Aviation Films - P, Q, R
Pacific Adventure SEE Smithy.
Pancho Barnes (1988, 150m) D: Richard Heffron. Valerie Bertinelli = Florence "Pancho" Barnes, Michael Skipper = Leo Nomis, James Stephens, Ted Wass. Screenplay: John Michael Hayes. Heavily-laundered and Hollywoodized bio of legendary Pancho Barnes, omitting more than showing.
AIRCRAFT: Travel Air R, others.
Parachute Jumper (Warner Bros 1933, 65m (possible originally 73m)) D: Alfred E Green. Leo Carrillo = Weber, Bette Davis = Alabama, Claire Dodd, Douglas Fairbanks Jr = Bill Keller, Frank McHugh = Toodles. Screenplay: John Larkin. Unemployed ex-Marines Fairbanks and McHugh, and pal Davis, are hired by gangster Carillo, who is busy flying narcotics. Story is a bit ludicrous, but flying scenes around northern Los Angeles County are interesting. Aerials by Paul Mantz (uncredited).
AIRCRAFT: Buhl CA-6, Curtiss Fledgling, Fairchild 71, Stearman C3R.
Paradis des Pilotes Perdus, Le (France "The Hell of Lost Pilots"; BUP 1948, 89m) D: Georges Lampin. Michel Auclair = François, Paul Bernard = Sorbier, Andrée Debar = Mme Clément, Daniel Gelin = Lt Villeneuve, Henri Vidal = Capt Bertrand. Screenplay: G Garde, P Véry. A plane has to land in the Sahara during a storm, water runs short and passengers confront one other. A kind of "Flight of the Phoenix" without Phoenix. This movie is in praise of the French Air Force which, after WW2, had the difficult charge to link France and its distant African colonies with its disparate equipment: German transports, English fighters, US bombers. ( Christian Santoir 8/13/04)
AIRCRAFT: Douglas Dauntless, Ju.52 Toucan, Spitfire LF.IX.
Paris or Bust SEE Hero for a Night.
Phantom Flyer, The (Universal 1928, silent) D: Bruce M Mitchell. Buck Connors = John Crandall, Don Fuller = Slim Decker, Lillian Gilmore = Mary Crandall, Al Wilson = Dick Stanton. Screenplay: Gardner Bradford, Mitchell. Western, with aerials by Al Wilson; aka The Phantom Ranger.
Phantom of the Air (serial; Universal 1933) D: Ray Taylor. Walter Brennan = Skid, William Desmond = Edwards, Craig Reynolds = Blade, Tom Tyler = Bob Raymond. Screenplay: Basil Dickey, Ella O'Neil (O'Neill). Inventor Desmond uses a superplane, "The Phantom," to protect his new anti-gravity invention, the Contragrav, from theft. 12 chapters.
Piece of Cake, A (Great Britain; 1988) Tv miniseries shown on PBS focusing on life in a RAF fighter squadron. Excellent aerial footage.
AIRCRAFT: Spitfire, Hurricane.
Pilot, The (1979, 99m) D: Cliff Robertson. Dana Andrews = Randolph Evers, Diane Baker = Pat Simpson, Frank Converse = Jim Cochran, Milo O'Shea = Dr O'Brian, Cliff Robertson = Mike Hagan. Screenplay: Robert P Davis. Mike Hagan is a transport pilot and candidate for the honor of "Best Pilot of the Year". No one suspects he is an alcoholic. Spectacular aerial photography; tv title: Danger In the Skies.
Pilot 13 (Brazil 1929, silent) D: Achiles Tartari.
Piloti (Czechoslovakia; 1989, 83m) D: Igor Bizhukov, Otakar Fuka. Petr Stepánek = Jan Trejbal, Peter Rúfus = Karol Halaj, Michal Gucík = Martin Gabriel, Ilona Svobodová = Alene. Screenplay: Fika, Jirí S Kupka.
Pilot Number 5 (MGM 1943, 70m) D: George Sidney. Van Johnson = Arnold, Gene Kelly = Alessandro, Franchot Tone = Collins. Screenplay: David Hertz. Pilots, but no flying. Final scene shows mock-up Seversky AP-1 from "Test Pilot."
