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Night Flight (1933)

 |  Drama  |  6 October 1933 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 371 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

The first MGM film to have a producer credit. 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

Romantic View Of Aviation
15 July 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Night Flight which for so long was unseen due to copyright complications is finally out on DVD. It's considered an 'all star' picture, but in plain fact the brothers Barrymore do the heavy lifting in this film.

The story is based on a novel written by Antoine St. Exupery and the plot is similar to what American aviator and writer Frank Wead wrote in Ceiling Zero. The location in Wead's play is strictly American whereas this film has a French aviation company located in South America.

If you read what I wrote about Ceiling Zero it did not transfer well to the screen. But having not been a play on Broadway Night Flight did not have that burden to overcome. The air scenes are much better done here and filled with romance. There is also a paucity of dialog in those air scenes, it was almost like a return to the silent screen.

Clark Gable and Robert Montgomery's roles for the big name stars they were at the time, are rather small. Gable barely speaks at all. Montgomery only has a couple of scenes, including one with Lionel Barrymore after a tough flight where they're partying. William Gargan has a bit more dialog with wife Myrna Loy. Helen Hayes is married to Gable, both women sit on pins and needles waiting for their men to come home.

John Barrymore is the martinet general manager of the air company who I think goes overboard. I do not believe an American company would for one minute tolerate his methods. Brother Lionel with qualms is the man in charge with enforcing John's strict edicts. The film is mostly carried by the brothers.

Night Flight wears better than Ceiling Zero, but not nearly as good as Only Angels Have Wings which has a similar location and plot. Night Flight goes overboard into the melodramatic, but still holds the interest. And the special effects with the air scenes are still breathtaking. The highlight of the film shows the tragedy that unfolds for one of the fliers and is done without words, but with a great music score by Herbert Stothart, MGM's house composer.

Delivery of mail for those of us who use it in these days of the personal computer is taken for granted. Back in the days before advances in navigation and safety, before instrument flying, taking to the skies could be dangerous, but it was romantic in those days. An American pilot named Charles Lindbergh got his start flying in planes just like the ones seen here delivering mail. This review is dedicated to all those brave pioneers of aviation that you see depicted here in a story written by one of them.


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