6.3/10
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13 user 4 critic

China Clipper (1936)

Approved | | Drama | 22 August 1936 (USA)
Dave Logan takes his regional Pan American airline and with vision and sometimes ruthless determination establishes pan-American and trans-Pacific routes.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Tom Collins
...
Hap Stuart
...
Sunny Avery
...
Jim Horn
Joe King ...
Mr. Pierson (as Joseph King)
...
Mr. B.C. Hill
Ruth Robinson ...
Mother Brunn
...
Dad Brunn
...
Radio Operator on Clipper
Lyle Moraine ...
Co-pilot on Clipper
...
Engineer on Clipper
...
Navigator on Clipper
...
Bill Andrews
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Storyline

Inspired by Lindbergh's flight, Dave Logan sets out with a Washington-Philadelphia airline but suffers financial problems. With flying ace Hap Stuart he tries clipper ships on the Caribbean, then aims for the trans-Pacific route. His relentless ambition forces those closest to him to abandon him. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THRILL TO A NEW TRIUMPH! LOVE SPANS THE PERILOUS PACIFIC! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 August 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Courrier de Chine  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Henry B. Walthall collapsed on the set while filming and died shortly thereafter. The script of the unfinished film was rewritten so that his character would die off-screen, a heart condition having already been established in a previously filmed scene. See more »

Goofs

The position of Bogart's hand changes position in a scene with Pat O'Brien. See more »

Quotes

Mr. B.C. Hill: [to Dave] You aviators are swell people, but you're too visionary, too friendly, too easy-going. You're daydreamers instead of go-getters. In a way, you've got to be crazy. You're not satisfied to live with flying - you've got to be in love with it.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Fly Away Baby (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(1896) (uncredited)
Written by John Philip Sousa
Played at the ceremony before the China Clipper's initial Pacific flight
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't let the title fool you
8 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie has very little to do with the actual China Clipper or even with aviation for that matter. It is basically an on-the-ground Hollywood fantasy that uses airplanes as a kind of backdrop for yet another lone-hero-overcoming-all-odds-to-succeed-while-sacrificing– true-friendship-and-love boilerplate script. Inspired designs for a new type of plane conceived in 2 minutes on the back of a diner napkin, arrogant ultimatums delivered by the financiers who don't understand that the future of aviation is at stake, brave pilots who are willing to risk their lives in the name of progress, and the women-folks, those gentle guardians of home and hearth who love their man – but not enough to sacrifice the sanctity of the family.

All this movie has going for it are some decent actors who have a pretty good go at it, but I can only imagine the sarcastic quips they exchanged in the evening after a few drinks. Pat O'Brien is his usual forthright self, Bogart is quite good as the hot-tempered sidekick pilot, and of special note is one of the few appearances of the personable and short-lived Ross Alexander. But the advertised stars of the show, the airplanes themselves, rarely make an appearance. The unfortunate character here is history itself, which gets very short shrift in this mangled, comic-book re-telling of what was a much larger, and quite interesting effort to establish air routes across the Pacific by Pan American.

Even if you manage to achieve the proper suspension of disbelief necessary to watch this film, what remains is simply not that entertaining.


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