San Fernando Valley

Aviation Films

Aviation Explorers Troop 747
at KWHP (Whiteman)
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Aviation Films, Most with Women Pilots
Title Actors Synopsis & Comments by Various 99s
A Guy Named Joe (1943) Spencer Tracy
Irene Dunne
Van Johnson
A sentimental, patriotic (if not propagandistic) Hollywood fantasy about a dead World War II bomber pilot.
Always (1989) Richard Dreyfuss
Holly Hunter
Audrey Hepburn
Not only was this Audrey Hepburn's last film, but it had Holly Hunter as a forest fire pilot. Set in the mountain west, it is the story of fire-fighting, the people, and their relationships. Lots of great flying footage.
The Dawn Patrol (1930) Richard Barthelmess
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Male storyline flyers, but made by male pilots and everything in them is true.
The Dawn Patrol (1938) Errol Flynn
Basil Rathbone
David Niven
British flying aces in World War I contend with the harsh realities of war.
Flight for Freedom (1943) Rosalind Russell
Fred MacMurray
Rosalind Russell as a woman pilot flying around the world who gets lost in the South Pacific who happens to be cooperating with the U.S. government on some mission. Interestingly, one of the movers and shakers with the project was none other than George Palmer Putnam, Amelia Earhart's husband!
Flight of the Phoenix (1965) James Stewart
Richard Attenborough
Peter Finch
After a plane crash in the Sahara, one of the survivors says he's an airplane designer and they can make a flyable plane from the wreckage.
Flight of the Phoenix (2004) Dennis Quaid
Tyrese Gibson
Survivors of a plane crash in the Mongolian desert work together to build a new plane.
Flyabout (2006) Monika Petrillo
Uwe von Manteuffel
Documentary by Writer/Director Monika Petrillo.
Flyabout is the heartfelt, personal story of a young woman who gets a pilot's license and inspires her father to do the same. Together with him, she follows her dream to fly a plane around the continent of Australia. Her introduction to the Aboriginal Walkabout brings on the realization that piloting the plane won't be the hardest part of the trip.
Flyboys (2006) James Franco
Scott Hazell
Before the United States entered World War I, young Americans went to France to be fighter pilots, joining the Lafayette Escadrille.
The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club (2009) Buzz Aldrin
Chuck Yeager
Documentary by Director Amanda Pope and Writer Nick Spark.
Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965) Stuart Whitman
Sarah Miles
Night Witches (???)   A reader reports ...
Was that movie was ever finished? I read an Internet post that Paramount never put the film into production and someone else wanted to pick it up and call it "Liliia," after Liliia Litviak, Soviet fighter pilot. They said, "Most of our research has dispensed with Bruce Myles' "Night Witches," a psuedo-journalistic account of the history of the women's flying regiments. To date, the finest text to read on the subject is Reina Pennington's exhaustively documented "Wings, Women and War" and we'll be sticking much closer to her account as well as several recently declassified Russian documentations of the events surrounding Liliia's flights." But it doesn't appear this film was ever finished either. Sure is great material for a potentially great movie!
One Six Right (2005) Documentary by Brian Terwilliger There are a lot of 99s in this movie and some great flying stories.
Only Angels Have Wings (1939) Cary Grant
Jean Arthur
Rita Hayworth
While waiting for her boat, Bonnie Lee stops at a small airport in South America. The pilots there deliver mail over a dangerous and usually foggy mountain pass.
Pancho Barnes (1988) Valerie Bertinelli Not a great movie by any means, but at least it's about a female pilot.
Sky King (1951-1962) Kirby Grant
Gloria Winters
TV series. Watch Uncle Sky's niece, Penny, fly. Penny was the one that her uncle trusted to fly his planes and was multi-rated. They flew Bamboo Bombers at first and then Cessna 310s.
Skyward (1980, TV) Bette Davis
Howard Hesseman
Marion Ross
An old CFI who teaches a wheelchair-bound young woman how to fly.
Speed and Angels (2008) Jay
Documentary about young Navy Officers, Jay and Meagan, who have dreamt of becoming naval aviators flying the F-14 Tomcat since their childhoods. The film follows their two-and-a-half year journey as it takes them through dogfights in the Nevada desert, night landings on aircraft carriers in the Atlantic, and eventually to the biggest challenge young officers face: wartime deployments to Iraq.
Tail Spin (1939) Alice Faye
Constance Bennett
Flyer (Faye) enters a cross-country aerial derby, becomes rival to a wealthy society flyer (Bennett).
When Glendale Ruled the Skies (1999)   30 min. When Grand Central Air Terminal opened in 1923 it was considered California's premier airport. It was the first major airport in the Los Angeles area, and boasted the first paved runway west of the Rocky Mountains. Thom Eberhardt's entertaining documentary tells the story of Glendale's role in modern aviation and it's short life as Hollywood's playground. Borrowable through Glendale Public Library.
Women in the Wind (1939) Kay Francis
William Gargan
Eve Arden
A pilot enters an aviation race in order to win enough money to pay for her brother's medical treatment, and encounters difficulty with a rival pilot.
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