Pilot X SEE Death In the Air.
Pioneers of Aviation: Race to the Moon (PBS 2006, 55m episodes). D: William Winship. Excellent three-part documentary biographies of leaders of industry William Boeing, Donald Douglas, James Kindelberger, and James McDonnell include some rare film footage. Part 1: "The Early Years," Part 2: "The War Years", Part 3: "The Race to the Moon."
Pirates of the Skies (Universal 1939, 65m) D: Joe McDonaugh. Rochelle Hudson = Barbara, Kent Taylor = Nick, Regis Toomey = Lambert. Screenplay: Ben G Kohn.
Pirates of the Sky (Pathè 1927, silent) D: Charles Andrews. Wanda Hawley = Doris Reed, Charles Hutchison = Bob Manning. Screenplay: Elaine Wilmont. Air mail melodrama.
Plane Crazy SEE All the Way Boys.
Plane That Changed the World, The (PBS-Nova 1985, 56m). Memorable documentary of the Douglas DC-3/C-47.
Porco Rosso ("Red Pig") (Japan " Kurenai no buta"; animation 1992 (US: 2003), 94m) D: animator Hayao Miyazaki. Screenplay: Cindy Hewitt, Donald Hewitt, Miyazaki. Limited by space, we are unable to fulfill our praise of this remarkable film. Miyazaki, who grew up during WW2 in a family that produced wings for the JAF, shows not only his burning love for airplanes and flight, but his skill as an illustrator of classical proportion. The tale of an Italian renegade WW1 ace who became transformed into a pig-faced man (with John Wayne overtones) let loose in a comic-book world to fly his wonderful 1930s seaplane in battles not only with air pirates but with his own air force, as well. Choose your version: subtitled original Japanese or French, or English dubbed (Disney release 2003), all are topswe prefer the Japanese one. Watch it twice; once just for the lavish and precise artwork, then again for the convoluted storyline. One reviewer: "If kiddie films are not your cup of tea, this ought to be. It's a cartoon, but it plays like an adult-oriented drama with comic overtones, about love unrequited and a man doing what a man has got to do. In this case, fly and avoid romantic entanglements as much as possible. See it!"
Pour le Mèrite (Germany; UFA 1939, 114m) D: Karl Ritter. Herbert A E Böhme = Gerdes, Paul Hartmann = Rittmeister Prank, Albert Hehn = Lieutenant Fabian, Paul Otto = Major Wissmann. Screenplay: Fred Hildenbrand & Karl Ritter. A German fighter squadron that bravely fought during the final phase of WWI has to face up to a new world in Germany with starvation, inflation, unemployment, and the "red revolution." When Nazis come to power, the old commandant of the squadron is charged by Göring to lead a new fighter wing equipped with new Messerschmitts. Director Ritter was a fighter pilot during WWI, as was Böhme. Contrary to US and British films about WWI air combat, we see a German pilot bailing out of his planethey were equipped with Heinecke parachutes from April 1918. Several scenes were inspired by the real life of WWI ace, Ernst Udet. Awarded the Pour le Mèrite order, he was appointed director of the technical department of the Luftwaffe in 1936 as a colonel, then major general. ( Christian Santoir 5/15/04)
AIRCRAFT: Bücker 131, Fokker Dr.1 and D.VII, Gotha 145, Fw.56 Stösser, Grunau Baby I.ib, Heinkel 51, Henschel 123, Ju.52 3/m, Bf.109D .
Povest o Nastojasjtjem Tjeloveke (USSR "The Story of a Real Man"; 1948). No data.
Power Dive (Paramount 1941) D: James P Hogan. Richard Arlen = Brad Farrell, Don Castle = Doug Farrell, Cliff Edwards = Squid Watkins, Jean Parker = Carol Blake, Roger Pryor = Dan McMasters. Screenplay: Edward Churchill, Maxwell Shane. Filmed at Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale CA. Predictable test pilot plot with ludicrous studio shots, but many action scenes of rare Phillips Aeroneer and basketweave Player Plxweve make this B-pic worth watching. Bring popcorn.
