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Gallant Journey (1946)

Approved | | Drama, History | 24 September 1946 (USA)
Director William A. Wellman adds another to his long line of salutes-to-aviation films in this bio of an aviation pioneer, John Montgomery (Glenn Ford.) In 1883 he built a practical glider ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Regina 'Ginny' Cleary
...
Jim Montgomery
...
Thomas Logan
Jimmy Lloyd ...
Dan Mahoney / Prof. LaSalle
...
Father 'Dickie' Ball
...
Father Kenton
...
Zachary Montgomery
...
Mrs. Zachary Montgomery
Robert De Haven ...
Jim Logan, as a boy (as Robert DeHaven)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Hoover ...
Dick Ball as a Boy (scenes deleted)
Joe Palma ...
Waiter (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Director William A. Wellman adds another to his long line of salutes-to-aviation films in this bio of an aviation pioneer, John Montgomery (Glenn Ford.) In 1883 he built a practical glider despite the opposition of his friends, who thought he was crazy, and of his family, who were afraid that his dreams of flying would hurt his father's political ambitions. He pursues his education at Santa Clara University where the Jesuits lend a helping and understanding hand. An earthquake destroys what appears to be a working model for an airplane, but a gold-sorting machine Montgomery invented, and then neglected, promises to provide for his financial needs to keep working on his aircraft until he gets involved in costly lawsuits defending his invention. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One Of The World's Most Exciting Adventures! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

24 September 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Highway  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Orville Wright's closest associate (Fred C. Kelly) found out about the theme of the movie, he (with Orville' s frequent input) launched an extensive letter writing campaign to the management at Columbia Pictures in an attempt to get them to abandon the project. He called it a "falsification of history". All of this back story is chronicled in the biography "Quest for Flight:John J.Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West" (University of Oklahoma Press). See more »

Goofs

Montgomery's pilot was actually named Daniel Maloney, not Mahoney as portrayed in the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bicycle Thieves (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

Was he the first to fly or not?
3 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It is amazing how little has appeared in motion pictures about early attempts at flight before the Wright Brothers. There are no films about Sir George Cayley (the founder of aeronautics), the Montgolfier Brothers, Otto Lilienthal, or Samuel Langley. Actually, except for a television film that starred Michael Moriarty as Wilbur Wright, there is no film about the Wright Brothers. Only two films (that I know of) deal with early aviation pioneers. One is a film with Don Ameche and Myrna Loy about the life of inventor Hiram Percy Maxim (inventor of the Maxim machine gun and the lawn sprinkler - he designed a cumbersome flying machine that almost flew a little in 1895). The other is this film, about John Montgomery.

John Who?

John J. Montgomery was a professional acrobat who had an act concerning gliding in his own glider. It involved some degree of tightrope style balancing and looked very impressive. Less impressive than Montgomery and his fans have made it sound in the last century. To his fans, Montgomery almost flew a plane before the Wrights. Actually the glider he designed was basically stationary, and only went aloft due to a balloon above it. It would detach and drift (or be steered) to go softly to the ground. Otto Lillienthal and Percy Pilcher flew real gliders in the 1890s (both were killed eventually in their gliders), but they flew in the outside air. Montgomery never achieved the results of those two real pioneers*.

But he was a local boy from California, so he had a fan base. And William Wellman tapped it for this very good movie (alas, not shown as often as it should be shown), dealing with his career, up to his tragic death in 1911 (killed, ironically, when trying to fly an early motorized aircraft). It has a typically first rate performance by Ford. Catch it if it is offered on the Turner network.

*Since I originally put this on the Board I have looked a bit deeper into Montgomery's work. He apparently was more experimental than I credited him for, but still it doesn't convince me that he could have beaten the Wright Brothers to powered man-made flight.


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