Since the earliest days of moviemaking, airplanes have been stars on the big screen — often pushing credibility to the limits.
Take “”International House,”” a 1933 movie that was, ostensibly, about the invention of television. Packed with stars of the day, including Rudy Vallee, George Burns, Gracie Allen and Cab Calloway, the film is dominated by the performance of W.C. Fields, who plays Professor Henry Quail, arriving in an autogyro. Fields spends most of the film wandering through the hotel in a drunken chaos. In one of the most famous scenes in the film, he crashes an autogyro into the hotel, delivering the line “”Don’t let the posy fool ya!””
Fields, who made more than 30 movies and was famous for ad libbing his lines, was the first choice to play the title role in “”The Wizard of Oz,”” but declined the offer. Can’t you just hear him saying to Dorothy, “”Go away little girl, you bother me””?
See more about airplanes and Hollywood, including the latest hit, “”The Aviator,”” starting on page 33.