AIRCRAFT: Phillips 1-B, Player (Greenwood-Yates) CT-6A.
Powered Flight: The Story of the Century (tv documentary, Great Britain; Shell Fim Unit 1953, 54m). D: Stuart Legg. BAFTA Special Award 1955. No other data.
Prezeciwko Bogom (Poland "Toward the Gods"; 1961). No data.
Przerwany Lot (Poland "Interrupted Flight"; 1964). No data.
Purple Plain, The (Great Britain; Rank 1954, 104m) D: Robert Parrish. Brenda De Banzie = Miss McNab, Bernard Lee = Dr Harris, Gregory Peck = Forrester, Win Min Than = Anna. Screenplay: Eric Ambler. Peck is a neurotic WW2 pilot whose plane crash-lands in Burma, forcing him to fight his way to freedom and gain a new sense of values.
AIRCRAFT: DH Mosquito.
Q-Planes SEE Clouds Over Europe.
Quax der Bruchpilot (Germany; 1941, 91m) D: Kurt Hoffmann. Lothar Firmans = Hansen, Karin Himboldt = Marianne Bredow, Harry Liedtke = Bredow, Heinz Rühmann = Otto Groschenbügel/Quax. Screenplay: Hermann Grote & Robert A Stemmle. A rather timid young man, nicknamed "Quax," wins free flying instruction and shows a lack of discipline but exceptional physical qualities. He earns the admiration of his instructors and fellow students, becomes a good pilot and, finally, an instructor. Rühmann, a flyer off-stage, is very good and funny in this film, and flying sequences are great. The movie is a farce, but it gave a clear message to youth: Learn to fly for your country. ( Christian Santoir 6/9/04)
AIRCRAFT: Fw.44 Stieglitz, Ju.A20/A50, Klemm 25, Udet U.12a Flamingo.
Quax in Fahrt (Germany; Terra Film 1945, 88m) D: Helmut Weiss. Hertha Feiler, Lothar Firmans, Karin Himboldt, Heinz Rühmann. Screenplay: Hermann Grote. Retitled Quax in Africa (1953). In this sequel of "Quax der Bruchpilot," Quax is an instructor at a flying school where he tries to maintain discipline, particularly when girls join the students. In a raid to Africa he crashes in the bush and is adopted by natives before being rescued. There are more love affairs than flying, but we see some beautiful light aircraft of the time. ( Christian Santoir 6/9/04)
AIRCRAFT: DH.80A Puss Moth, Fw.44; He.72 Kadett, Ju 52/3M hydro, Klemm 25.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Lucasfilm 1981, 115m) D: Steven Spielberg. Karen Allen = Marion Ravenswood, Harrison Ford = Indiana Jones, Paul Freeman = René Belloq, Wolf Kahler = Dietrich. While essentially not a flying epic, the film does contain a few flying scenes and some historic planes worthy of recording.
AIRCRAFT: Ford 5-AT-B [NC9651], Short Solent III, Waco UBF-2 [NC13075]; German "Flying Wing" was a non-flying studio prop.
Trivia: (1) Map showing the path of Indy's flight includes Thailand, which was called Siam at the time; from Asia to Cairo the map shows Iran, Iraq, and Israel, none of which existed in 1936. (2) Plane circling on the ground is driven by a chain around its wheels, and blood on the plane window suddenly disappears. (3) Egypt was British-controlled in 1936, and Germany could not have had a large military operation there. (4) Afrika Korps didn't exist until 1941.
Reach For the Sky (Great Britain; Rank 1956, 123m) D: Lewis Gilbert. Lyndon Brook = Sanderson, Alexander Knox = Joyce, Kenneth More = Douglas Bader, Lee Patterson = Turner, Muriel Pavlow = Thelma Bader. Screenplay: Paul Brickhill, Lewis Gilbert. Bio of RAF ace Bader, who overcame the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become a fighter pilot and wing leader during WW2.
AIRCRAFT: Bristol Bulldog, Hurricane, Spitfire.
Reach Beyond the Horizon (tv documentary, 40m) - No info found on this bio of Edwards AFB that repudely is loaded with archival footage of test planes and personnel.
