Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Trailer: UP Original Movie 'My Other Mother' (Lynn Whitfield, Essence Atkins, Jasmine Guy) Debuts 9/21 Trailer: UP Original Movie 'My Other Mother' (Lynn Whitfield, Essence Atkins, Jasmine Guy) Debuts 9/21 Wendy Williams is Crushing the Competition in the Ratings, as Queen Latifah's Show Struggles In Last Place Wendy Williams is Crushing the Competition in the Ratings, as Queen Latifah's Show Struggles In Last Place The Cast of 'A Different World' 20 Years Later - 'Oprah: Where Are They Now?' The Cast of 'A Different World' 20 Years Later - 'Oprah: Where Are They Now?' Sundance Institute Selects 10 Writers for Inaugural Episodic Story Lab Sundance Institute Selects 10 Writers for Inaugural Episodic Story Lab Lamman Rucker, DB Woodside, Billy Dee Williams, Christian Keyes Lead 'Man in 3B' (Based on Carl Weber Bestseller) Lamman Rucker, DB Woodside, Billy Dee Williams, Christian Keyes Lead 'Man in 3B' (Based on Carl Weber Bestseller) Exclusive: Zoë Kravitz, Keith Stanfield, Kimberly Elise, A$AP Rocky Board Rick Famuyiwa's 'Dope' Exclusive: Zoë Kravitz, Keith Stanfield, Kimberly Elise, A$AP Rocky Board Rick Famuyiwa's 'Dope' Tribeca Film Announces 'Nas: Time is Illmatic' One Night Only October 2 National Screenings Tribeca Film Announces 'Nas: Time is Illmatic' One Night Only October 2 National Screenings The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chestnut Eyeing Leads In Revenge Thriller 'The Perfect Guy' Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chestnut Eyeing Leads In Revenge Thriller 'The Perfect Guy' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Rare Screening Of Silent Race Film 'The Flying Ace' In Chicago In Jan.

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act December 18, 2012 at 11:39PM

Though we like to think so, we're not perfect at S & A, and one thing we have been remiss in discussing in any detail, are the all important black films made from the silent era to the late 1940's.
0
The Flying Ace

Though we like to think so, we're not perfect at S & A, and one thing we have been remiss in discussing in any detail, are the all important black films made from the silent era to the late 1940's.

Better known as 'race' movies, these totally independently made black films, made exclusively for black audiences (by the likes of the Lincoln Picture Company based in Omaha and of course Oscar Micheaux who made some 37 films mainly in Chicago and New York - just to name two) were the earliest attempts to bring to people of color other images, diffferent than the stereotyped and usually degrading images of black people seen in Hollywood films.

Without these films, there would be literally be no black films today, as they paved the way and broke through so many barriers to show what was possible.

I should make it my 2013 New Year's resolution to occasionally do features about these race films and let me start off with the 1926 movie The Flying Ace.

Made by The Norman Film Company, which was founded by two white producing and directing brothers, Richard and Kenneth Norman, and based in Jacksonville Florida, the company made some six feature films with all-black casts, though, unfortunately, The Flying Ace is the only one to survive, and was restored by the Library of Congress in 2010.

The film deals with a crime fighting World War I ace fighter pilot Captain Billy Stokes (played by Lawrence Criner), who investigates the disappearance of a $25,000 railroad company payroll and the paymaster. Assisting Strokes is his flying pilot sweetheart Ruth Sawtelle (played by Kathryn Boyd).

The part of Sawtelle was very much inspired by the real life aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman.  Google her if you've never heard of her (and shame on you if you haven't). She had a truly amazing story, and ironically she was killed in a plane crash in Jacksonville in 1926, though whether her death was the inspiration for the film or if if it occurred after the film was made, is unclear.

And if you're thinking her story would make a great movie, someone already beat you to the punch. Euzhan Palcy tried several years ago to tried to get a Bessie Coleman film project off the ground, but didn't get far with it.

However, getting back to The Flying Ace and a chance to see the film, at least for those in the Chicago area.

There will be a rare screening of the film (accompanied with live organ music) at the Portage Theater in Chicago, on Weds Jan. 30, as part of the winter/early spring film schedule of the Northwest Chicago Film Society, which specializes in weekly screenings of older and rarely seen films that deserve to be better known.

You can find out more about the the screening of the The Flying Ace, as well as the Film Society HERE; and below is a trailer that was made for the film:


Shadow & ActNewsletter