IMDb > Night Flight (1933)
Night Flight
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Release Date:
6 October 1933 (USA) See more »
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. | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Romantic View Of Aviation See more (21 total) »


  (in credits order)

John Barrymore ... Riviere

Helen Hayes ... Simone Fabian

Clark Gable ... Jules Fabian

Lionel Barrymore ... Insp. Robineau

Robert Montgomery ... Auguste Pellerin

Myrna Loy ... 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

Irving Pichel ... Dr. Decosta

Helen Jerome Eddy ... Worried Mother
Buster Phelps ... Sick Child
Ralf Harolde ... Pilot
Marcia Ralston ... Nightclub Vamp
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maurice Black ... Nightclub Manager (uncredited)
Ed Brady ... Radio Operator on Telephone (uncredited)
Sidney D'Albrook ... Airport Office Employee (uncredited)
Claire Du Brey ... Santiago Nurse (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Airport Office Employee (uncredited)
Otto Hoffman ... Airport Office Clerk (uncredited)

George Irving ... Santiago Doctor (uncredited)
Wallace MacDonald ... Mechanic (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Airport Office Employee (uncredited)
Francis McDonald ... Radioman (uncredited)
Louis Natheaux ... Radioman (uncredited)
Inez Palange ... Simone's Maid (uncredited)
Edward Peil Sr. ... Airport Office Employee (uncredited)
Evelyn Selbie ... Mother in Window (uncredited)

Directed by
Clarence Brown 
Writing credits
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (novel "Vol de nuit")

Oliver H.P. Garrett  screenplay
Wells Root  uncredited

Produced by
Clarence Brown .... producer
David O. Selznick .... executive producer
Original Music by
Herbert Stothart 
Cinematography by
Oliver T. Marsh 
Film Editing by
Hal C. Kern 
Art Direction by
Alexander Toluboff 
Cedric Gibbons (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Dorian .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Hobe Erwin .... interior decorator
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Robert Shirley .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special effects (uncredited)
Paul Mantz .... stunt pilot (uncredited)
Evan Unger .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Elmer Dyer .... aerial photography
Charles A. Marshall .... aerial photography (as Charles Marshall)
Eddie Fitzgerald .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Kyme Meade .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Music Department
Oscar Radin .... conductor
Charles Maxwell .... orchestrator (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
84 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Three scenes show radio operators sending Morse Code. One code key looked like a J-38 single key and two were a two paddle key made by the Vibroplex Company which is still in business. The Vibroplex is also known as a Bug because of the bug logo on the key.See more »
Movie Connections:
How Dry I AmSee more »


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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Romantic View Of Aviation, 15 July 2011
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

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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