In 1929, celebrated journalist Lady Grace Drummond-Hay was invited to take part in the first round-the-world flight of a commercial airship, the LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin. Recently widowed from ... See full summary »
In 1929, celebrated journalist Lady Grace Drummond-Hay was invited to take part in the first round-the-world flight of a commercial airship, the LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin. Recently widowed from a man 50 years her senior and bored to tears with covering ladies fashion, Lady Grace leaped at the chance to be the only woman onboard one of the media sensations of the decade. At journey's end she returned to America a star, thanks to her good looks and gutsy charm. But her reports on the ship's travels for the front pages of the Hearst press empire only told part of the story. In her diary she recorded a far more intimate journey-her struggle to get over her secret affair with shipmate, mentor, and married man Karl von Wiegand. Combining spectacular archival footage of the journey across New York, Siberia, Tokyo, and the Pacific with narration drawn from Drummond's articles and her private journals, this sweeping black and white documentary stands as a vision of technological marvels and global ... Written by
Los Angeles Film Festival
I watched this semi-documentary on BBC television, under the title "Around the World by Zeppelin."
The movie certainly casts a spell, using vintage footage not just to chart the circumnavigation flight of the Graf Zeppelin, but to transport the viewer back to the world of 1929...the way people dressed, the politics that were on everyone's minds, and the status of women. (Of all the journalists and others on the flight, there is only one woman, who is there to report "the woman's point of view" for the Hearst chain of newspapers.)
However, viewers should be aware that some parts of the semi-documentary are fictitious. The airship's tail fin did not rip during the round-the-world flight, but during a previous transatlantic flight in October 1928, and the ship did not have to land on water to do repairs. Also, the shots of German soldiers wearing Nazi armbands are probably anachronistic (from a later date than 1929). So the filmmakers have taken a few liberties to cast their spell.
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