a Sam Katzman cheapie? The cast also features Duncan Renaldo and Hattie McDaniel, which adds a little novelty value to this one. Nonetheless, this one is rather dreary and uninspired.