The Surprise that Shook up my Jedemi Project…

I had been casually thumbing through the Arts & Leisure section of the Sunday New York Times when I came upon this story:

“NIght Flight”? That’s the same name as a book by one of my guys, St. X (Antoine de Saint-Exupery). The gist of the story was that Clarence Brown’s Night Flight, a 1933 MGM adaptation of the novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, was now available in DVD.

A 1933 movie available now? What’s the reel story?

Apparently, it had been withdrawn from circulation after the studio’s rights to the novel expired in 1942. The rights have now been cleared, and the film has reappeared from Warner Home Video as a mainstream (rather than Warner Archive) release.

“Night Flight” has a very impressive cast that includes: Clark Gable, Helen Hayes, Robert Montgomery, Myrna Loy and the brothers John and Lionel Barrymore.

Many of these actors also starred in films by our Frankie (Frank Capra). Other Jedemi connections include:

>> Our Frannie (Frances Marion) wrote Anna Christie that was directed by Brown. Starring Greta Garbo (the name above the title), Brown was nominated for Best Director in 1930.
In fact, he was nominated five times for the Academy Award as a director, and once as a producer in his career, but never received an Oscar.

>> Brown directed “Edison, the Man” (our Tommie) released in 1940.
In flashback, fifty years after inventing the light bulb, an 82-year-old Edison tells his story starting at age twenty-two with his arrival in New York. He’s on his way with invention of an early form of stock market ticker.

There are probably more connections. My research on Clarence Brown is just beginning.


Other facts:

Night Flight (MGM 1933) D: Clarence Brown. John Barrymore = Riviere, Lionel Barrymore = Robineau, Clark Gable = Fabian, William Gargan = pilot, Helen Hayes = Mme Fabian, Myrna Loy = pilot’s wife, Robert Montgomery = Pellerin. Screenplay: Oliver Garrett, based on novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. South American air mail pilots working for ruthless martinet Robineau. Generous use of models and mock-ups. Aerials by Frank Tomick, Paul Mantz. Filmed at Culver City and around Rocky Mountains.
AIRCRAFT: Douglas M-2.


Reviewed here.

The Film:

The Book:

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