The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

The Flying Ace: Kino Lorber’s Pioneers of African-American Cinema

Ends March 4th

Unlike his 1923 film Regeneration, Richard Norman’s THE FLYING ACE exists in its entirety, and the image quality is stunning. A rural crime drama revolving around a pair of rival aviators,THE FLYING ACE illuminates the fact that many films made for African-American audiences were less concerned with race than with making popular entertainment in the traditional Hollywood style (The Bronze Buckaroo is another fine example). Filmed in the Arlington area of Jacksonville, Florida, THE FLYING ACE is a unique aviation melodrama in that no airplanes actually leave the ground (the spectacular flight scenes being performed on terra firma, in front of neutral backdrops). Norman divided the film into four chapters, so that exhibitors could show the film as a feature or as a four-episode serial. The film is buoyed by the presence of Norman Studios regular Steve “Peg” Reynolds as the hero’s one-legged sidekick (no pun intended), who in one memorable scene rides a bicycle while firing a rifle built into the shaft of his crutch.

Part of Kino Lorber’s Pioneers of African American Cinema, a one-of-a-kind collection of the works of America’s legendary first African-American filmmakers which includes digital restorations of over a dozen feature films, plus shorts, fragments, trailers, documentary footage, archival interviews and audio recordings.

Directed by Richard E. Norman | 1926 | 65 minutes | United States | English

A portion of every ticket purchased directly supports The Frida Cinema, Orange County’s only non-profit indie cinema.