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 »
The story of men at war and that of the esteemed Pulitzer prize winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Soon after the U.S. entry into World War II, Pyle joined C Company, 18th Infantry in ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
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William A. Wellman
A family saga: In a stunning mountain valley ranch setting near Aspen, complex and dangerous family dynamics play out against the backdrop of the first big snowstorm of winter and an ... See full summary »
Beau, John, and Digby Geste are three inseparable, adventurous brothers who haven been adopted into the wealthy household of Lady Brandon. When money in the uppercrust household grows tight... See full summary »
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William A. Wellman
In the 1840's Mexico has ceded California to the United States, making life nearly impossible for the Mexican population due to the influx of land and gold-crazy Americans. Farmer Joaquin ... See full summary »
Chu Chu Ramirez is a Mexican farm laborer in California, with lofty ideals, who is very proud of his new American citizenship. During his time off, he tries to befriend the alcoholic bar ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Montgomery was killed on October 31, 1911, when his glider, the Evergreen, crashed. His head hit a bolt on the glider, just behind an ear, penetrating his brain. His death was instantaneous, despite the more sentimental ending shown in the film, which was not a critical success upon its release. See more »
Montgomery's pilot was actually named Daniel Maloney, not Mahoney as portrayed in the film. See more »
Depending on whether you believe the plot of Gallant Journey verbatim or not, John J. Montgomery may have been the first man to make a heavier than air flight and he did it in 1883, twenty years before the Wright Brothers did their thing at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Whether you do or not there is no denying that Glenn Ford gave a wonderful performance as the earnest young man, consumed as so many were at that time of the dream of manned flight. Janet Blair played the ever helpful and supportive wife of Ford and does it well.
The film is directed by William Wellman, one of many he did in his career combining his two great loves, film and aviation. Of course Wellman reached the pinnacle of his aviation success with the first Academy Award winning Best film, Wings.
The film is narrated by Charlie Ruggles to a group of post World War II kids and he's Montgomery's brother who has outlived him by a considerable period. Montgomery when he wasn't doing his aviation glider experiments, earned a living teaching science at Santa Clara College where a couple of supportive priests are played by Arthur Shields and Charles Kemper. Best in the supporting parts in the film however is Jim Lloyd who plays the balloonist daredevil who helps pilot Ford's experiments when an inner ear problem forces him to stop doing the actual flying.
Aviation historians still debate Montgomery's actual contributions to the saga of manned flight. But I think Montgomery himself would have been well pleased with how Bill Wellman and Glenn Ford told his tale.
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