Up In The Air

2138. UP IN THE AIR (1940-usa). WITH Frankie Darro, Marjorie Reynolds, Mantan MORELAND. A glamorous but temperamental radio singing star named Rita Wilson has been causÂing trouble for anyone with any clout at the Amalgamated Broadcasting Company. Wilson has been demanding a steep raise while threatening to leave Amalgamated for a rival station. She has been refusing to cooperate with her producer and fellow performers. A power outage interrupts one of her rehearsals. The lights go out. A shot rings out. The star has been shot dead, “plugged straight through the heart.” “Studio Killer Baffles Police,” is the headline on the front page of the “Hollywood Journal.” Notwithstanding, you know that the identity of the culprit won’t remain secret for long. That’s because of the presence of Frankie (energetically played by Frankie Darro), an ambitious and spunky studio page. Frankie plays amateur sleuth as he commences investigating the murder. He also lobbies for the promotion of the pert and talented Anne from company receptionist to Wilson’s replacement as Amalgamated’s star attraction over the airwaves. The result of it all is a most amiable combination mystery-comedy-musical. The great negro comic Mantan Moreland is especially amusÂing as Frankie’s sidekick Jeff. This character might be a caricature: a bug-eyed porter who is afraid of his own shadow. However, Moreland’s bright presence and indisputable talent allow him to tranÂscend the clichŽ of the role. At one point he even stops the show while performing a rollicking, seemingly impromptu dance routine. 61 minutes. Crime-Mystery-Suspense