- SAFE IN HELL
1:00 5:20 9:40
- CENTRAL AIRPORT
3 FILMS FOR 1 ADMISSON
Tickets available at box office only
(1931) Shady lady in the tropics Dorothy Mackaill strikes matches on her thumbnail and flames in the pants of as sleazy and sinister a bunch as ever crawled out of the woodwork. Preserved by the Library of Congress.
1:00, 5:20, 9:40
(1933) Guilt-ridden and banned from commercial flying after a disastrous crash, Richard Barthelmess finds a pilot’s job and love with stunt parachutist Sally Eilers. With an air-sea rescue in heavy fog climax and John Wayne in blink-of-an-eye bit. Preserved by the Library of Congress.
(1934) Downunder “Western,” as Richard Dix’s eponymous Aussie outlaw aids maid Irene Dunne’s rise to international opera stardom. Print courtesy TCM and Library of Congress.
SAFE IN HELL
"A twisted pre-Code heart-breaker... Wellman’s treatment of ex-Broadway actress Maude Fulton’s script is scrappy, funny, and sad by turns (and isn’t it that volatile, hard-to-classify mix that’s part of the Code’s taboo?) and will knock you flat."
– Nicolas Rapold, The L Magazine
“A no-holds-barred excursion into the dark and tawdry… In its deliberate pacing, bleak atmosphere and tragic situations, it looks forward to other Wellman character studies such as The Ox-Bow Incident and Track of the Cat.”
– John Andrew Gallagher & Frank Thompson
"Wellman shoots the moon with mobile camerawork and cantilevered angles. The technique is a piquant contrast to the claustrophobic tale of entrapment and limited options. With the help of Mackaill’s no-nonsense performance, Wellman sculpts a tragedy with a gentle, curious sense of salvation."
– Brynn White, Altscreen
"Plenty of Wellman's mannerisms are present: tracking shots following two people talking their way to somewhere, low pans and no-bullshit set-ups with a feel for industry and transit, eateries and hang-outs; here the serving of cheap brandy and weight of saloon stairs—the sources of what Manny Farber called Wellman's 'minor achievements,' sharp fictions where there'd be 'no reason for any movie realist to handle the subject again.'... The world of the film is a small, unstable one, made smaller by the sweat of loneliness, the memory of crime, the threat of violence and rape. So it's entirely devoid of sentiment, and, at its conclusion, stunningly downbeat—even Lang would bristle."
– Matthew Flanagan, MUBI
“Wellman's splendid direction deftly blends comedic moments with surprisingly dark undertones.”
– Chicago Reader
“The aerial stuff dominates, and is such an expert mixture of the real thing, excellent stunt work and first-class miniatures and special effects, that it gives the whole film a production gloss that mere programmers would not be able to afford for very much longer. It’s fast, slick, brittle, with no time for any dull spots – and too many interesting faces to look at even if there were… A most enjoyable and expert little film of its type.”
– William K. Everson
“A sublimely outrageous hybrid of musical and Western adventure… Certainly one of the more unusual items in Wellman's filmography.”
– Roger Fristoe
“Genuinely odd… Think of it as Robin Hood meets The Phantom of the Opera.”
– Scott Foundas, LA Weekly
“One of the more unbelievable musicals ever to emanate from RKO — not to mention one of Wellman’s stranger directorial efforts.”
– All Movie Guide