Reaching for the Skies (tv documentary; TNT 1989 (air date)). Five-part miniseries that aired in the winter of '89 for 2 or 3 hours an evening. To this date I've never seen a more comprehensive documentry on the history of flight, and have tried to contact TNT to obtain a copy for my personal use, only to be told that they have no record of the show. ( Scott Moore 12/22/03)
From the 9/10/89 tv section of the Detroit News comes a full-page ad that might suggest to the folks at TNT this was not only their Exclusive Premiere, but was also "Back by popular demand." Somebody tell them there are a lot of us out here who wouldn't mind a third rerun of this four-part gem, apparently a British production and available only in PAL format, which ices it for all of us here in the Colonies. ( Clip from Donna Hirschfield 2/9/06)
Real Flying Tigers, The (made for tv, History Channel 2000). No data.
Red Baron, The SEE von Richthofen and Brown.
Red Knight of Germany, The (Germany; FGU 1928). No data.
Red Skies of Montana (Fox 1952, 89m) D: Joseph M Newman. Robert Adler = McMullen, Richard Boone = Dryer, Charles Buchinsky (Bronson) = Neff, Richard Crenna = Noxon, Jeffrey Hunter = Ed Miller, Richard Widmark = Cliff Mason. Screenplay: Harry Kleiner, based on a story by Art Cohn. Minor flying scenes in a stock yarn about forest fire fighters; aka Smoke Jumpers.
AIRCRAFT: Ford Tri-Motor.
Reported Missing (Universal 1937, 63m) D: Milton Carruth. Hobart Cavanaugh = Al Steele, William Gargan = Steve Browning, Dick Purcell = Paul Wayne, Jean Rogers = Jean Clayton, Joe Sawyer = Brad Martin. Screenplay: Jerome Chodorov, Joseph Fields. Pulp fiction story about an ex-pilot who invents a "drift indicator" navigation device for blind flying, but planes using his instrument are sabotaged and crash. Then the dead passengers are robbed and it's up to the inventor, with a little help from an FBI man, to uncover the masked villain. Only one plane in this movie, plus USAAC footage. ( Christian Santoir 6/21/06)
AIRCRAFT : Boeing P-12E; Curtiss B-2; Douglas DC-2; Keystone B-6.
Remember Pearl Harbor SEE We've Never Been Licked.
Restless Spirits SEE Dead Aviators.
Revenge of the Red Baron (unknown 1994, 100m) D: Robert Gordon. Cliff De Young = Richard Spencer; Tobey Maguire = Jimmy Spencer; Laraine Newman = Carol Spencer; Mickey Rooney = Grandpa; Ronnie Schell = Lou. Billed as a "comedy-fantasy," it is neither to the fullest extent, but rather a pleasant time-waster for any aviation enthusiast. The Mick gives it his all as an aged pilot consigned to a wheelchair, memories, some R/C models that suddenly become too real, and an errant grandchild in need of paternal affection. Some colorful flying footage (real planes) at the beginning and end, but scale models when the "Red Baron" returns in time to exact revenge on the guy who shot him down in WW1. Produced by Roger Corman, in a break from his ritual horror films, it was panned by youthful reviewers who expected it to be another of his chillers instead of a Disneylike fantasy and unfairly judged it as a bomb. It certainly is neither bomb nor Oscar material, but more in the "eye candy" class.
AIRCRAFT: Fokker Dr.1 and SE5a replicas.
Richthofen (Germany; 1932)
Riding On Air (RKO 1937, 71m) D: Edward Sedgwick. Joe E Brown = Elmer Lane, Guy Kibbee = Doc Waddington, Florence Rice = Betty Harrison. Screenplay: Richard Flournoy, Richard Macaulay. Brown gets mixed up with smugglers because of his invention of a radio beam to control airplanes.
