Help needed to identify actors, airplanes and landscapes

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thomas_gladysz

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Help needed to identify actors, airplanes and landscapes

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 9:21 am

I am nearing completion of a project on the once "considered lost" 1927 Louise Brooks film, Now We're in the Air, and need help identifying a few of the actors, the type of airplanes, and perhaps even the locale of some of the exterior shots. As many of you may know, a 23 minute fragment of the film was found in the Czech Republic in 2016 by Robert Byrne, and was shown at the 2017 San Francisco Silent Film Festival and most recently at Pordenone.

14 numbered screen captures from the surviving film can be found at the Louise Brooks Society blog at http://www.louisebrookssociety.blogspot.com/2017/10/help-needed-to-identify-actors.html

Thank you for your help.
For the latest, check out the LOUISE BROOKS SOCIETY blog
http://louisebrookssociety.blogspot.com/
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R Michael Pyle

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Re: Help needed to identify actors, airplanes and landscapes

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 9:50 am

In photo #3 the soldier in the middle is a fairly young Theodore von Eltz.
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fredhedges

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Re: Help needed to identify actors, airplanes and landscapes

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 10:38 am

The large aircraft is a Martin MB-1, I believe. The scout plane nearest the camera in still #7 looks like a Fokker D-VII judging by the tail and struts. The other scout I can't make out from the photos provided.
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missdupont

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Re: Help needed to identify actors, airplanes and landscapes

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 11:07 am

I'm wondering if they stole footage from WINGS, because that large plane looks like the one in WINGS. The carnival sequences are at the Lasky Ranch in what is now Forest Lawn Hollywood. The hill visible behind is now called Mt. Lee, and the Hollywood Sign is on the other side. The shot of the winding road from the balloon looks like it could be the Topanga Canyon area.
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thomas_gladysz

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Re: Help needed to identify actors, airplanes and landscapes

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 12:27 pm

Thank you for all the help so far. I am wowed.

Good guess about the "Wings" footage. I did find a handwritten notation in the "Now We're in the Air" scenario mentioning the desire for left-over footage from "Wings," which had been completed just a few months earlier (also for Paramount). And actually, the two films shared cinemaphotographer Harry Perry. When you see the preserved fragment from the film, the "Wings" footage sticks out.
For the latest, check out the LOUISE BROOKS SOCIETY blog
http://louisebrookssociety.blogspot.com/
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T0m M

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Re: Help needed to identify actors, airplanes and landscapes

PostTue Oct 24, 2017 7:41 pm

As previously noted by fredhedges the scout in the foreground of photo #7 is a Fokker D.VII, while the bomber is a Martin and the far scout is unidentifiable.

The bomber in photo #8 appears to be the same one as in photo #7. In this case we can see four widely and equally spaced wheels, indicative of a Martin MB-1.

However, there doesn't appear to be the same strut configuration as seen on an MB-1. It's possible they may have modified aircraft used for ground shots, to better resemble the German aircraft they were representing. This was done in Wings. When the "Gotha" is rolled out of the hanger, it has the single rudder of a real Gotha but aerial shots show the twin rudder of a Martin. In the case of Wings, the bomber also shows the two widely spaced sets of wheels and folding wings of a Martin MB-2.

Photo #9 is clearly not the same aircraft in photos #7 and #8. Everything is slightly scaled down and simplified. The radiator tops are not as rounded and the skull and crossbones are notably different. The eye sockets are larger and more oval, the nose socket is longer and the bones cross at much closer to a right angle. I believe this is a mock-up to facilitate simulated (i.e. in-studio) aerial shots.

Photo #10 appears to be from Wings. The scouts are the same Curtis P-1 Hawks used in Wings. They are identifiable by wings which are tapered on both leading and trailing edges. As in Wings, the left scout is dark coloured, while the right scout is light coloured. If this is from Wings, the bomber is a Martin MB-2.

The bombers in both films are Martins but different versions. This films uses an MB-1, while Wings employs an MB-2.
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thomas_gladysz

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Re: Help needed to identify actors, airplanes and landscapes

PostTue Oct 24, 2017 9:14 pm

Thanks to T0m M and each of you for your help. I really appreciate it. I have updated the blog to include all of the information that has come in from various sources.
For the latest, check out the LOUISE BROOKS SOCIETY blog
http://louisebrookssociety.blogspot.com/

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