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The Battle in the Clouds (1909)

The Airship Destroyer (original title)
An inventor uses a wireless controlled flying torpedo to destroy enemy airships.

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Storyline

Section 1: Preparation. The Aero camp. Loading supplies. Start of the airships. The inventor of the airship destroyer. His love story. The parting. The alarm. The aero fleet in full flight. The aerial torpedo and its inventor. Section 2: Attack. In the clouds. Dropping live shells from the firing deck of an airship. The chase. High angle firing from a gun on an armored motor car. Total destruction of the car. Railway wrecked by the aerial fleet. Shelling the signal box. The heroic operator meets death at his post. The fight in the air. Airship versus aeroplane. Wreck of the aeroplane. The burning of a town by the aerial fleet. Thrilling rescue of his sweetheart by the inventor. Section 3: Defense. The inventor with the assistance of his sweetheart sends his airship destroyer on its mission of vengeance. The torpedo, steered through the air by wireless telegraphy. One flash and the airship is doomed. It falls, a mass of scorching fire, into the waters of a lake. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

29 December 1909 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Battle in the Clouds  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released in the US as a split reel along with The Park of Caserta (1909). See more »

Goofs

The burning fuse of one of the explosions near the armored car can be seen on the ground, before we see the streak that is supposed to be the aerial bomb hitting the ground. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazing for its day and eerily prescient as well.
23 January 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"The Battle in the Clouds" (a.k.a. "Airship Destroyer") is a really amazing film to watch. After all, even though its special effects are incredibly crude by today's standards, it was exciting stuff back in 1909 and must have really wowed audiences. In addition, much of what you see was sci-fi for the time but would be used just a few years later in WWI! Historically speaking, this is an incredible film.

During the course of the film you have no idea what the nationalities are of either side and I assume this is to increase the distribution of the film. No use offending anyone. Ironically, the version of this French film I saw bore a German title! It begins with some folks launching a blimp. It's not a Zeppelin sort of thing but looks more like a pointed sausage suspending a platform. There is no way this small balloon would provide enough lift for the guys but that's part of the charm. In fact, you see lots of blimps bouncing about--all little sausage-like things. But the main one is bad, as the crew start raining down bombs on the poor people below. Here is where it gets really creepy. Some inventors down below bring out their hardware to try to knock down the blimp--including a crude tank-like armored car, an airplane and a propeller-driven guided missile!! It's really amazing stuff and rather exciting for the day.

If you see this film and don't know that this sort of stuff predates the use of such equipment in war and you don't know how crude special effects were back in the day, then you probably won't be that impressed. However, as a retired history teacher and film nut, I was simply blown away by this movie.


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