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Atlantic Flight


In 1937, actual airplane pilot Dick Merrill become famous for being the first pilot to make a commercial transatlantic roundtrip flight. Momogram Pictures, capitalizing on Merrill's celebrity status, quickly created the fictional film ATLANTIC FLIGHT where Merrill plays himself as a pilot crossing the Atlantic with a medical serum that can save his friend's life. The film used real footage from Merrill's own stormy Atlantic crossing.

Atlantic Flight is a 1937 film made by Monogram Pictures chiefs Trem Carr and W. Ray Johnston who had just ormed the studio after having had a troubled merger for two years with Herbert J. Yates and Republic Pictures. This film was conceived as a low-budget feature meant to capitalize on Dick Merrill's and Jack Lambie's historic "Coronation Flight", which made them world famous. Recreating the flight that made him famous, Dick Merrill, along with co-pilot Jack Lambie reprise their real-life roles as pilots.


When pilot Dick Bennett (Dick Merrill) undertakes a flight in stormy conditions to save a dying girl, he brings the aircraft in, despite warnings that it is too dangerous. Later, he meets socialite Gail Strong (Paula Stone), who is interested in aviation and persuades Bennett's aircraft engineer friend Bill Edwards (Weldon Heyburn) to try a parachute jump. Her fiancé, Baron Hayygard (Ivan Lebedeff) pledges that he will win the National Air Races, to make her keep her promise to marry him, and resorts to desperate measures, knocking out Bennett.
When Bennett is unable to fly his untested racer, Edwards takes it up instead, but crashes. Strong realizes she is in love with Edwards, but he is critically injured. A doctor in England has life-saving serum that Bennett and Jack Carter (Jack Lambie) are determined to bring back to save their friend, by making a record-breaking round-trip to London. Coming back through a raging storm over the Atlantic, their aircraft is struck by lightning, disabling their radio. When contact is lost, Coast Guard ships are deployed, but the intrepid flyers make it in.


As appearing in screen credits:

=Aircraft used in the film=

  • Lockheed Model 10 Electra
  • Northrop Gamma
  • Vultee V-1


Strictly a "B" feature, the Atlantic Flight is best considered a historical record, with a great deal of aviation footage of the period to commend it.



  • Backstreet, Jack. "Don Dwiggins, Mini Biography." Retrieved: January 3, 2008.
  • King, Jack. Wings of Man: The Legend of Dick Merrill. Seattle: Aviation Book Co., 1981. ISBN 0-911721-91-6.

Category:1937 films
Category:American films
Category:English-language films
Category:Aviation films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:Monogram Pictures films
William Berke

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