Up 1,879 this week

Dirigible (1931)

Passed  -  Adventure  -  4 April 1931 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 398 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 8 critic

A French explorer enlists the help of the US Navy in an expedition to the South Pole. There is competition between the airship division and fixed wing fliers, resolved in triumph and ... See full summary »


(as Frank R. Capra)


(story), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

Venice Film Festival

See the latest from the 2014 Venice Film Festival

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 47 titles
created 01 May 2013
a list of 33 titles
created 14 May 2013
a list of 740 titles
created 11 months ago
list image
a list of 37 titles
created 7 months ago
list image
a list of 155 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Dirigible" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Dirigible (1931)

Dirigible (1931) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Dirigible.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Lost Horizon (1937)
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A plane crash delivers a group of people to the secluded land of Shangri-La -- but is it the miraculous utopia it appears to be?

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, Edward Everett Horton
Meet John Doe (1941)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man needing money agrees to impersonate a nonexistent person who said he'd be committing suicide as a protest, and a political movement begins.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A New York gangster and his girlfriend attempt to turn street beggar Apple Annie into a society lady when the peddler learns her daughter is marrying royalty.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Glenn Ford, Bette Davis, Hope Lange
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The official World War II US Government film statement defining the various enemies of the Allies and why they must be fought.

Directors: Frank Capra, Anatole Litvak
Stars: Walter Huston, Kai-Shek Chiang, Walter Darré
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An impractical widower tries to hang onto his Miami hotel and his 12-year-old son.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Eleanor Parker
Hell Divers (1931)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Story of rivalry between 2 Navy aircrewmen on and off duty.

Director: George W. Hill
Stars: Clark Gable, Wallace Beery, Conrad Nagel
Baby Face (1933)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young woman uses her body and her sexuality to help her climb the social ladder, but soon begins to wonder if her new status will ever bring her happiness.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Directors: Frank Capra, William T. Hurtz
Stars: Richard Carlson, Frank Baxter, Bil Baird
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Fultah Fisher runs a boarding house catering to seamen passing through the port. A girl known as Anne of Austria has had many lovers amongst the sailors, but presently she's known to be the... See full summary »

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Mildred Owens, Ethan Allen, Olaf Skavlan
Arsène Lupin (1932)
Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A charming and very daring thief known as Arsene Lupin is terrorizing the wealthy of Paris, he even goes so far as to threaten the Mona Lisa. But the police, led by the great Guerchard, ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Karen Morley
Our Mr. Sun (TV Movie 1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

One entry in a series of films produced to make science accessible to the masses--especially children--this film describes the sun in scientific but entertaining terms.

Directors: Frank Capra, William T. Hurtz
Stars: Eddie Albert, Lionel Barrymore, Frank Baxter


Complete credited cast:
Jack Bradon
Ralph Graves ...
'Frisky' Pierce
Hobart Bosworth ...
Harold Goodwin ...
Emmett Corrigan ...
Rear Adm. John S. Martin (as Emmet Corrigan)


A French explorer enlists the help of the US Navy in an expedition to the South Pole. There is competition between the airship division and fixed wing fliers, resolved in triumph and disasters. Written by Michael Crew <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 April 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Luftschiff  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The production was shot during a California heat wave. To form vapor on the breath and give the impression that the pilots were in the Antarctic, the performers were given lumps of 'dry ice' (frozen carbon dioxide) in metal boxes to put in their mouths. Hobart Bosworth found the box cumbersome and simply put the ice in his mouth. He lost his tongue and most of his lower jaw. See more »


In the opening scene, the Capitol Dome is shown outside of Admiral Martin's window. The Navy Yard is over 2 miles from the Capitol and it would not be seen from inside his office. See more »


Referenced in Round About Hollywood (1931) See more »


The Star Spangled Banner
(1814) (uncredited)
Music by John Stafford Smith
Hummed by Ralph Graves and Roscoe Karns
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Quite An Achievement and a "Must See" for Fay Wray Fans
15 July 2007 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

While "Dirigible" (1931) is notable as Frank Capra's best early film, the real credit for making something that was both a huge hit during the early years of talking pictures and an old film that will interest even today's jaded action movie fans should go to Editor Maurice Wright. Wright had to assemble this early blockbuster from what Capra shot and what the U.S. Navy provided in the form of stock and promotional footage. He did a great job and you rarely are aware that you watching a movie, let alone a fictional drama.

The story is a historical concoction, mixing elements of Robert Falcon Scott's sledding disaster at the South Pole and Nobile's ill-fated North Pole expedition in the airship "Italia". It is likely the producers of "The Red Tent" (1970) borrowed heavily from Capra's technique when they dramatized the crash of Nobile's dirigible for their film.

The destruction of the fictional dirigible "The Los Angeles" is the most interesting sequence in the film but the Navy's promotional footage is also quite interesting, particularly to viewers 75+ years later. There is extensive coverage of operations on the first USS Lexington; which would be sunk during WWII (The Battle of the Coral Sea). The rest of the simulated action stuff leaves something to be desired but was no doubt quite credible to viewers at the time of the film's release.

I wouldn't pay much attention to complaints that the back-story is lame and boring. It features a pre-Kong Fay Wray. She is younger and has her natural darker hair color. As such, I think you will find her about as beautiful as any actress in film history, especially in profile. Apparently Capra quickly figured out what he had with Wray as he makes extensive use of close-ups during her scenes; a technique that would not really come into fashion until the 1970's. And Wray exhibits considerable acting talent in these scenes, earnestly sincere as the wife of a glory-seeking Navy pilot. And since you can't take your eyes off her, any complaints about scripting and content are pretty much irrelevant.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Carrier Launch dalegore
Borrowing from Real Events rebel60
We may be lucky enough to get a DVD TooSexyForMyShirt
Dry ice incident flickoldnoir
Discuss Dirigible (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: