Movies Home

The Air Mail

Released in the United States March 16, 1925

1 hour 20 minutes - Black and White - Silent film - Action, Adventure, Romance

Four of eight reels survive at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Graphic heavy, please wait to load

Russ Kane obtains work as a pilot in the airmail service with the purpose of robbing the mails. However, during his training period at the Reno field, he becomes imbued with the spirit of the service and dedicates himself to getting the mail through. Russ is forced to make an emergency landing near a ghost town, where he meets Alice Rendon and her invalid father, who is badly in need of medicine. Russ repairs his plane and promises to return on the following day with the elder Rendon's medicine. Making good on his promise, Russ returns, carrying with him a valuable mail shipment and his friend, Sandy. The plane is attacked by two planes belonging to a gang that smuggles dope and aliens across the Mexican border. Sandy makes a parachute jump with the mail sack, and Russ maneuvers his craft so that the pursuing planes are forced to crash. Russ then lands his plane, only to discover that the Rendons have been captured by three escaped convicts. Russ manages to bring the men to justice, winning the gratitude and love of Alice. Sandy realizes the crowning ambition of his young life and delivers the mail.
Description from AFI Catalog Silent Films

Little is known about this film. The filming in Rhyolite apparently took place around the Bottle House, It has been said that Paramount Studios rebuilt the bottle house just before the movie was made. We have found that the only thing that was done was a hole that was made for the camera and repair of the hole after the movie was made. As you can see from the poster above (compliments of Bill Miller) some shooting was done in the center of town. You can just see the railroad depot in the background. After the filming was complete, Paramount Studios turned the Bottle House over to the Beatty Improvement Association. From that point on, someone has been taking care of the Bottle House in Rhyolite.

Some of the Cast

Warner Baxter
as Russ Kane

Billie Dove
as Alice Rendon

Mary Brian
as Minnie Wade

Douglas Fairbanks Sandy

Saturday Matinee Premiere Sidney Lust's Leader Theater at 507
Ninth Street NW in Washington, D.C. Now playing: The Air Mail,
starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and an Our Gang short. National
Photo Company glass negative. - from Shorpy

In 1925, Paramount Pictures came out with a movie call Air Mail,
with the good guys, bad guys, love and romance. The only good
part of the picture was the ground and aerial scenes in which the
old reliable DH-4 was the star of the show. At least that seems to
interest such air mail personnel as (left to right) Steve Kaufman,
Ed Carney, Robert Ellis, Shirley Short (holding reel), Randolph
Page and Johnny Ruden. Chicago, 1925. from Airmail Pioneers

The film was directed by Irvin Willat
Written by James Shelley Hamilton
presented by Jesse L. Lasky and Adolph Zukor
Production Company was the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Filming locations: Death Valley National Park, California, and Rhyolite, Nevada