❤ Sharing Folkworthy Stuffs ❤
5 Comments | Vintage
To the lower right of the belltower we can clearly see Satan clinging to the side, whooping excitedly as his minions carry out his evil plans.
Wow. Can you give any context to the photo? Did the two free falling persons survive?
Alright kids, which one of you destroyed the bell tower this time?
This was filmed for the movie The Skywayman. The movie has been lost to time – no copies exist.
The pilot is Ormer Locklear, flying a Curtis JN-4. He was the star of the movie – doing his own stunts (flying the plane). He was a noted stunt pilot, coming to personal fame for his abilities. He is recognized as being key to bringing aviation to the movies.
He was not injured in this stunt (the two stunt people mid-air are jumping out of the tower, as planned). It was one of two stunts (plane into a steeple, and plane-to-plane mid-air transfer) that almost resulted in crashes.
Unfortunately, a third stunt didn’t end so well…
>”The last stunt scheduled for filming was a nighttime spin, initially to take place in daylight with cameras fitted with red filters to simulate darkness. Locklear, under a lot of pressure, with not only his family life being in upheaval but also learning that studio head William Fox was not going to extend his contract beyond one film, demanded that he be allowed to fly at night. The studio relented and on August 2, 1920, publicity surrounding the stunt led to a large crowd gathering to witness the filming of the unusual stunt. Large studio arc lights were set up on DeMille Field 2 to illuminate the Curtiss “Jenny”, to be doused as the aircraft entered its final spin, to be turned off when the plane dropped to a certain altitude to inform Locklear about his position. The arc lights were never turned off though, and to shocked spectators and film crew, Locklear and his long-time flying partner Milton “Skeets” Elliot crashed heavily into the sludge pool of an oil well, never pulling out of the spin. Both occupants died instantly at the scene.”
>”With the entire film already “in the can” except for the night scene, Fox made the decision to capitalize on the crash and deaths of Locklear and Elliot, by rushing The Skywayman into production and release. With the lurid notices of The Skywayman proclaiming: “Every Inch Of Film Showing Locklear’s Spectacular (And Fatal) Last Flight. His Death-Defying Feats And A Close Up Of His Spectacular Crash To Earth,” the film was premiered in Los Angeles.”
I can imagine that looney tunes sound coming out of that plane. Puppity pupp pup, puppity pup pup PHooooo….