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Less than a year after the inaugural flight of Pan American Airways’ China Clipper captured the public’s interest, Warner Bros. crafted a fictional version of the famed seaplane’s feat and sent it winging into theaters. Pat O’Brien plays Dave Logan, an aviation visionary and taskmaster who puts his career ahead of his personal life as, he launches a small aviation outfit and sees it grow to match his dream of trans-Pacific commercial flight. Ross Alexander, whose promising career would soon tragically end, portrays Logan’s right-hand man. And Humphrey Bogart, in a departure from the typical criminal roles in his 1930s filmography, plays the ex-barnstormer and top-echelon pilot who guides the China Clipper’s maiden journey. Newsreel footage of the hulking, four-engine “flying boat” augments this film that Frank Nugent in The New York Times called “fascinating…deserves a respectful accolade for its technical accuracy.”

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WAA346801 China Clipper DVD (1936/Humphrey Bogart) $19.95