Emergency Landing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Emergency Landing Reviews

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½ April 14, 2016
Though I greatly dislike dogs (I'm a cat person), I have always admired their loyalty--definitely an underrated trait in the fickle, Johnny-come-lately environment of 2016 society. This film (which was titled 'Robot Pilot' in my Mill Creek 50-pack called 'Nightmare Worlds') started rather slowly, and I didn't think I was going to end up liking it. Though director Beaudine had made a ton of films (he has over 370 directing credits on IMDb), I had only previously seen his 'The Old Fashioned Way', from 1934 and starring W.C. Fields, which I had absolutely loved. So I was patient with it, even though Thornton Edwards' character 'Pedro' was crassly demeaning to Mexicans, and many early sequences that featured him were glaringly awful. I had also loved Evelyn Brent, who had IMHO been an outstandingly sexy and provocative presence in two of Josef von Sternberg's silent masterpieces ('Underworld' and 'The Last Command'), and it intrigued me to see her this much after those glory days.

I am glad that I stuck with the film. The last two-thirds more than made up for the picture's slow start, and ended up combining a then-topical plotline of enemy foreign agents stealing an experimental plane with a fun, enjoyable and entertainingly comical subplot 'morality tale' of the airplane manufacturer's spoiled daughter being made a prisoner for stealing gasoline and getting her comeuppance. Beaudine's taut direction cleverly brought together the disparate threads into a satisfying whole--and the hilarious ending made my belly ache from laughter. If you can handle B-pictures from the 30's and 40's and the aforementioned slow start, it's well worth your time and you won't be disappointed.
½ April 14, 2016
Though I greatly dislike dogs (I'm a cat person), I have always admired their loyalty--definitely an underrated trait in the fickle, Johnny-come-lately environment of 2016 society. This film (which was titled 'Robot Pilot' in my Mill Creek 50-pack called 'Nightmare Worlds') started rather slowly, and I didn't think I was going to end up liking it. Though director Beaudine had made a ton of films (he has over 370 directing credits on IMDb), I had only previously seen his 'The Old Fashioned Way', from 1934 and starring W.C. Fields, which I had absolutely loved. So I was patient with it, even though Thornton Edwards' character 'Pedro' was crassly demeaning to Mexicans, and many early sequences that featured him were glaringly awful. I had also loved Evelyn Brent, who had IMHO been an outstandingly sexy and provocative presence in two of Josef von Sternberg's silent masterpieces ('Underworld' and 'The Last Command'), and it intrigued me to see her this much after those glory days.

I am glad that I stuck with the film. The last two-thirds more than made up for the picture's slow start, and ended up combining a then-topical plotline of enemy foreign agents stealing an experimental plane with a fun, enjoyable and entertainingly comical subplot 'morality tale' of the airplane manufacturer's spoiled daughter being made a prisoner for stealing gasoline and getting her comeuppance. Beaudine's taut direction cleverly brought together the disparate threads into a satisfying whole--and the hilarious ending made my belly ache from laughter. If you can handle B-pictures from the 30's and 40's and the aforementioned slow start, it's well worth your time and you won't be disappointed.
June 9, 2013
Not at all what one might think it is. The plot isn't downright terrible, but it's hardly interesting. There are a lot of weird little moments, strange characters, and boring scenes. Overall, a disappointing film that mostly has nothing to do with a robot pilot.
½ January 5, 2011
This turkey isn't worth the time. the title might make you think of an AI as viewed from the 40's. what Metropolis was to the 20s... But NO! it's a tale reinforcing that uppity women are there waiting to be broken by a man tough enough for them. It wants to be Taming of the Shrew.
September 23, 2007
Low budget oldie, but very interesting and it always held my interest. The cast is great. Well written and enteraining. Short and sweet.
December 9, 2006
Robot Pilot (aka "Emergency Landing")
Starring: Forrest Tucker, Emmett Vogan, Carol Hughes, Evelyn Brent, and William Halligan
Director: William Beaudine


A test pilot (Tucker) and a weatherman/bush-pilot-turned-inventor (Vogan) have developed a prototype for a new kind of autopilot they believe will permit flawless remote-controlling of aircraft, thus allowing for bombing raids against the Nazis and Japanese without endanggering pilots. However, interference from enemy spies and an aircraft manufacturing mogul's ditzy, self-important daugther (Hughes) may well spell doom for their project before it ever gets off the ground.

"Robot Pilot" is an avation/sci-fi film with of heavy doses of coy, cute romancing and goofy comedy. Unfortunately, much of the comedy falls completely flat, partly because of changes in society in the 65 years since the film was made, and party because it just isn't very funny. (There's a "simple-minded Mexican" comic relief character whose scenes drag on and on and on. His stchick is actually somewhat more amusing when Evelyn Brant mimics him in a later scene. If fact, the funniest scenes in the film usually involve Brent, who is definately the most talented actress in the film.)

The simple story moves fast enough for the viewer to not get bored, nor to have time contemplate the implausibility of some of the plot developments. This may be damning with faint praise, but "Robot Pilot" is one of the best films William Beaudine ever directed. If there had been less ethnic humor and more intrigue and drama, it might have ennded up with a Five or Six rating.
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