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Flying Blind


A spy steals a secret military device, then hijacks an airliner to get away. The airliner crashes in the wilderness & the survivors are threatened by a raging forest fire.

Flying Blind is a 1941 American action film and comedy film directed by Frank McDonald (director) and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film was the second in a series of three Pine-Thomas adventure films that included Forced Landing (film) (1941) and Submarine Alert (1943). The film stars Richard Arlen, Jean Parker, Nils Asther, Marie Wilson (American actress), Roger Pryor, Eddie Quillan and Dick Purcell.


After being fired for taking the blame for his co-pilot's incompetence, airline pilot Jim Clark (Richard Arlen) starts his own airline, Honeymoon Air, flying for weddings and divorces between Los Angeles and Las Vegas/Reno. He brings stewardess Shirley Brooks (Jean Parker) with him as a partner.
Jim is in love with Shirley, but has not asked her yet because of all the work in starting the new business. Shirley mistakes this for a lack of interest. Tired of waiting, she becomes engaged to another pilot, Bob Fuller (Dick Purcell). Jim is upset and arranges for Bob to go to Hackensack, New Jersey, for a phony job just to get him out of the way and prevent Shirley from marrying him.
Next, Jim and Shirley fly to Las Vegas with two newlywed couples: Veronica (Marie Wilson) and Chester Gimble (Grady Sutton), and Danila (Kay Sutton) and Eric Karolek (Nils Asther) (in reality, a spy named Colonel Boro). Joining them is their mechanic, Riley (Eddie Quillan), who is expecting to become a father any day. Jim is unaware that the Karolek couple are spies who work for Rocky Drake (Roger Pryor), attempting to steal a transformer used for a top-secret XB-62 bomber prototype. While the others are off celebrating, Drake meets his contact, gets the transformer and kills the man delivering it.
Drake sneaks aboard Jim's aircraft, flying back to Los Angeles. When Jim discovers the freeloader, he tries to turn the aircraft back to turn him into the police, but Drake forces him to continue. They fight over control of the aircraft. Shirley, not realizing it is for real, gives Drake's gun to Eric Karolek, who forces Jim to fly towards Mexico. On the way, the aircraft passes through a storm and starts shaking violently, causing an Allison V-1710 engine block Drake brought aboard, to break loose, smashing instruments and engine controls inside the cockpit. Even with his engines shut down, Jim manages to land in the mountains.
While Jim and Drake try to repair the aircraft, Chester Gimble tries to call for help and fires off a signal flare, that lands in a nearby bush and sets it on fire. The fire comes closer and threatens them all, but soon the aircraft is ready to fly. Drake and the Karoleks try to commandeer the flight and a struggle ensues. In the end, Riley shoots and kills Drake. They all board the aircraft and Jim is able to take off.
Jim flies back to Las Vegas just in time to get the transformer back in place in the bomber before its test flight. Jim is the hero of the day, and he and Shirley go back to Los Angeles. When Bob comes back from New Jersey, upset because of the stunt Jim pulled on him, Shirley informs him that their engagement is off and that she instead plans to marry Jim.


  • Richard Arlen as Jim Clark
  • Jean Parker as Shirley Brooks
  • Nils Asther as Eric Karolek/Colonel Boro
  • Marie Wilson (American actress) as Veronica Gimble
  • Roger Pryor as Rocky Drake
  • Eddie Quillan as Riley
  • Dick Purcell as Bob Fuller
  • Grady Sutton as Chester Gimble
  • Kay Sutton as Miss Danila
  • Charlotte Henry as Corenson's Secretary
  • Joseph Crehan as Nunnally
  • William Hall (actor) as Lew West
  • Dwight Frye as Leo Qualen
  • James Seay as Dispatcher


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Principal photography for Flying Blind took place from mid-June to early July 1941 at the Reliance-Majestic Studios, Hollywood, California, and the Alhambra and Rosemead, California airports.|group=N}}


Flying Blind was another in the series of B movies churned out by the Pine-Thomas Productions team. Along with flying scenes, the use of zany characters and slapstick efforts were juxtaposed with a spy story, as evidenced by the original tagline: "A plane-load of thrills ... as two lovers battle spies in the skies!"




  • Dwiggins, Don. Hollywood Pilot: The Biography of Paul Mantz. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1967.
  • Farmer, James H. Celluloid Wings: The Impact of Movies on Aviation. Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: Tab Books Inc., 1984. ISBN 978-0-83062-374-7.
  • Wynne, H. Hugh. The Motion Picture Stunt Pilots and Hollywood's Classic Aviation Movies. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 1987. ISBN 0-933126-85-9.

Category:1941 films
Category:1940s drama films
Category:American films
Category:American spy films
Category:Aviation films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:English-language films
Category:Films directed by Frank McDonald
Category:Films set in the Las Vegas Valley
William H. Pine, William C. Thomas

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