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Tail Spin

Tail Spin(1939)

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The opening credits of the film end with the following statement: "In Acknowledgment of the Splendid help and cooperation by the committee and those others at the National Air Races in Cleveland which made possible this film." Hollywood Reporter reported that Sidney Lanfield briefly filled in for director Del Ruth due to illness. The Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Script Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library states that Jean Arthur, Loretta Young and Frances Dee were all considered for the role of Gerry Lester, as were Mary Treen for the role of Alabama, Jack Haley as Chick, Richard Greene as Tex, and George Barbier as T. P. Lester. According to a Twentieth Century-Fox press release, Fidel La Barba, former flyweight champion, was brought in to coach Alice Faye and Constance Bennett for their fight scene. La Barba was, at the time, under contract to Twentieth Century-Fox as a writer. Press releases also state that the studio paid Union Oil, Standard Oil, and two unnamed drug companies $5,000 to find imitation motor oil that would not harm Faye's eyes in the scene in which her plane's engine blows. Two years earlier at the studio, actor Brian Donlevy was injured and suffered a loss of vision in his left eye because of a similar on-set accident. Seven hundred caricatures of famous people were created for the cafe scene, which required two weeks of work by seven artists. While Alice Faye played an aviatrix in the film, press releases report that, in real life, she suffered from acrophobia. A Hollywood Reporter production chart includes John King in the cast, though his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. While John Mescal is credited as the cinematographer by a Hollywood Reporter production chart, Karl Freund is credited as the photographer by all other sources.