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MERRY ANDERS & ROBERT DIX IN MAURY DEXTER'S 'AIR PATROL'

Terrific Fox DVD Cover Art YEAR: 1962
In AIR PATROL, one of many low-budget movies directed by Maury Dexter, the wheels of justice move slowly, and the blades even slower. Scenes with the police helicopter dotting the blue sky of what seems like the rural suburbs just beyond a skyscraper-laden landscape, takes some time, but are still suspenseful and entertaining: Beginning with a soundtrack like any cop program of that era, though leaning on a jazzy upbeat over the usual forceful punch... other times providing bits of Halloween horror flick Tiburon sounds... as a faceless male thief steals a painting, and then takes off in a helicopter that meets him on that high-rise building's roof...

Merry Anders as Mona
The one-man knockoff went easy enough, and only one lady, working late, got in the way: but only for the amount of time to get bonked unconscious in this breezy Late Noir with a beautiful, edgy, cranky, cop-hating ingenue, with old school chops of one of those brisk and edgy Femme Fatalle's, or the curt best friend of the leading lady on here, she's in the lead...

Merry Anders plays it tough in Air Patrol
Waking up after the heist with a feeling liken to a hangover, or worse, and she's our primary starlet, looking better than ever: that being Merry Anders, as part of our ongoing "Merry Anders Cinema" and/or, on other flicks sans the exotically wide-eyed ingenue, Maury Dexter Cinema, for her already covered in b-movie write-ups of THE HYPNOTIC EYE and RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA, here playing Mona, under questioning in the same office building by a wise, patient yet assertive veteran cop Lt. Taylor played by Willard Parker and then our hero, a mellow, younger lawman whose primary task is a flier in the AIR PATROL. Bob Dix is a personal friend of Cult Film Freak, having starred of HELL'S BLOODY DEVILS, SATAN'S SADISTS, FIVE BLOODY GRAVES, and FORBIDDEN PLANET. His Sgt. Castle slowly melts Anders down into not being so feisty and aggravated... But that's skipping ahead...

Movie Score: ***1/2
Merry has the best role here, or at least the most rounded, delivering a character-arc as she's questioned several times, going through a barrage of emotions in several offices and her home/budding art studio as well: She slowly melts from being a young generational rebel to a more sincere and understanding "gal" of the previous era... but without losing her independence...

Merry Anders and Willard Parker
Other soft-interrogations occur in the low budget fashion, mostly indoors after an establishing shot of either apartment buildings or houses...

Nothing fancy, and yet the storytelling's sparse and effective, aided by a Film Noir style narration by Dix, explaining not only the mysterious case of who could have possibly acquired a copter to pull off such a scheme, but also providing a sort of "TV Pilot" vibe throughout... And yet PATROL doesn't try winning over the audience with gunshots, car chases or testosterone... Instead, it's a vehicle that goes beneath the catapulting aftermath in a manner to realistically show the meticulous, detailed precision of how cops work rather than the daydream of what it'd be like to live an adventurous life – fans of the standard Cop Movie, beware of this sleeper. "I'll tell you about the Force as a career," Dix smoothly tells Anders, "and you can tell me about the town where nobody paints." Belated pulpy new noir at its most obscure finest!
Douglass Dumbrille and LaRue Farlow in AIR PATROL w/ Willard Parker & Russ Bender
Merry Anders as Mona makes a landline call in AIR PATROL
Merry Andrews also makes a payphone call in AIR PATROL
Merry Anders Robert Dix Air Patrol Merry Anders Air Patrol Robert Dix
Adorable pic of Merry Anders with AIR PATROL copter pilot Robert Dix
Merry Anders with Maury Dexter stock actor Jack Younger, a replica of Quentin Tarantino
Jack Younger Gunsmoke episode, and he looks older a few years earlier
Jack Younger on the Gunsmoke Episode Doc Quits Jack Younger ala Quentin Tarantino lookalike
Quentin Tarantino and Jim Younger side by side
LaRue Farlow scolded by Douglass Dumbrille in AIR PATROL and her breasts were used in...
An episode of PETER GUNN, Craig Stevens looks at why LaRue Farlow was hired
LaRue Farlow as Car Hop on the Peter Gunn episode Hollywood Calling
Leading lady and man Merry Anders & Robert Dix (w/ her "bad painting") in AIR PATROL
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