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 »
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 <email@example.com>
This film is loosely based on the crash of the airship Italia, flown by Umberto Nobile, around May 25, 1928 near the North Pole, and the international rescue effort that cost early Polar explorer Roald Amundson his life. The Pilot who rescued Nobile also crashed when returning to rescue more survivors and had to be rescued himself. 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 »
Lakehurst, the setting for much of this film was the epicenter of American ballooning and dirigibles, before the second world war and through it as well. A recent book, _They sailed the skies : U.S. Navy balloons and the airship program_ led me to this film, since it represents an easy way to get a look at some of the men and machines in action. Frank "Spig" Wead is the writer and Frank Capra directs. Wead of course was a flyer himself and only turned to writing after a crash broke his neck, crippling him. See WINGS OF EAGLES by John Ford for a dramatization of his life. The early sound era is not known for the sleekness of it's screen story-telling, but if you have interest in the history of zeppelins, or pre-WW2 aviaton, this film is worth watching.
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