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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(screen play)
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Cast

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

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

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

Quotes

Dave Logan: [Argumentatively] Don't stall! If you got something on your chest, spill it.
Hap Stuart: Okay, Sailor, here it is - You used to be a regular guy - now you're not even human. When you start cannin' guys like Bill Andrews that have been with the outfit for years, that proves it! You're letting your job turn you into a heel with a cast-iron heart. You don't have to be tough just to show everybody you're a big shot!
Dave Logan: Somebody's got to be tough to get things done around here!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakdowns of 1937 (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

 
Spig Wead's Justification
10 July 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Following the filming of Frank 'spig' Wead's successful Broadway play Ceiling Zero, Warner Brothers got one of the stars of that film Pat O'Brien, to star in a Wead screenplay about the creation of the famous China Clipper, the plane that made the first passenger run from San Francisco to the Orient. Back in the day it excited the American public no end.

Wead based his lead character on a World War I aviation hero who went into the commercial flying business, Eddie Rickenbacker. But he invested a lot of himself in O'Brien's character as well.

That's what struck me watching China Clipper today. The scenes with O'Brien and his estranged wife Beverly Roberts reminded me a whole lot of the plot for Wings of Eagles which is John Ford's biographical tribute to Spig Wead. It was like Wead himself through O'Brien was trying to justify his single minded attention to aviation to the neglect of wife and family.

Humphrey Bogart, Ross Alexander and Henry B. Walthall are O'Brien's associates. This was Walthall's farewell screen performance. He collapsed on set and died shortly thereafter. I'm not sure if the film was rewritten to accommodate Walthall's demise or his death was originally part of the story. Whatever it is, it is spookily coincidental.

Marie Wilson plays her usual dumb Dora with eyes for Ross Alexander, in this one she got a bit annoying I have to say.

Bogart was not especially fond of this film though it was a change from the gangster thugs he was doing then. He plays another flier at loggerheads with O'Brien.

The scenes involving the flights were well done, much better than in Ceiling Zero, though that had a better story.

China Clipper is a routine action adventure film from Warner Brothers, yet viewed together with Wings of Eagles it does kind of take on a whole new meaning.


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