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AMELIA EARHART
THE FINAL FLIGHT
1994

poster

T.V. FILM

Director:
Yves Simoneau

Language:
English

Running Time: 91'

Main Cast :
Rutger Hauer - Fred Noonan
Diane Keaton - Amelia Earhart
Bruce Dern - George P. Putnam
Paul Guilfoyle - Paul Mantz
David Carpenter - Harry Kanning
Denis Arndt - Joseph Laughlin
Diana Bellamy - Mrs Atkinson

Screenplay:
Anna Sandor from the book by Doris L. Rich “Amelia Earhart - A Biography”

Awards and Nominations:
1995 - American Society of Cinematographers Award Nomination for           Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Movies of the           Week/Pilots.
1995 - Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Individual Achievement           in Editing for Miniseries.
1995 - Golden Globe Award Nomination for Best Actress Performance in a           Mini-Series.
1995 - Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination for Outstanding Female           Actor Performance.

Plot:
Her childhood fascination with flight in turn-of-the-century Kansas destined Amelia Earhart for fame in the fledging world of aviation. Her 1928 Atlantic crossing, the first for a woman, established her reputation worldwide as “Lady Lindy”, the female Lindbergh, whom she strangely resembled. But her husband/manager/press agent, publisher G.P. Putnam, made Earhart a household name, lining up endorsements, sweet-talking sponsorships and airplanes from manufacturers and selling investors on her daring plan to circumnavigate the world along the equator. The luckless final flight during which she, navigator Fred Noonan and her glamorous Lockheed Electra slipped from radio contact somewhere over the South Pacific launched the most extensive search-and-recovery operation in naval history. Yet more than a half-century of theorizing and research have failed to solve aviations's enduring mystery: who was Amelia Earhart, what happened to her and why do we still care?

Notes:
Pilot, journalist and photographer Amelia Mary Earhart was born July 21, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas, the first child of Edwin Earhart, a kindly, put-upon alcoholic, and Amy Otis, who is often described as domineering. Her lifelong fascination with flight dawned at the Iowa State Fair, where she first laid her eyes on an airplane when she was 11 years old. Earhart enrolled in Columbia University medical school in 1919, but withdrew after one semester to move with her family to Los Angeles. In 1920, she paid $5.00 to ride in an airplane at a Long Beach airfield. “I think I'd like to fly”, she later recalled telling her family with practiced nonchalance, “knowing full well I'd die if I didn't”. She bough her first airplane, a Kinner Airster, the following year. In 1924, her parents separated; Amelia sold her Kinner Airster, bought a car and drove her mother and younger sister, Muriel, back to Massachusetts, where she worked in an immigrant settlement house and practiced flying on weekends. In 1928 she was plucked from relative obscurity by publishing impresario George Palmer Putnam to participate in a trans-Atlantic flight staged to capitalize on the world-wide popularity of Charles Lindbergh's achievement and the subsequent success of the book he authored. Though only a passenger on the Atlantic crossing - the first for a woman - both Earhart and her book, 20 Hrs. 40 Mins, created an international sensation. Two airplanes and several headline-grabbing flights later, the most famous female flier in the world married Putnam in February 1931. Her record-setting non-stop transcontinental flight (Los Angeles to Newark in 19 hours and five minutes) the following year earned Earhart many awards. In the next few years, she bested her own record by more than 2 hours; became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu to Oakland; set a solo record from Los Angeles to Mexico City; and embarked on a round-the-world flight along the equator in a state-of-the-art Lockheed Electra financed by Purdue University. On July 2, 1937, forty days and 22,000 miles into the journey, Earhart and her navigator, Pan-Am veteran Fred Noonan, slipped away from radio contact over the South Pacific near Howland Island, a mile-long spit 1,800 miles west of Hawaii, never to be seen again. These poignant lines she penned in 1927 and titled “Courage” are her enduring epitaph:

Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace,
The soul that knows it not, knows no release
From little things;
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings

A photo of Amelia Earhart and the stamp issued by the United States Mail Service in her honour


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