Right Stuff, The (Warner Bros 1983, 187m) D: Philip Kaufman. Scott Glenn = Alan Shepard, Ed Harris = John Glenn, Barbara Hershey = Glennis Yeager, Dennis Quaid = Gordon Cooper, Sam Shepard = Chuck Yeager, Kim Stanley = Pancho Barnes, Fred Ward = Gus Grissom. Screenplay = Kaufman, from book by Tom Wolfe. The first astronauts, with Chuck Yeager as focal point. Kaufman draws his characters as cartoons, except for the pilots, and puts realistic recreations of space flights against broadly caricatured scenes on Earth. Some astonishing performances, exhilarating moments, but a curious overall air of detachment. More than three hours, it's never boring. Won four Oscars. Watch for real-life Chuck Yeager as a bartender at Pancho's 'Happy Bottom Riding Club.' Aerials by Clay Lacy and Art Scholl; filmed in part at Edwards AFB.
Trivia: There is a Beech T-34 parked in the background when EB-29 taxis to take-off with Yeager for his first supersonic flight. The X-1's sound barrier-breaking flight took place in 1947, while the first flight of T-34 was in 1948. Did X-1 make a time-warp flight, or was the prototype T-34 being secretly tested at Muroc Dry Lake in 1947? ( Isaku Okabe 3/3/05) [Actually, prototype YT-34 first flew in May 1950. Its civil predecessor, Model 45, was the one that flew on 12/2/48.]
Trivia: (1) The Air Force did not ask Yeager, on 10/13/47, to break the sound barrier the next day. He had been flying the Bell X-1 since August in eight powered flights. When he actually broke the sound barrier on 10/14, it was by accidentthe target speed was Mach .97, but at speeds just under Mach 1, a shock wave made the Machmeter read low. (2) Yeager ejects from the F-104 through the canopy when in reality the plane ejects its pilot through the bottom of the fuselage. (3) A bottle in the bar has a bar-code on it. 4) Horses were not allowed at the flight line nor on the lake bed. (5) Pilots did not impulsively jump into jet fighters and take-off for a jaunt, especially without the help of ground crew.
Rivalen der Luft (Germany "Rivals of the Air"; 1943) D: Frank Wisbar. Hilde Gebuehr, Wolfgang Liebeneiner, Sybille Schmitz.
Rocketeer, The (Disney 1991, 108m) D: Joe Johnson. Alan Arkin = Peavey, Bill Campbell = Cliff Secord, Jennifer Connolly = Jenny Blake, Timothy Dalton = Neville Sinclair. Screenplay: Dave Stevens, Danny Bilson. A young pilot discovers a prototype jetpack that allows him to become a flying masked hero. Good aerial action at first fade as the comic-book plot takes over. Filmed at Santa Maria and Lake Piru CA.
AIRCRAFT: Ryan S-T, Monocoupe 90-A, Curtiss Robin, DH Tiger Moth, Travel Air Mystery, Brown B-2, Standard J-1, replica Gee Bee.
Trivia: (1) When the Gee Bee crashes, the cable that pulls it along is visible. (2) Set in 1938, deutschemarks are mentioned, which weren't introduced until 1948.
Romance of the Air, A (Ince 1917, silent). No data.
Rookies (MGM 1927, silent) D: Sam Wood. George K Arthur = Greg Lee, Karl Dane = Sgt Diggs, Marceline Day = Betty Wayne, Tom O'Brien = Sgt O'Brien, Lincoln Stedman = Sleepy. Screenplay: Joseph Farnham. Comedy about Army ballooning.
Rouletabille Aviateur (France; Films Osso 1932, 68m) D: Etienne Szekely. Germaine Aussey = Sonia Grygorine, Léon Bélières = Sainclair, Théa Dory = Erszi, Abel Duroy = Hübner, Alexandre Goth = Bathory, Lisette Lanvin = Rosy Bathory, Maurice Maillot = George, Roland Toutain = Rouletabille. Screenplay: Gaston Leroux, Pierre-Gilles Veber. Rouletabille, hero of a crime series written by Leroux, takes a holiday in Hungary where he hears of a plane transporting gold having been shot down by smugglers. With the help of Bathory's daughter, he goes after the bandits. Not much flying in this film featuring French stunt flyer Toutain; just a few planes, including a Heinkel built under license in Hungary and a Fokker Universal used by Hungarian airline Malert. ( Christian Santoir 2/28/06)
AIRCRAFT: Fokker D.XI; He.22; Udet U.2.