William Boyd (Blondy), Alan Hale (Swede), Sue Carol (Sally), Alberta Vaughn (Jane), Wesley Barry (Red), Paul Weige (Red's father)
Blondy and Swede are construction workers on a skyscraper going up in New York City. They are also roommates who, in spite of occasional slugfests and sharp words, care for each other very much.
Even their practical jokes take on a sharp edge. For example, Red, a teenager who works on the site, is holding an unlit torch, turning it from side to side and inspecting it. Above, taking a nap and lying precariously on a girder, is Swede. Blondy is siting down enjoying his lunch when he notices the "set-up." He turns the control on the tank feeding the torch, and up shoots a flame searing Swede's rear end. Young Red is incredulous and very apologetic. However, Swede's initial anger at Red shifts quickly when he realizes who is responsible. Swede starts after Blondy who shimmies up a girder going nowhere to escape his pursuer. The chase quickly comes to an end, however, when Blondy points out that Swede has lost his gold tooth once again. Swede quickly finds it, and with the blowing of the whistle indicating the end of lunch hour, the two return to their jobs. A little while later, in retaliation for the prank at lunch, Swede drops a hot rivet into Blondy's back pocket. Blondy makes a quick trip to a washtub full of water where he sits to "cool things off."
In spite of all the kidding and practical jokes, the skyscraper is a dangerous place. Red watches at Blondy swings across the wide open spaces from a girder on one side of an "L" shaped section of the building to a girder on the other side. When Blondy leaves, Red decides to imitate his "hero's" actions with disastrous results.
Later, while down on the street level hooking up a girder to be hoisted, Swede and Blondy notice Sally, who we already know is out of work and looking for a job. They exchange flirting glances, and, as Sally watches, her heel gets stuck in a grate. As the girder is lifted, the two men see the cable breaking away and literally "tackle" Sally to get her out of the way of the falling beam. At the realization of the close call, Sally faints.
They take Sally into the nearest building and go to get some water for her. She wakes up not realizing she is in a waiting area for a musical revue that is casting dancers. She mistakenly gets called in among the others seeking a part in the revue and is hired. When Blondy and Swede return, Sally is nowhere to be found, so they return to work.
One day later, rehearsals are taking place on the rooftop of the building next door to the construction site, and from their high vantage point, the men can look down at the dozens of girls dancing. During lunch, Blondy spots Sally who asks him over for some cake. The trick is, however, how to get from one building to another. He grabs the hook and crane used to hoist girders, climbs on it, and signals down to the operator who shifts him over to Sally and her girlfriend. When Swede sees that Blondy is "beating his time," he signals to the crane operator to bring his buddy back but not before he has asked for a date. To Blondy's dismay, Sally's girlfriend, Jane, jumps in and accepts before Sally can respond.
The next day, Sally and Swede and Blondy and Jane double date at Coney Island where the two men continue their hijinks, one trying to outdo the other at everything they do. Blondy's main concern, however, is pairing himself off with Sally instead of Jane, a goal he eventually achieves.
The next day, Saturday, the two men discuss their plans to meet the girls at noon when they get off. Blondy shows Swede a ring he plans to give to Sally. Swede walks over to the cooler to get a drink of water. Blondy, who 10 or 15 feet away, notices a girder is about to fall and shouts to his buddy. Thinking Blondy is pulling another stunt, Swede waves him off. Blondy runs and pushes him out of the way just as the girder falls, but it crashes through the platform on which they are standing sending the two men down.
When next we see them, they are laid up on the hospital. Blondy's injuries are the severest with both legs badly injured. He is reading a letter from Sally, who does not know about the accident. In the letter she says she is puzzled why she was "stood up" that Saturday. She explains that she is now on the road with the musical, but Blondy can write her if he'd like. Feeling sorry for himself, Blondy tells Swede "You know damwell I ain't writin' her no letters - with me all smeared up."
Soon, Swede returns to work as before, but Blondy, who cannot walk without crutches, is given an easier job in the tool shed. One morning as Blondy sits in the shed feeling sorry for himself, Swede walks in and asks him when he'll get back to his old job. Blondy says he's satisfied where he is. Swede snaps, "You're a cock-eyed liar - it's got you licked. You don't even want to walk. You ain't got no insides! You're just a yellow bum!"
When Swede walks outside the shed, it is obvious that it hurts him to talk to Blondy that way, but he feels he is doing it for Blondy's own good.
Sally returns to New York and learns from Swede that Blondy has stayed home that day. He still doesn't tell Sally about the accident or Blondy's condition. As Sally approaches the apartment, Blondy looks out the window and sees her. At first, there is a look of excitement on his face, but then he remembers his injury, and his face turns stern.
He hides the crutches and takes his place in a chair. When she comes in, he keeps his back to her, and, although she tries to be friendly, he is curt and abrupt with her. When she offers tickets for him and Swede to come to the show, he lies and says he has a date. Sally leaves brokenhearted. She encounters Swede outside who learns about the encounter and determines he must do something to "rehabilitate" Blondy.
Inside, Swede says nothing as he comes in but begins cleaning up and getting ready to go out. "Where are you goin'?" Blondy asks. "I'm goin' out with your date," Swede replies. "If you wasn't a dirty quitter, you'd be takin' her out yourself." Swede goes into the bathroom and shuts the door. Blondy, angry at Swede's words, gets up and tries to walk, but falls on the floor.
Sometime later, identified only as "Of a Sunday," Swede is shown all dressed up in his Sunday best. Again, he "needles" Blondy by telling him that he and Sally are going out dancing. When Swede leaves, Blondy tries again to walk. This time, he makes it a few steps before falling.
"Another month, another Sunday," the title tells us. Swede is once again dressed up as he tells Blondy, "Forty nights hand runnin' I been out with your dame - and tonight, up in your new buildin' . . ." Without saying more, Swede leaves.
It's night time, and Swede and Sally are sitting on a girder high up in the unfinished skyscraper. It is made clear from their conversation that Swede has NOT been going out with Sally on a regular basis, and, actually, it has been weeks since he has seen her.
On the floor beneath them, we see a pair of legs and a pair of crutches approaching. Soon, we see the face of Blondy who is sternly hobbling along the platform. A rope is hanging down beside Swede, and, as Blondy steps on it, he jerks the rope sending Blondy down on his back.
Sally rushes to help him, and, as she cradles him in her arms, Swede comes down and stands over the two. He gazes wide-eyed as Blondy gets up, without the aid of crutches, and swings at him. All we see is a shot of Swede's feet which are lifted off the ground. A fight ensues between the two men, and after close calls along the edge of the building, Blondy takes one last swing at Swede sending him plummeting through a hole in the floor. Agony rushes across Blondy's face at what he's done, and all Sally can do is hide her face. However, when Blondy and Sally rush down, they find that Swede has landed in an empty cement mixer and is easily extracted from the machinery. As the three of them sit on the edge of the mixer, they realize that Swede has once again lost his gold tooth. The scene closes with the them looking desperately for the lost treasure.
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copyright 1999 by Tim Lussier, all rights reserved