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Page # 752

The Spirit of St. Louis
ID:
1957
Comments:
Director: Billy Wilder, Richard L. Bare, Robert McKimson
Screenplay: George O'Hanlon, Billy Wilder, Richard L. Bare, Charles A. Lindbergh, Charles Lederer
Producer:
Cast: James Stewart, Daws Butler, George O'Hanlon, Phyllis Coates, Emory Parnell
Genre: Action & Adventure

Running Time: 135
Aspect Ratio:  2.40:1 (NTSC Widescreen)
Sound: AC-3
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Features:
Studio:  Warner Home Video DVD Region:  1 NR
DVD Release:  Aug 2006 Discs:  1 (DVD) []
Purchase: 
Reviews:  Two Hollywood giants came together for "The Spirit of St. Louis": James Stewart and director Billy Wilder. Both were slightly miscast for the material, an account of Charles Lindbergh's galvanizing solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927. Stewart was at least 20 years too old to play the young pilot, and his enormous personal warmth was at odds with the rather frosty real-life demeanor of the Lone Eagle. Wilder was better known for his sardonic critiques of man's lesser instincts, which makes the choice of this flat-out study of heroism somewhat peculiar. The mismatch shows in the movie, which is arranged around Lindy's historic puddle jump but is also checkerboarded together by a series of awkward flashbacks showing his background. Once the flight begins, in a thrilling sequence of the plane's near-miss takeoff, the film settles into a generally engrossing study of man against the elements. In a great Wilder touch, Stewart spends part of the journey conversing with a stowaway house fly. The aerial photography is stunning, and it's impossible to resist the unalloyed joy of Stewart's realization that he's spotted the Irish coast after a very long night over the ocean. Not unlike the pilot himself, this movie is happiest and most secure when it's in the seat of the plane, unencumbered by anything but forward motion and a goal. "--Robert Horton"


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