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The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)

Approved | | Adventure, Biography, Drama | 20 April 1957 (USA)
Charles 'Slim' Lindbergh struggles to finance and design an airplane that will make his New York to Paris flight the first solo transatlantic crossing.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Bud Gurney
Patricia Smith ...
Mirror Girl
...
Benjamin Frank Mahoney, President Ryan Airlines Co.
...
Father Hussman
...
Donald Hall, Chief Engineer Ryan Airlines
Charles Watts ...
O.W. Schultz, Salesman Atlas Suspender Co.
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Storyline

Biography of Charles Lindburgh from his days of precarious mail runs in aviation's infancy to his design of a small transatlantic plane and the vicissitudes of its takeoff and epochal flight from New York to Paris in 1927. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@wcupa.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This was the era that belonged to young people - but mostly it belonged to a shy, lanky guy... The screen has never come so close to the heart of a man! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 April 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lindbergh - Mein Flug über den Ozean  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)|

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Stewart was given the role of Charles A. Lindbergh after John Kerr had turned it down, owing to his disapproval of Lindbergh's pro-Nazi sympathies and his racist and anti-Semitic views. This was despite the fears of the producers that Stewart was too old for the part. See more »

Goofs

When taking off from Roosevelt Field, the plane passes the same distant clump of 2 trees four times. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Reporter: [checking his copy] Here at the Garden City Hotel, less than a mile from Roosevelt Field... less than three-quarters of a mile from Roosevelt Field... everyone is waiting, as they have been now for seven days and nights, waiting for the rain to stop...
See more »


Soundtracks

Baby Face
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Akst
Played when Lindbergh makes a phone call from Louie's Shack
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User Reviews

 
Epic recreation of Lindbergh's first and historic flight from New York , across Atlantic , until Paris
12 October 2014 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

Overlong though exciting story behind the story of Lindbergh's incredible flight from New York to Paris. It deals Charles 'Slim' Lindbergh (excellently performed by James Stewart , he always wanted to portray him , when he ultimately got his chance is very old for a young role ; he was given this character after John Kerr had turned it down, owing to his disapproval of Lindbergh's pro-Nazi sympathies and his racist and anti-Semitic views) struggles to finance and design an airplane that will make his New York to Paris flight the first solo transatlantic crossing . As a 25-year-old U.S. Air Mail pilot, Lindbergh (Charles wanted Anthony Perkins to play him in the movie) emerged suddenly from virtual obscurity to instantaneous world fame as the result of his Orteig Prize-winning solo nonstop flight on May 20–21, 1927, made from the Roosevelt Field in Garden City on New York's Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris, France, a distance of nearly 3,600 statute miles or 5,800 km , in the single-seat, single-engine purpose-built Ryan monoplane Spirit of St. Louis . As a result of this flight, Lindbergh was the first person in history to be in New York one day and Paris the next.

Interesting picture with plenty of thrills , emotion , biographic elements and brief touches of humor . The film is pretty well though the action does drag at times and results to be overlong . Magnificent acting by James Stewart -at age 48- who gives a real Tour De Force back by good plethora of secondaries . However , many critics felt he was too old to be believable . In fact , producer Jack L. Warner was strongly opposed to the casting of James Stewart, which he believed caused the film to flop on its release in 1957 . Colorful and evocative cinematography in CinemaScope by two awesome cameramen Peverel Marley and Robert Burks , Hitchcock's ordinary . Impressive and thrilling musical score by Franz Waxman . However , the soundtrack was re-composed but composer Franz Waxman was no longer available so veteran film composer Roy Webb was hired along with Warner Brothers Music Director Ray Heindorf to come up with new cues based on Waxman's original material . The motion picture was compellingly directed by Billy Wilder , but it was a box office flop when originally released . After the film received bad notices from preview audiences, it was extensively re-edited with some new footage shot . Rating : Above average , this one remains a quality movie for the whole family .

This exciting and inventive picture well well based on true events , these are the followings : Six well-known aviators had already lost their lives in pursuit of the Orteig Prize when Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field on his successful attempt in the early morning of Friday, May 20, 1927. Burdened by its heavy load of 450 U.S. gallons of gasoline weighing about 1,230 kg, and hampered by a muddy, rain-soaked runway, Lindbergh's Wright Whirlwind-powered monoplane gained speed very slowly as it made its 7:52 am takeoff run, but its J-5C radial engine still proved powerful enough to allow the Spirit to clear the telephone lines at the far end of the field "by about twenty feet or six meters with a fair reserve of flying speed". Over the next 33.5 hours, he and the Spirit faced many challenges, including skimming over both storm clouds at 10,000 ft , 3,000 m, and wave tops at as low at 10 ft (3.0 m), fighting icing, flying blind through fog for several hours, and navigating only by the stars , whenever visible , and dead reckoning before landing at Le Bourget Airport at 10:22 pm (22:22) on Saturday, May 21. The airfield was not marked on his map and Lindbergh knew only that it was some seven miles northeast of the city. He initially mistook the airfield for some large industrial complex with bright lights spreading out in all directions. The lights were, in fact, the headlights of tens of thousands of cars all driven by eager spectators now caught in "the largest traffic jam in Parisian history " . A crowd estimated at 150,000 spectators stormed the field, dragged Lindbergh out of the cockpit, and literally carried him around above their heads for "nearly half an hour".


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