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Emergency Landing

Emergency Landing(1941)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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East Coast airplane manufacturer George B. Lambert gets a government order to make bomber planes for the war. Lambert's test pilot, Jerry Barton, tries to interest him in a radio control device on which he and his friend, Doc Williams, an inventor and weather bureau observer, have been working. When Jerry writes Doc a note at his remote cabin in Indian Springs, Arizona, asking him to send the model plane and device for a demonstration, Doc flies his biplane back East to present the device himself. Because Jerry has been unable to secure an appointment with the busy executive, however, he and Doc fly the miniature plane over the golf course where Lambert plays. Lambert is fascinated by the remote control device, but his snobbish daughter Betty is unimpressed after the plane crashes in a pond and she is splashed with mud. Lambert employs Doc to develop the device for life-sized planes, and one day they give a demonstration for the military. Jerry flies the test plane and allows Doc to operate the controls from the ground. When a military officer questions whether Jerry is actually operating the plane, Jerry gets cocky and parachutes out. Doc is unable to control the plane sufficiently, however, and it crashes. Jerry is fired and returns to Arizona with Doc, where they work on perfecting the device. As Lambert finalizes production on the first set of forty planes, Betty decides to go to Hollywood despite her father's protests, and sets out by car with her aunt, Maude Marshall. When they run low on gas in Indian Springs, Maude and Betty encounter Doc's Mexican friend, Pedro, on the road. Charmed by the two women despite their insulting manner, Pedro indicates that they can fill up at a nearby government gasoline tank, which has a broken lock. Jerry, who has been deputized by Doc, who also serves as local sheriff, happens to drive by while they are refueling and, recognizing Betty, arrests her and Maude for theft. Betty refuses to accompany Jerry back to the cabin, so he tows her car. Determined to bring Betty down a few notches, Jerry wires her father a telegram telling him of the situation. Lambert delightedly responds that Jerry has his permission to discipline both his reckless daughter and Maude. The next day, Jerry enforces his punishment by ordering Betty and Maude to do housework. In the meantime, Lambert's first test flight of the new bombers is sabotaged by German spies, who hijack the plane. Doc feels growing admiration for Maude, who agrees to go along with Jerry's housework scheme because she believes the discipline is good for Betty. When Betty happens to find her father's telegram in Jerry's shirt pocket, she angrily walks out on them and takes Maude, but they return after being spooked by the desert at night. Later that night, Pedro witnesses the crash of the stolen Lambert plane. The next morning, German spy Karl, who survived the crash, wanders into Doc's cabin and says that he had a car accident and needs a ride to the train station. Jerry recognizes Karl, who used to work as a mechanic at Lambert's plant, but cannot place him. Pedro soon arrives with the news of the plane crash and the plane's identification number. When Doc attempts to transmit the information by radio, Karl holds them at gunpoint and forces Pedro, Doc and Jerry into a car. Betty and Maude, meanwhile, have sneaked into Doc's plane hoping to stow away on his next flight, but are instead taken hostage by Karl. While the old biplane is in the air, Jerry radioes Betty from the ground to turn on the receiver for the remote control device. This time, Doc successfully controls the plane so that Karl has no choice but to land, after which he is arrested. Shortly after, Lambert flies in to visit his daughter, and is thrilled by the change in her. After Lambert offers to buy Doc's invention, Maude, who has fallen in love with Doc, agrees to fly East with him. Jerry and Betty have also fallen in love. Before everyone leaves, the circuit judge, Gildersleeve, arrives to try Betty and Maude's gasoline theft case. The frightened women plead guilty, and he fines them twenty dollars and adjourns court.