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Night Flight (1933)

 -  Drama  -  6 October 1933 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 318 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 16 critic

Polio breaks out in Rio de Janeiro, the serum is in Santiago and there's only one way to get the medicine where it's desperately needed: flown in by daring pilots who risk the treacherous weather and forbidding peaks of the Andes.

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Title: Night Flight (1933)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Riviere
...
Simone Fabian
...
Jules Fabian
...
Insp. Robineau
...
Auguste Pellerin
...
Wife of Brazilian Pilot
William Gargan ...
Brazilian Pilot
C. Henry Gordon ...
Daudet
Leslie Fenton ...
Jules' Radio Operator / Co-Pilot
Harry Beresford ...
Pierre Roblet
Frank Conroy ...
Radio Operator
Dorothy Burgess ...
Pellerin's Girlfriend
...
Dr. Decosta
...
Worried Mother
Buster Phelps ...
Sick Child
Edit

Storyline

Polio breaks out in Rio de Janeiro, the serum is in Santiago and there's only one way to get the medicine where it's desperately needed: flown in by daring pilots who risk the treacherous weather and forbidding peaks of the Andes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nachtflug  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was to have been a scene in which Clark Gable jumped out of a plane at an altitude of 25,000 feet. The stuntman Jim Unger, who was to double for Clark, passed out at 20,000 feet from lack of oxygen and the shot never got made. See more »

Crazy Credits

During opening credits, the film title is done as "sky writing" by an airplane, and the plane is just finishing the last "T" on "flight". See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Super 8 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

How Dry I Am
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Robert Montgomery and Dorothy Burgess
See more »

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User Reviews

Not exactly Grand Hotel of the clouds ...
9 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... but interesting and worthwhile just the same. MGM gives this story of early forays into night flight in South America the star treatment, but unfortunately we don't get to see most of these stars do what they do best - interact with one another. John Barrymore, as head of the night flight operation, spends most of his time robotically barking out orders or reproaches. Lionel Barrymore, as the inspector who gets no respect, is very good here, gets quite a bit of screen time, and winds up having a prolonged and interesting scene with Robert Montgomery who plays a young pilot displaying that devil-may-care attitude he was so good at in his early 30's films at MGM.

Helen Hayes, whose most famous film role as Madelon Claudet is no doubt destined to be ignominiously dumped onto DVD-R via the Warner Archive, has lots of screen time here as the wife of a pilot (Jules - played by Clark Gable) who is waiting on her husband to return from his first night flight for a late night celebration supper. As his arrival is delayed more and more throughout the night, so grows her panic.

The oddest thing here is the misuse - or should I say lack of use - of Clark Gable. Throughout the film he is stuck in a plane, mute and motionless. Except for a few log entries that he makes and some of his facial expressions we are really denied a performance here or for that matter, an idea of what is going through his mind.

I'd say it's worthwhile just because it's such an odd departure from what MGM generally did in the 1930's plus it's been locked in the vaults for 75 years due to rights problems. It's interesting to see how Warner Home Video has taken almost a film school approach to what they put out on DVD in the last couple of years. Practically all of their documentaries on film history wind up on pressed DVD, but some pretty entertaining precodes, noirs, and even more modern films such as "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" wind up in the Warner Archive on DVD-R, a medium that doesn't usually have a life span greater than a couple of years.


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