Conquest of the Air

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Conquest of the Air
Directed by Zoltan Korda
John Monk Saunders
Alexander Esway
William Cameron Menzies
Alexander Shaw
Peter Bezencenet
Produced by Alexander Korda
Written by John Monk Saunders
Hugh Gray
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Starring Laurence Olivier
Music by Arthur Bliss
Production
company
Alexander Korda Productions
Distributed by London Films (UK)
United Artists (US)
Release dates December 1936 (UK)
20 May 1940 (US release of revised edition)
Running time 71 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Conquest of the Air (1936) is a documentary film or docudrama on the history of aviation, up until the early stages of World War II. The film features historical footage, and dramatic re-creations, of the developments of commercial and military aviation; including the early stages of technology developments in design, propulsion, and air navigation aids. The film was a London Films production, commissioned by the Air Ministry of the British Government.

Production background[edit]

The film was initially commissioned by Alexander Korda prior to the advent of World War II, and the Air Ministry saw the value in promoting Britain's contribution and leadership in aviation during this period. Some notable footage is featured of the early phases of automated flight, navigational equipment, and the transitions between civil and military developments, including heavy bombers; fast fighter aircraft; and the advent of naval aviation (aircraft carrier), plus the initial experiments with vertical rotary flight (helicopters).

An updated version was released in 1940, and released in the United States on 20 May 1940.[1]

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