7.2/10
44
2 user 1 critic

Cock of the Air (1932)

An opera diva sets her sights on a womanizing army officer.

Director:

Tom Buckingham
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Sky Devils (1932)
Certificate: Passed Action | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Wilkie and Mitchell, trying to desert their draft into the army, stow away on a ship which takes them into the war zone. While AWOL, the rivals for Mary's affections accidently destroy an ... See full summary »

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: Spencer Tracy, William 'Stage' Boyd, George Cooper
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A wife does not want children, her husband leaves her and marries a woman who does.

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Billie Dove, Charles Starrett, Lois Wilson
The Outlaw (1943)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Western legends Pat Garrett, Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid are played against each other over the law and the attentions of vivacious country vixen Rio McDonald.

Directors: Howard Hughes, Howard Hawks
Stars: Jack Buetel, Thomas Mitchell, Jane Russell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Ralph Murphy
Stars: Richard Arlen, Chester Morris, Genevieve Tobin
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

In Japan, foreigners and their Japanese friends are caught up in the rising tide of militarism.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Margo, Tom Neal, J. Carrol Naish
Hell's Angels (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Brothers Monte and Ray leave Oxford to join the Royal Flying Corps. Ray loves Helen; Helen enjoys an affair with Monte; before they leave on their mission over Germany they find her in still another man's arms.

Directors: Howard Hughes, Edmund Goulding, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Ben Lyon, James Hall, Jean Harlow
Vendetta (1950)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The daughter of a slain man pushes her brother toward vengeance in 19th-century Corsica.

Directors: Mel Ferrer, Stuart Heisler, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Faith Domergue, George Dolenz, Donald Buka
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Twenty years after his triumphs as a freshman on the football field, Harold is a mild-mannered clerk who dreams about marrying the girl at the desk down the aisle. But losing his job ... See full summary »

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Frances Ramsden, Jimmy Conlin
Jet Pilot (1957)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Air Force Colonel Jim Shannon is tasked to escort a defecting Soviet pilot who is scheming to lure Shannon to the USSR.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: John Wayne, Janet Leigh, Jay C. Flippen
Blind Spot (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A mystery writer accused of murdering his publisher sets out to discover the real killer.

Director: Robert Gordon
Stars: Chester Morris, Constance Dowling, Steven Geray
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Blackie is the natural suspect when an expensive pearl necklace is stolen while he is supposed to be guarding it.

Director: Seymour Friedman
Stars: Chester Morris, June Vincent, Richard Lane
Underwater! (1955)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Two scuba divers find a shipwreck which may contain undiscovered treasure, however, their attempt to salvage it is threatened by scavengers.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Jane Russell, Gilbert Roland, Richard Egan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Chester Morris ... Lt. Roger Craig
Billie Dove ... Lilli de Rosseau
Matt Moore ... Terry
Walter Catlett ... Col. Wallace
Luis Alberni ... Capt. Tonnino
Kathryn Sergava ... Italian Girl #1 (as Katya Sergeiva)
Yola d'Avril ... Italian Girl #2
Vivien Oakland ... Irate Woman in Restaurant
Emile Chautard ... French Ambassador
Ethel Kenyon Ethel Kenyon ... Lilli's Companion (as Ethel Sutherland)
Peggy Watts Peggy Watts ... Lilli's Maid
Edit

Storyline

An opera diva sets her sights on a womanizing army officer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fresterskan från Paris See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Caddo Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film as a director of Tom Buckingham. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Howard Hughes: The Man and the Madness (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

You Would If You Could
Lyrics by David Silverstein and Bernie Grossman
Music by Alfred Newman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Sacrificed to the censor's scissors so SCARFACE could survive.
17 November 2002 | by arthurswardSee all my reviews

COCK OF THE AIR is a bright, intelligent, sensual romp. It is candy for the eyes and ears, a picture so competent that it transcends its 1931 origins by decades.

We have the ever-sturdy Chester Morris as the womanizing Lt. Roger Craig escaping the gunfire of jealous lovers. This gains his notice with Lilli de Rousseau, a recently deported Paris opera diva now living (under guard) in Italy. Miss de Rousseau is forced from Paris in the opening reel (what's left of it) because her irresistible magnetism imperils the war effort. This is not difficult to believe, as Billie Dove is totally ravishing as Lilli. She epitomizes desire, and the necklines of her gowns look as though the dressmaker ran out of fabric! Lilli sets out to ensnare and deny Lt. Craig, and his mounting frustration sets up increasing hilarity. The dialogue during one of these put-offs is an exchange of current events while Craig wrestles Lilli for a kiss. It's all done with light sophistication and great wit, not a hint of threat. The mood is kept light throughout the picture.

The scenes are underscored by specific musical cues that contribute to each step of the proceedings. A carnival is in progress for backgrounds and the festive atmosphere permeates Lilli and Roger's banter. The onscreen joy extends into the camerawork, as the visuals track, dip and zoom as though the DP had an Arriflex camera.

Alas, one of the put-offs Lilli devises was the first to hit the cutting room floor. In this scene, Lilli puts on an entire suit of armor (medieval style) and is reclined on a bed when Roger enters to pursue with a can opener!

Many other cuts leave scenes incomprehensible. It is difficult to assess whether these were done by Lewis Milestone to get the film released or whether the film base surrendered to the unmerciful sprocket claw at some point in time. What IS clear, by the evidence in surviving documents of the Hays Office, is that Colonel Jason S. Joy [what a surname for a prurient sort] had an axe to grind with Howard Hughes (this film's producer). It seems that a list of suggestions was compiled by "Joy" to bring the picture into conformity with the code. The original list resulted from the nominal submission of a shooting script to the Hays Office. When Joy discovered Hughes had shipped a positive print to every state before securing the Hays' MPPDA approval he became indignant. When a preview revealed his suggestions had been ignored, he set about sending a flurry of communications to the head office to make trouble, accusing the film to be in violation in title, content and portrayal.

This film was one of several Hughes launched simultaneously after HELL'S ANGELS. On the east coast, a film in production two months longer was wrapping at the same time. Its name is SCARFACE, and it, too was causing the Hays Office inordinate dismay. According to a quote from Hughes in defense of SCARFACE, "I gave up 'Queer People' [not filmed] to cooperate, and I cut up 'Cock Of The Air' until it wasn't any good, to cooperate." 1,800 feet hit the floor to satisfy Colonel Joy. As some of the cuts occur in sequences he suggested, I should note the print looks like solvent weld cement was abandoned for masking tape.

Code enforcement was inconsistent. I looked into Joy's treatment of 'A Farewell To Arms' for perspective. Same year, suggestions ignored, Joy's protestations relented due to the Hemmingway pedigree on the source material. Censorship is in inherently slippery slope. Celebrate what remains as a testament to vitality of Tom Buckingham's direction. This film gave its essence so that another may live.


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed