A French explorer enlists the help of the US Navy in an expedition to the South Pole. There is competition between the airship division and fixed wing fliers, resolved in triumph and disasters.Written by
Michael Crew <email@example.com>
The name of this Dirigible was the USS Pensacola but there was already a USN heavy cruiser of the same name that was in service since 1928 when this movie was made. The Navy does not assign duplicate names to ships/air ships in service at the same time. See more »
Standard Storyline But Great Footage for Zeppelin Enthusiasts
A reasonably decent motion picture for its time, the one attribute that makes this film stand out from its standard storyline, is its footage and scenes regarding dirigibles. When this film was released in 1931, it was the golden age of zeppelin travel, and the crash of the Hindenburg, which doomed this type of transportation, was still five years in the future. There were numerous scenes shot at Lakehurst Naval Air station, where ironically the Hindenburg crashed, that was the center of dirigible activity at the time for the U.S. Navy. As someone who is interested in this subject, I found this part of the movie fascinating as well as the part of the story that took you behind the scenes of airship travel and how much danger could be involved. The riveting scene dealing with the crash of a dirigible in a violent storm brought to mind the U.S. Navy zeppelin Akron, launched the same year as this film, which was destroyed in a similar storm only two years later. It was also interesting to see actress Fay Wray two years before she would gain fame with her role in King Kong. I had the opportunity to catch this film recently during an airing on the TCM cable channel and would recommend it for anyone with a similar interest.
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