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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Spirit of St. Louis (Bilingual) [Import]
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on July 12, 2001
The Spirit of St Louis is not a perfect film. It is corny, it is idealized, it is superficial, but with all of that to drag it down, it remains a superb entertainment. The duplicate of the original Spirit is perfect, the filmed locales are beautiful, and the poetic music by Franz Waxman supports the story in a most thrilling and pleasing way. The complaint that James Stewart was too old for the part has been repeated over and over until it is a virtual cliche today, with a certainty factor of one hundred percent that anyone commenting on the film will crab about how the star was too old. I would like to go on record as saying that James Stewart played the part perfectly, bubbling with the essential enthusiasm and patented niceness for which he was famous, and even at an age somewhere around fifty he looked just fine. Take a close look at him next time you watch the film: his skin is smooth, his stomach is flat, and while he may not have looked twenty-five, he looked sufficiently youthful to play the part of a young, idealistic man. It was a marvelous piece of acting, and I for one would like to do what I can to dispell the notion that the movie is somehow tainted because of James Stewart's age. As I suggested, take another look with an open mind, and see what you think.
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on July 2, 2000
The Spirit of St. Louis is a largely entertaining look at an important moment in history. I have two issues with the film. First of all, there are too many flashbacks that interrupt the story, although I understand their purpose of keeping the movie interesting through some of the uninteresting parts of his flight. Also, Stewart is too old for the role, but being the great actor that he is, he still pulls it off convincingly. This isn't the kind of film I would expect from director Billy Wilder, but he manages to create tension during the flight that surprised me since I knew how it would end! The film also gives the viewer a good idea of some of the technical aspects that went into creating Lindbergh's successful attempt, and the viewer also gets a good feel for what it must have been like to be inside the plane. Although not a perfect film, The Spirit of St. Louis entertains and informs, and I enjoyed it.
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on August 18, 2000
I saw this film in the theater when it was first released. I was on the edge of my seat, even though I knew it would end successfully. Now, 41 years later, I'm still on the edge of my seat every time I watch the film. Why? Director Wilder has the unique ability to make one forget he's watching a movie. We get to be "in the moment". Some may argue over the heavy use of flashbacks, but in a film where the bulk of the 33+ hour flight is uneventful, they are almost a necessity. But they aren't just thrown in. They're presented in a timely and logical way. In an age when our culture looks to "brand identification" and "public glory", it's refreshing to watch an event which began with hardly any notice at all.
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on August 5, 2003
The Spirit of St. Louis was a box-office disappointment. That will never change. But what may change is the opinions of critics and the public on how this film should be viewed. It has all of the makings of a successful film: a great director in Billy Wilder, a legend in Jimmy Stewart, and it's based on the autobiography of an American hero in Charles Lindbergh.
No matter what ticket sales were like, it is a well-done film. One cannot deny the fact that Stewart was not the correct age to play Lindbergh, but it doesn't really take anything away from the film. Lindbergh always seemed to be more wise than his age would suggest anyhow.
The VHS version is fine, and until the DVD version is released (if ever) this is the only way to go.
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on November 27, 1999
Fictionalized a great deal (what do you expect from Hollywood), but quite entertaining anyway. Brilliant director that Wilder is, he builds up the suspense so much during the flight, that we're not even sure Lindbergh is going to make it to Paris. Jimmy Stewart is great in the title role, giving us a man who is as scared as he is brave. My only complaint is that Wilder only chose to show one aspect of Lindbergh's life. It would have been much more interesting to also see the kidnapping of Lindbergh's son, and his support of American isolation during World War II. I don't want to dwell on the negative to much. The movie is good, and well worth seeing.
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on April 12, 1999
If not entirely accurate in detail, the film does an excellent job of relating a complex and detailed historical event in terms and in an interesting way to capture the imagination of the viewer. This flight in 1927 was every bit as brave a human endeavor as the first landing by man on the moon. The portrayal of Charles Lindbergh by James Stewart is both genuine and believable. If films are the link between story telling and reading, then it is my belief that "The Spirit of St. Louis " is one of the best and most important films of this century!
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on March 6, 1999
This is really a great story of not only a flight across the Atlantic Ocean.....but also a story of how America has become the Great Country that it is today.........from as James Stewart says in the movie........."We just have to keep on trying until it is done." I believe that this story has alot to say about the way this country was born and how it has continued to grow at astounding rates........Just look back 100 years.....then compare that with the life styles that we are able to maintain today.......unbelievable isn't it ???
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on October 21, 1999
As a pilot, this movie raises the hair on the back of my neck and makes me sweat as Charles Lindburgh (James Stewart) just clears some trees and scrapes some electrical lines on his very difficult takeoff. This movie places the viewer right inside the cockpit of one of the most significant events in early American aviation history. Jimmy Stewart really makes you feel the emotions of Charles Lindburgh and really gives a sense of the mentality of the people of that time period who helped to make our country as great as she is.
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on July 29, 1999
Yellow Airplane book and video review: After my 10th time watching this movie, it still kept the entire family on the edge of our seats. Jimmy Stewart does a great job portraying Charles Lindburg in the worlds first trans Alantic flight. This is a movie which is an important historical document covering the flight of the Spirit of St. Louis, a significant event in the history of aviation. I have one question, however, has this plane ever been flown after its Atlantic crossing? send me email. C. Jeff Dyrek
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on July 29, 1999
Yellow Airplane book and video review: After my 10th time watching this movie, it still kept the entire family on the edge of our seats. Jimmy Stewart does a great job portraying Charles Lindburg in the worlds first trans Alantic flight. This is a movie which is an important historical document covering the flight of the Spirit of St. Louis, a significant event in the history of aviation. I have one question, however, has this plane ever been flown after its Atlantic crossing? C. Jeff Dyrek
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