- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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25 hours over the ocean.
Much too long, and too boring. Jimmy Stewart was not the actor to pull this off. Spencer Tracy managed it in "The Old Man and the Sea", but Stewart is not Spencer Tracy. Near the end I was wishing the plane would crash and sink.
The Spirit of St.Louis
- Michael Whitty
Illustrating a moment in aviation history with the Trans-Atlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh from New York to Paris in May of 1927 "The Spirit of St.Louis" is a good drama of that historic flight. This accomplishment was done with a single engine plane taking 33 hours and 30 minutes and flying 3,610 miles. Lindbergh left New York at 7:50 in the morning of Friday May 20 and landed in Paris at 10:30 pm on Saturday night May 21. There were 150,000 people ready to celebrate him. When he returned to New York there were millions of people and a ticker-tape parade. This opened up a new world of aviation. The movie made from it "The Spirit of St.Louis" shows this history played out with James Stewart as Lindbergh and the problems he faced such as icing on the wings, flying through fog, and the problem of going to sleep but this flight was something that "had to be tried". Director Billy Wilder, known for his insight in difficult situations with earlier movies, succeeds here in showing the problems to be overcome with the financing,building the plane, and the flight. Lindbergh was 25, James Stewart was 48 and Jack Warner at Warner Brothers was against Stewart doing this but James Stewart had aviation experience and later went on to do other aviation movies.
Fine performance from Mr. Stewart
Years ago, I read the Pulitzer Prize book after viewing the film, and though the book is a far superior work that kept me engaged during a 4-hour US flight, I thoroughly enjoyed the fine performance by Mr. James Stewart. I thought it was interesting how the solo flight was conveyed on screen and Mr. Stewart couldn't have been a better choice as the main character. A fine film all around.
Was the actual flight this long and boring?
- Mr. Blandings
138 minutes is 38 minutes too long for a film that is long on looking-out-of-the-cockpit scenes and short on any real story.
Lindbergh Story Soars High
"The Spirit of St. Louis" is an entertaining gripping film of Charles Lindbergh and the first transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in May 1927. The film directed by the talented Billy Wilder is quite good, from impressive aerial cinematography to James Stewart in one of his best acting performances. The "Spirit of St. Louis" funded by businessmen from St. Louis, and designed in large part by Lindbergh, propels him through extraordinary moments and some close calls documented in the 33 1/2 hours of his famous flight. Once Lindbergh departs from New York, the audience is whisked up in the air and is treated to colorful scenes of his early beginnings as he reminisces on board the plane. The flashbacks showcase Lindbergh's experiences and provides the viewer an insight into his love affair with aviation. The last few hours of Lindbergh's flight are intense. Not only does the film document when the "Spirit of St. Louis" begins to accumulate ice on its wings, but portrays the incredible toll on Lindbergh of sheer exhaustion as he desperately fights from falling asleep. The film culminates with his famous landing to Le Bourget Field outside of Paris greeted by cheering crowds of thousands, followed by a hero's welcome in America woven with footage of the real event. The magnitude of Lindbergh's heroism and historic flight are beautifully captured in this movie. The way this film is shot, along with Jimmy Stewart's natural reactions and incredible performance as he narrates Lindbergh's thoughts, makes this journey a flight not to be missed!
Old? Who's too old?
Suspension of disbelief is an essential ingredient for any kind of movie, play etc. With each revolution of the propeller Jimmy Stewart became younger and younger...Excellent movie, held my attention during this amazing flight into aviation history.
Jimmy Stewart , old?
Jimmy Stewart was never too old. This film has everything; beautiful cinematography, great stars, excitement, change of heart regarding God, good drama, terrific story, which best of all, is true. I watch this film every time you air it. It is one of my top favorites. I've recommended it to many people. I recommend it to you.
