The Skywayman (1920) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Skywayman (1920)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

"Safety second is my motto" -- so said daredevil pilot Ormer Locklear. After doing his duty as an aviator in World War I and performing an array of frightening flying stunts in Hollywood for nearly a year and a half, Locklear's motto came back to haunt him when, on August 2, 1920, he was killed during the filming of this picture. Unfortunately the story and stunts aren't worthy of his legend. Locklear plays Captain Norman Locke, who returns from the Great War with an injury that has caused him to lose his memory. He doesn't recognize his folks or his girl, Virginia (Louise Lovely), so Dr. Leveridge (Sam deGrasse) offers to try to cure him. The good doctor, however, is a bad guy -- he wants Virginia all to himself and fully intends this "treatment" to result in Locke's death. A few knocks on the head later, however, Locke's memory really does returns and Dr. Leveridge kills himself. The aeroplane stunts performed here by Locklear are daring to be sure -- he battles a carload of villainous types from his craft, he leaps from his flying machine to a train, sends it into a flaming tailspin, etc. -- but he'd done all this, and more dangerous stunts, before. Fox, the producing studio, donated ten percent of the picture's profits to the families of Locklear and his hapless pilot.


Ormer Locklear
as Captain Norman
Jack Brammell
as Nobby Brooks
Louise Lovely
as Virginia Ames
Sam De Grasse
as Dr. Wayne Leveridge
Ted McCann
as William Elmer

Critic Reviews for The Skywayman

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

The photography is fine and the picture is worth seeing, if only for a farewell glance of a man who was brave and handsome and young and gay.

March 3, 2021 | Full Review…

[Locklear's] work will not only go down in words, to be studied and copied, but actual photographs of his feats can at any time be reproduced. What is gone in the flesh will live on forevermore on the screen.

March 3, 2021 | Full Review…

A feature wherein opportunities for spectacular thrills by trick aeroplane driving are capitally utilized, with a pleasant story trend in attractive surroundings makes this offering by Fox interesting in itself.

March 3, 2021 | Full Review…

The best stunt is the one in which Locke's machine wrecks a church steeple and sends the villains scooting from this hiding place.

March 3, 2021 | Full Review…

We think [Locklear's] stunts are going to be a trifle disappointing to the public, who, knowing of the star's death, are likely to expect something absolutely reckless and look for a new record in screen daredeviltry.

March 3, 2021 | Full Review…

[Locklear] drops from an aeroplane to the top of a swiftly moving passenger train, then reverses the stunt, climbing back to the plane by means of a rope ladder. The feat is accomplished in a way that thrills the spectator to the core.

March 3, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews

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