Vintage original 8 x 10 in. UK double-weight glossy photograph from the 1920s aviation-themed silent film comedy, A HERO FOR A NIGHT, released in 1927 by Universal Pictures and directed by William James Craft.
The image depicts an exterior scene of taxi driver Hiram Hastings (Glenn Tryon) having a bad time in front of a large group of people as they laugh at him. This scene was filmed in Pasadena, California on the grounds of the Hotel Green (AKA Castle Green), which still exists today, and was featured in many films over the years. Printed for the film's original UK theatrical release, it is in fine- condition.
*"A Hero for a Night is a 1927 American silent comedy film directed by William James Craft and produced and distributed by Universal Pictures, cashing in on the "Lindy craze", generated by Charles Lindbergh's famous ocean crossing flight. The film stars Glenn Tryon, Patsy Ruth Miller and Burr McIntosh.
In the era of Charles Lindbergh's ocean crossing flight, the Curtiss Model D Headless pusher that Glenn Tryon flies, which is depicted in some lobby art, would have been an antique by 1927. The Curtiss "Pusher" was a replica created by Al Wilson for use in air fairs as well as in Hollywood features. Several early Curtiss Pushers were still airworthy in 1927 but the rapid advance in aviation made them obsolete especially just prior to World War I and after.
Aviation historian Michael Paris in From the Wright Brothers to Top Gun: Aviation, Nationalism, and Popular Cinema (1995) described the frenzy of trying to woo Lindbergh to do a film. Hollywood resorted to a spate of aviation-related features including Publicity Madness (1927), Flying Romeos (1928) and A Hero for a Night, even the Walt Disney Studios' Plane Crazy (1928), all comedy spoofs of the Lindbergh transatlantic flight. Aviation film historian Stephen Pendo, in Aviation in the Cinema (1985) noted A Hero for a Night involved "high jinks" in the air. Aviation film historian James Farmer in Celluloid Wings: The Impact of Movies on Aviation (1984) considered A Hero for a Night, a "comedic melodrama."
A Hero for a Night survives and has been released on DVD.
*"Hiram Hastings, who drives a taxi at an eastern summer resort, takes a correspondence course in aviation and builds his own airplane, hoping to enter a race from New York to Europe. Samuel Sloan, a wealthy soap manufacturer, arrives with his daughter Mary, a trained nurse, and his confidential secretary, the last two secretly plotting to get Sloan's holdings. Hiram, infatuated with Mary, crashes a banquet in honor of a visiting French aviator and takes it upon himself to be speaker of the evening, though he is ejected. Mary learns of the plotting and with the aid of Hiram and his plane sets out for New York, but Hiram pilots them across the ocean into Russia and there makes a forced landing. The success of the flight, however, saves the Sloan fortune."
*(source: AFI Catalog of Feature Films)
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