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Sky High (1922 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sky High
Skyhigh poster.jpg
Directed byLynn Reynolds
Written byLynn Reynolds (screenplay)
Lynn Reynolds (story)
Produced byWilliam Fox
StarringTom Mix
J. Farrell MacDonald
CinematographyBenjamin H. Kline
Distributed byFox Film Corporation
Release date
  • January 22, 1922 (1922-01-22)
Running time
58 minutes (5 reels)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

Sky High is a 1922 American silent Western film written and directed by Lynn Reynolds and starring Tom Mix, J. Farrell MacDonald, Eva Novak and Sid Jordan. The action in Sky High takes place in 1922 and while the characters ride horses and fight in saloons, they also use telephones, automobiles and even an aircraft.[1] In 1998, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


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Tom Newbury (Tom Mix), Deputy Inspector of Immigration at the US/Mexico border is asked by his boss to infiltrate a gang smuggling Chinese workers through the border at Calexico, in order to identify and arrest their ringleader. Meanwhile, in Chicago, Estelle Halloway (Eva Novak) is disappointed because her guardian wrote that she would not be able to spend her holidays with him in Calexico as planned. When she wires him that she will come nevertheless with her roommate Marguerite (Adele Warner) and her brother (William Buckley), he tells her that they will meet instead near the Grand Canyon as it is too warm in Calexico.

In Calexico, Tom finds out that the ringleader is none other than Jim Frazer (J. Farrell MacDonald), Estelle's guardian. He becomes part of the gang and is requested to go and help taking of the Chinese now hidden in a camp in Grand Canyon. After having left discreetly the camp to fetch the police, he sees Estelle on the point of drowning in a river and saves her. He is caught by the bandit who have learned that he is a government agent but manages to escape first on horseback then in a motor car and reaches the little town of Williams where he gets the help of the police.

While the police drives to the hidden camp in motor cars, Tom borrows an aircraft and flies into the Grand Canyon where he jumps in a river and manages to free Estelle. Jim Frazer is identified as the ringleader and arrested, but to protect Estelle, Tom accepts that he lets her believe that he is leaving for a long trip. Frazer asks Tom whether he would help take care of Estelle while he is in jail and Tom answers: "I'll look after her the rest of her life if she'll let me."



Principal photography for Sky High took place on location at the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, Williams, Arizona, and the El Tovar Hotel, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.[2] While Tom Mix rarely used doubles, Bud Creeth was hired as a "stunt pilot", flying with Dick Grace to film the dangerous stunt of hanging from a rope over the Grand Canyon.[3][N 1]


In a modern reappraisal of Sky High, reviewer Hans J. Wollstein described the film, "Diehard Western fans decried the lack of realism but audiences flocked to see this film which, more than perhaps any other, changed Mix from a popular Western star into an internationally recognized showman."[5]

See also



  1. ^ A scene in Sky High nearly ended in disaster as stuntman Bud Creeth, after repeating the stunt three times, hung from an aircraft but was saved by pilot Dick Grace.[4]


  1. ^ "Review: 'Sky high'." A cinema history, 2019. Retrieved: July 25, 2019.
  2. ^ Farmer 1984, p. 326.
  3. ^ Wynne 1987, p. 34.
  4. ^ Wynne 1987, pp. 34–35.
  5. ^ Wollstein, Hans J. "Review: 'Sky high'."', 2019. Retrieved: July 25, 2019.


  • Farmer, James H. Celluloid Wings: The Impact of Movies on Aviation. Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: Tab Books Inc., 1984. ISBN 978-0-83062-374-7.
  • Wynne, H. Hugh. The Motion Picture Stunt Pilots and Hollywood's Classic Aviation Movies. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 1987. ISBN 0-933126-85-9.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 October 2021, at 20:21
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