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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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(screen play)
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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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Henry Stephenson and Ted Thompson are in studio records/casting call lists as cast members, but they did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Emmett Vogan's left hand moves from his side to his left jaw and back in edited shots during his meeting with Pat O'Brien. See more »

Quotes

Tom Collins: [Looking suspiciously at some aggressive sea gulls] Hey, do goony birds have teeth?
Engineer on Clipper: Why?
Tom Collins: I was just wondering, that's all.
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

 
See Pat O'Brien do his Captain Ahab imitation!
15 July 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film is about Pat O'Brien's insanely driven goal of creating an international airline service in the very early days of commercial aviation. No matter how successful his new airline becomes, Pat pushes his men harder to be even bigger and better. Unfortunately, he has a heart of stone and is so doggedly fixed on his goals that he treat everyone around him like dirt--never thanking people and ignoring his insanely patient wife. At times, he truly seems disturbed, as he shows signs of Paranoid Personality Disorder--lashing out at even the simplest requests from loyal employees. In so many ways, the film seems like an airplane version of MOBY DICK, as Ahab-like O'Brien is barely human! Despite this and the way O'Brien barks out his lines (this was his style in many films, by the way), the airline works--even though again and again they seem on the verge of failure. The biggest and most daunting goal, though, is not his air conquest of South America but the creation of the first clipper service to China.

Despite sounding rather dull, I did enjoy the film a lot--and much of this is that I am a huge fan of early aviation films. You actually learned a lot AND enjoyed a typically breezy 1930s-era Warner Brothers programmer. By the way, if you like this, O'Brien played nearly the same earnest-style person in many other films of the 30s--though I have never seen him as mean and unlikable as he was here! By the way, one of the supporting actors is a younger Humphrey Bogart and a highlight is when he busts O'Brien in the mouth--boy was THAT a great scene!


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