6.2/10
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6 user 3 critic

The Conquest of the Air (1936)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | 20 May 1940 (USA)
This documentary traces man's attempts to fly from ancient times through the 1930s.

Writers:

Peter Bezencenet (commentary), Hugh Gray (commentary) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Frederick Culley Frederick Culley ... Roger Bacon
Laurence Olivier ... Vincent Lunardi
Franklin Dyall Franklin Dyall ... Jerome de Ascoli
Henry Victor ... Otto Lilienthal
Hay Petrie Hay Petrie ... Tiberius Cavallo
John Turnbull ... Von Zeppelin
Charles Lefeaux Charles Lefeaux ... Louis Bleriot
Bryan Powley Bryan Powley ... Sir George Cayley
Alan Wheatley Alan Wheatley ... Borelli
John Abbott ... Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier
Charles Frend Charles Frend ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

This drama follows man's attempts to fly from ancient times through the first balloons, the Wright Brothers, and other pioneers, using dramatic re-enactment and working models of early flying machines. Beginning with World War I, archival footage is used. Much on mid-1930s commercial aircraft and experimental planes including early helicopters. In conclusion, some sword-rattling appropriate to the opening months of World War II. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

leonardo da vinci | aviation | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Conquest of the Air See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical movie debut of John Abbott (Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier). See more »

Goofs

When Chavez is shown flying across the Alps, his departure and arrival points are the same. The same view of the Alps is visible in the background. See more »

Quotes

Vincent Lunardi: In a few years, the sky will be filled with balloons!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version shown on Turner Classic Movies is obviously an updated one, as it includes footage of the Hindenburg disaster of 1937. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Round the Film Studios: No. 2 Denham Part 5 (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The first docudrama?
25 April 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Some of the other reviewers answered certain questions I had about this film. Certainly what I saw today was not the original production of Conquest Of The Air. What apparently this film tried to be was the first docudrama ever done. If someone can recall an earlier one I'll stand corrected. That additional newsreel footage of Winston Churchill who was probably First Lord of the Admiralty when it was shot indicates a second World War had begun which promised and delivered to be more terrible than the last.

Taking the story of man's fascination of flying back to ancient mythological days, Conquest Of The Air shows a patient building block like achievement of man trying to get off the ground and travel like the birds. For earlier times they're recreated with players and sets the most prominent being Laurence Olivier.

As an educational film Conquest Of The Air is informative, but as entertainment it falls far short of the mark.


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