The Great James Stewart Was Too Old
Billy Wilder known for brilliant casting of his films: Jean Arthur in A Foreign Affair, Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, Jack Lemmon in The Apartment, Gloria Swanson and William Holden in Sunset Blvd., Holden in Staalag 17, etc, cast James Stewart in his 50's to play the brash young Charles Lindbergh in The Spirit of St. Louis. James Stewart is nearly impeccable as an actor with fine performances in The Philadelphia Story, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and Hitchcock classics The Man Who Knew Too Much, and one of the greatest movies of all time the spellbinding Vertigo- with the sleek great Kim Novak-fails in this film. Stewart's casting which was criticized by Jack Warner of Warner Bros but Wilder cast Stewart anyway. A number of then yournger actors such as Robert Wagne would have been better. Wilder -ever Wilder- wanted to shoot a scene alleged to have happend: The Press corps hired a prostitute to bed Lindbergh the night before his famous flight but Jack Warner put his foot down and refused to allow the scene.
Spirit Of St. Louis-Excellent
- Bruce Reber
"The Spirit Of St. Louis" is an excellent film about Charles Lindbergh's historic Trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris in 1927 that paved the way for commercial aviation. James Stewart gives a fine performance as his real-life hero Lindbergh, who inspired Stewart to become an aviator himself. Stewart served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WW2, and made several other films besides "Spirit Of St. Louis" about planes and aviation, including "No Highway In The Sky" (1951), "Strategic Air Command" (1955), Flight Of The Phoenix" (1966) and the all-star disaster film "Airport 1977" (1977). I think Billy Wilder was an unusual choice to direct "Spirit Of St. Louis", since he made mostly witty and sophisticated comedies. I first saw "Spirit" on another movie channel in 1997, shortly after Stewart's death. I agree with some of the other reviews that it's a bit long and boring at times, but "Spirit" is overall still very good.
The Spirit of St. Louis Drags On & On
- Chris B
Even though the information concerning Charles A. "Slim" Lindbergh is accurate this film is simply too tedious and drawn out. Jimmy Stewart, as Lindbergh, does a wonderful job in portraying him he cannot save Billy Wilder's unyielding saga concerning Lindbergh's life through flashbacks as he races against time in completing his flight from New York to Paris.
Portrait of an Heroic Aviator.
- Frank Harris Horn
James Stewart fought real hard to win what has been called "The Ultimate Role of a Lifetime", and with Billy Wilder at his side, Stewart finally won the opportunity to portray famed aviator, Charles Lindbergh (1902-74), and with Billy Wilder in the director's chair, they re-enacted Lindbergh's historic solo flight from New York City to Paris, France as described in Lindbergh's Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Along with a variety of appropriate flashbacks and soliloquy. A long, but inventive presentation along with an excellent, thrilling musical score by Franz Waxman. Also starring Bartlett Robinson, Patricia Smith, Murray Hamilton, Richard Deacon, Marc Connelly, Harlan Warde, Arthur Space, Paul Birch, Dabbs Greer & Charles Watts.
The Spirit of St. Louis
- kay harvey
James Stewart was excellent as Charles Lindbergh. His narration of things that were happening during the flight showed what Lindbergh had to be aware of on his historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean.This film captures an important part of aviation history.
Long Flight not quite sure its worth the trip.
- Oliver Cutshaw
I agree with both comments. This is an excellent reproduction of that exciting era of aviation but it is a bit too long, and lacking in a certain narrative focus. That lack of the usual Wilder wit probably has to do with the fact that Charles Lindburgh was still alive at the time of the film. That said, the flight itself has energy and dramatic detail. I recommend it to fans of aviation films and Jimmy Stewart but might be a tad slow of the average audience.
The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)
Brilliant and exciting film. James Stewart is ideally cast and does a terrific job. It's fascinating from start to finish. Excellent writing and direction.
Poor story content
- Jack Phillippe
This film was first, much to long and could cause one to doze off. The writing and directing were poor to say the least. If you have a lot of extra time and do not know what to do in order to pass the time --- this is your baby!!