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The Thrill Of Being Airborne
November 22, 2013 9:12 PM   Subscribe

A 1955 TWA promotional movie about vacationing in the glittering metropolios - SKYLINE NEW YORK!
posted by The Whelk (26 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
This American Airways promo from 1933 is fairly stunning, not only for the casual sexism and racism it exhibits, but the actual gushing over the features of the Curtiss Condor.
posted by pjern at 10:38 PM on November 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


The same outfit, Dudley Pictures, that produced the TWA promo also did a travelogue of London.
Not sure if the intrepid Sally and Francis got that far though.
posted by islander at 1:15 AM on November 23, 2013


NYC remains just as magical and wonderful half a century later.
posted by caddis at 4:35 AM on November 23, 2013


As someone who is 6-4, seeing that much legroom on a plane does nothing but piss me off.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:31 AM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


The legroom was my big takeaway too. And that poor sad polar bear in a little cage.

TFA FTW.
posted by spitbull at 5:42 AM on November 23, 2013


Flying coast to coast is only 8 hours!
posted by leotrotsky at 5:45 AM on November 23, 2013


There's like 5 minutes devoted to FDR drive. Thanks 1950s you continue to be the worst decade in history.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:52 AM on November 23, 2013


Lol one mention of Brooklyn as they're gazing at the manhattan skyline A muttered "Brooklyn is in the distance."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:55 AM on November 23, 2013


Bill Gray is a creep.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:57 AM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Meal service on a plane?!?
posted by mazola at 7:37 AM on November 23, 2013


Flying coast to coast is only 8 hours!

And now, thanks to jet service, the TSA, and airline scheduling, it only takes 12!
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:24 AM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bill Gray is a creep.

Hey now, it took him slightly over half the video to ditch his sister on these "sightseeing" expeditions...
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:34 AM on November 23, 2013


The 1933 film is superior as a work of art to the 1955 film. It looks like Hollywood talent not just corporate PR. Decent actors, good script, good sets. As context, prior to Lindbergh's 1927 flight across the Atlantic, the US had an almost non-existence passenger airline industry. He single-handily stoked American popular interest in commercial flight. It was a mania really. The 1933 film is a direct heir of Lindbergh.
posted by stbalbach at 8:43 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


As someone who is 6-4, seeing that much legroom on a plane does nothing but piss me off.

You could get a lot more legroom if you were willing to pay 1955 ticket prices. An LA-New York round trip looks like it would cost somewhere north of $2000 in 2013 dollars, or about double what a first-class ticket costs today.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:54 AM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


That was a nostalgic thrill. I was in NYC for a visit as a kid just a few years after this was made, and moved there at the start of the '80s; it's amazing how much was still the same after a few decades. Baseball notes: interesting that Bill said "the Yankee Stadium"; very unnatural to say "playing one of their rivals"—in real life you'd name the team. (I suppose if one examined the clip closely one could figure out which team it was.)

Thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 8:57 AM on November 23, 2013


I'm feeling a strong urge to conform to societal norms.
posted by TrialByMedia at 10:42 AM on November 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


90% sure I caught some Orioles orange there. Also MSG and no Knicks. Lol white people.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:05 PM on November 23, 2013


Not sure whether travelfilmarchive is putting the timecode stamp on there as a watermark or they don't know how to switch it off on their videotape machine. Great videos, but the TCR thing is distracting.

An LA-New York round trip looks like it would cost somewhere north of $2000 in 2013 dollars, or about double what a first-class ticket costs today.

On the other hand, in terms of the service and amenities you get today, it's about even. I actually paid first class a few years ago flying domestic on Delta and would not do it again.
posted by crapmatic at 2:32 PM on November 23, 2013


Yea but Delta is like literally the worst large US airline ever.
posted by The Whelk at 2:50 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


At 3:07, Fran writes out a postcard on top of her laptop.
posted by Morrigan at 3:15 PM on November 23, 2013


At 3:07, Fran writes out a postcard on top of her laptop.

The Fifties version of live tweeting.
posted by vac2003 at 7:29 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was totally thrown for a curve when it turned out that Sally and Fran were not lovers.
posted by La Cieca at 10:43 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, wait. When Bill is waiting to meet Sally at Idlewild, he is standing underneath a clock that reads 12:00 and it's bright sunlight outside, i.e., noon. That means Sally and Fran must have flown out of LA or wherever at midnight local time, right, if it's an eight hour flight?
posted by La Cieca at 10:49 PM on November 23, 2013


Sally and Fran are Vampires and the big apple is a feast compared to their small western town.
posted by The Whelk at 11:03 PM on November 23, 2013


> This American Airways promo yt from 1933 is fairly stunning

for the narration that sounds like lyrics of a Cake song

The businessman uses the telephone [1:33]
And the grave-digger puts on the forceps
The stone mason does all the work
The barber can give you a haircut
The carpenter can take you out to lunch
At the other end of your telephone, you'll find a trained staff of employees that'll make you glad you're flying American
posted by morganw at 10:34 AM on November 24, 2013


Eight hour flight and these girls arrive fresh? I suspect "pep pills".
posted by telstar at 3:29 PM on December 5, 2013


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