Emergency Landing
aka, ROBOT PILOT. 1941

Director: William Beaudine

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The ultra-cheapo B programer Emergency Landing; aka, Robot Pilot (1941) is an aviation adventure starring Forrest Tucker as pilot Jerry Barton.

Jerry's old pal Doc Williams (Emmett Vogan) has built a radio-controlled model plane & is trying to show it to military industrialists. They've not shown much interest.

He's adapting his radio controls to a full-sized plane, a drone that can drop bombs on enemy targets without need of a pilot.

Most of the story takes place in Arizona at Doc's small private airport. Using some of the same sets & locations & even costumes encountered in director William Beaudine's B westerns, Emergency Landing now & then resembles a western. So it's not surprising when alleged comic relief arrives on his donkey, in the form of Pedro (Joaquin Edwards), slow-witted stereotype Mexican.

Romantic interests arrive at the ranch, er, airport by automobile running out of gas, in the persons of Betty (Carol Hughes) who will fall for Jerry, & Maude (Evelyn Brent) who will fall for Doc.

They're put to work scrubbing floors & doing dishes & that's supposed to be funny or appropriate, hard to tell which.

The "climax" such as it is is when the underdeveloped bad guy steals the robot plane & takes Betty & Maude as hostages.

Doc saves them by taking command of the radio controls, bit "ta da!" Then the military industrial complex decides they want Doc's invention after all & everyone lives happily ever after.

Even Beaudine must've realized this was a lame-ass conclusion. So for the film's last minute they add a "comedy" walk-on for one Judge Gildersleeves, a cigar-chomping midget. It is apparently a "joke" that little people exist. The actor doesn't even get a proper cast credit, but it's Billy Curtis doing a grouchy cameo.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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