|"I...am The Whistler..."|
Motor Patrol (1950) look like La règle du jeu (1939). The tagline for this programmer reads “a fast paced and different kind of mystery thriller,” but there’s nothing remotely “fast paced” about Liner, and as for “different”—well, it would be unfair of me to say, “What makes it ‘different’ is that there’s nothing ‘thrilling’ about it” because it wouldn’t be the first movie I’ve watched that promised excitement and suspense and delivered neither. It’s a static, talky B that keeps an unblinking eye on a stopwatch until its 61 minutes is up, and then announces it’s time for the wrap party.
Even then, the version of Sky Liner on the Forgotten Noir & Crime Collection Vol. 4 set (available at The Sprocket Vault) is a truncated version of the film, running at 49 minutes (DVD Talk’s Stuart Galbraith IV speculates it might be either a shorter UK release version or a TV cut). The info on the movie at the American Film Institute mentions there’s an “obnoxious child singer” among the passengers…so it sounds like I lucked out here, because the kid in the print I watched does no singing. “Amazingly, Sid Melton isn’t in this one,” observes Galbraith…but I was so bored watching the thing I kept hoping Sid would emerge from the plane’s washroom at some point. Speaking of which: