THE FLYING ACE
is a 1926 silent film by Norman Studios in Jacksonville, FL, featuring an all-Black cast. An adventure film, crime drama, and love story, the plot focuses on Capt. Billy Stokes (WW 1 pilot for the US Army Air Corps, played by Laurence Criner), in his post-war job as railroad detective, solving the disappearance of a large amount of cash from the railroad company. Along the way, he falls in love with the company owner’s daughter, Ruth Sawtelle (played by Kathryn Boyd). The only trouble is that one of the thieves also seeks Ruth’s attentions. This picture packs plenty of action into its 65 minutes, including dramatic aerial sequences.
THE FLYING ACE is an example of a so-called “race film,” made for Black audiences for viewing in segregated theaters. In spite of the actual history of the time, the film itself presents a vision of a world in which Black citizens serve as military officers, own railroad companies, and are granted full civil rights.
Accompanied by a new musical score by Andrew Earle Simpson.