The Flying Fool (1931 film)

The Flying Fool is a 1931 British comedy thriller film directed by Walter Summers and starring Henry Kendall, Benita Hume and Wallace Geoffrey.[1]

The Flying Fool
Directed byWalter Summers
Written byWalter Summers
Bernard Merivale
Arnold Ridley
StarringHenry Kendall
Benita Hume
Wallace Geoffrey
Ursula Jeans
Music byJohn Reynders
CinematographyClaude Friese-Greene
Stanley Rodwell
James Wilson
Edited byWalter Stokvis
Distributed byWardour Films
Release date
  • 1 August 1931 (1931-08-01)
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Vincent Floyd, a seeming lazy figure lounging around London Gentlemen's Clubs is in fact a secret agent hot on the trail of Michael Marlowe whom he suspects of smuggling drugs into Britain from France on a regular basis. Floyd has so far struggled to gain evidence on Marlowe, but through a series of incidents finds himself bound for Paris on the same plane as Marlowe. Marlowe succeeds in doping Floyd and taking him to his underground hideout beneath a Parisian back-alley nightclub.

With the help of Marion, a young woman who has been working for Marlowe, Floyd manages to escape the flooding dungeon linked to the River Seine which he has been trapped in. He flies back to England, pursued by Marlowe's gang and manages to avoid the attempts of his enemies to crash his plane. In a final confrontation, Floyd pursues Marlowe's car in a plane and prevents his escape.



The film was based on a successful West End play by Arnold Ridley and Philip Merivale, who then adapted it into a screenplay. It was made by British International Pictures at Elstree Studios with sets designed by art directors Clarence Elder and John Mead. Originally Leslie Howard had been intended to star, but instead the role was given to the lead in the play Henry Kendall. Filming began in December 1930,[2] and included large amounts of location shooting. Both the director and the star, Kendall, were able to fly during filming scenes. Co-operation was received from Imperial Airways, the French Air Union and the De Havilland Aircraft Company for the aviation sequences.



  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927-1939. British Film Institute, 1986.
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