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The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)

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

Director:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

Charles A. Lindbergh (book), Billy Wilder (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Stewart ... Charles Augustus 'Slim' Lindbergh
Murray Hamilton ... Bud Gurney
Patricia Smith ... Mirror Girl
Bartlett Robinson ... Benjamin Frank Mahoney, President Ryan Airlines Co.
Marc Connelly ... Father Hussman
Arthur Space ... Donald Hall, Chief Engineer Ryan Airlines
Charles Watts 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:

One of the Great Adventures of Our Time ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 April 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lindbergh - Mein Flug über den Ozean See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)| 4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was a scale model (approx. 1/5 the size) of the Spirit in the old Air Museum in San Diego's Balboa Park before the museum burned down in 1976. The museum hired an elderly lady to talk to the visitors who looked at the model. She claimed that her husband was in the group photo of the team who built the original Spirit. She also said that she had some of the scrap fabric left over from the construction. She told a story about each of the team members, including the secretary. Lindbergh is on one end and wearing a crumpled hat. She explained that the hat belonged to a man on the other end of the picture, and Lindbergh grabbed it as a joke and ran around to the other end of the group just before the picture was taken. The taking of this picture is in the movie, but Lindbergh is out of place, and he's not wearing a hat. Sadly, the model was lost in the fire. See more »

Goofs

Jimmy Stewart (as Lindbergh) and one of his associates drive up the runway to inspect it before the big takeoff. Stewart borrows a white handkerchief to replace a missing flag. When they leave, it's obvious there is a spotlight behind the car, and you can almost make out its reflection in the car's paintwork. 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

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Arranged by Franz Waxman
Played briefly during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty Good Depiction, But Lindbergh WASN'T First Across the Atlantic
18 August 2004 | by mikestollovSee all my reviews

Jimmy Stewart made films that were always watchable, with an amazing variety from the quirky Harvey to the dark Vertigo & even as far as supplying a voice for the cartoon American Tail. Unlike others (Ronald Regan & John Wayne to name but two) he wasn't afraid to fight for his country either & his experience as a USAF pilot during WW2 served him well for this epic.

The central problem for the film makers is the 30 hour flight, there simply wasn't enough material to depict this, the most famous episode of the whole story & the whole reason behind the legend. The use of the flashback here is entirely reasonable & to be expected as a result.

What does annoy me is the fact that he wasn't the first to fly non stop across the Atlantic. He WAS the first to fly SOLO & the first to fly non stop to Paris, but he just wasn't first to fly across the Atlantic non stop. Alcock & Brown flew across, non stop, in 1919, some 8 years before Lindnergh. Don't forget 8 years may not seem much but consider that in 8 years we went from the Mk1 Spitfire to the almost supersonic Sabre jet! Also the Vivkers Vimy bomber Alcock & Brown used was World War 1 surplus equipment, running on gasoline that had more in common with used dishwater. Yet this achievement is side stepped by Hollywood & simply ignored, yet if it was Lindbergh who'd crawled out to chip ice off the wings of his aircraft time after time we'd never have heard the end of it (a daring feat necessary because the Vimy kept accumulating too much ice to keep flying during a storm).

Useful, this film is an incomplete picture, as carefully framed in it's story line as the the impressive camera work. It does, however, continue to present a skewed view of history.


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