DVDless Dvorak Films, Part 4: Sky Devils
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 22
I have only seen Sky Devils twice. The first time was around 2002, and the second was in 2010 when I needed to re-watch it in order to write about it in the Ann Dvorak book. Both times, it was sheer agony to get through.
Despite having jokes written by Robert Benchley, who I am generally a fan of, there is nothing funny in this comedy about AWOL WWI soldiers who have wacky adventures and run into Ann Dvorak for some reason. Despite starring Spencer Tracy, who I generally adore, he is unimpressive in this farcical film which was produced by Howard Hughes and uses recycled aviation footage from Hell’s Angels.
So, if I so completely loath Sky Devils, why would I include it as a film I would like to see released? First off, I am a fan of making every last Ann Dvorak film available no matter how bad they might be. If all her films had been accessible ten years ago, that would have made my life much easier and I would rather that future Dvorak aficionados be able to have the full Ann-D filmography experience. Additionally, as with many Dvorak films in my personal collection, the quality is terrible which renders it fairly unwatchable. I am hoping the bad print the main reason why I find Sky Devils disdainful and not because Spencer Tracy cannot pull off jokes written by Robert Benchley that are not funny to begin with.
Likelihood of an Official DVD Release: I’m going to guess pretty unlikely. I’m not sure who has the rights to this one. Universal reissued Sky Devils along with Scarface and Hell’s Angels in 1979, so maybe they still have it. Even if they do, I kind of doubt they’re racing to get this one on the market.