The Last Flight

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A study of the Lost Generation more quintessentially Fitzgerald than anything Scott Fitzgerald ever wrote: a doomed, innocently mad-cap frolic over which hangs the aura of despair. Adapted by John Monk Saunders from his own novel Single Lady, it chronicles the dark night of the soul of four young aviators, invalided out as 'spent bullets' at the end of World War I and lingering on in Paris to drown their shattered nerves in dry Martinis and zany banter with a dreamily dotty rich girl in whom they instantly recognise a kindred spirit when they see her in a bar solemnly guarding someone's false teeth in her champagne glass. Nothing happens, and 'nothing matters' echoes as an ominous motif through the brilliantly racy conversations, until suddenly, within the space of a few minutes running time, three of the four have died or disappeared, and a curtain seems to fall on an era as the fourth is left to mourn the comradeship that alone survived the war. With superb dialogue that paints hell in wisecracks and an extraordinary performance by Helen Chandler as the girl, it's a small masterpiece.

By: TM

Release details

Duration: 77 mins

Cast and crew

Director: William Dieterle
Screenwriter: John Monk Saunders
Cast: Richard Barthelmess
Helen Chandler
John Mack Brown
David Manners
Elliott Nugent
Walter Byron
Luis Alberni
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