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The Conquest of the Air (1936)

 |  Drama, History  |  20 May 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 143 users  
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This documentary traces man's attempts to fly from ancient times through the 1930s.


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Title: The Conquest of the Air (1936)

The Conquest of the Air (1936) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Complete credited cast:
Frederick Culley ...
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This drama follows man's attempts to fly from ancient times through the first balloons, the Wright Brothers, and other pioneers, using dramatic re-enactment and working models of early flying machines. Beginning with World War I, archival footage is used. Much on mid-1930s commercial aircraft and experimental planes including early helicopters. In conclusion, some sword-rattling appropriate to the opening months of World War II. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

leonardo da vinci | aviation | See All (2) »


Drama | History


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Release Date:

20 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Conquest of the Air  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First Film of Alan Wheatley. See more »


When Chavez is shown flying across the Alps, his departure and arrival points are the same. The same view of the Alps is visible in the background. See more »


Vincent Lunardi: In a few years, the sky will be filled with balloons!
See more »


Referenced in Round the Film Studios: No. 2 Denham Part 5 (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

The first docudrama?
25 April 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Some of the other reviewers answered certain questions I had about this film. Certainly what I saw today was not the original production of Conquest Of The Air. What apparently this film tried to be was the first docudrama ever done. If someone can recall an earlier one I'll stand corrected. That additional newsreel footage of Winston Churchill who was probably First Lord of the Admiralty when it was shot indicates a second World War had begun which promised and delivered to be more terrible than the last.

Taking the story of man's fascination of flying back to ancient mythological days, Conquest Of The Air shows a patient building block like achievement of man trying to get off the ground and travel like the birds. For earlier times they're recreated with players and sets the most prominent being Laurence Olivier.

As an educational film Conquest Of The Air is informative, but as entertainment it falls far short of the mark.

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