Tail Spin

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This article is about the 1939 film. For the Disney animated TV series, see TaleSpin. For the aviation phenomenon, see spin (flight).
Tail Spin
Directed by Roy Del Ruth
Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck
Written by Frank Wead
Starring Alice Faye
Constance Bennett
Nancy Kelly
Joan Davis
Charles Farrell
Jane Wyman
Music by Louis Silvers
Cinematography Karl Freund
Edited by Allen McNeil
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Release dates
  • February 19, 1939 (1939-02-19)
Running time
84 min.
Country United States
Language English

Tail Spin is a 1939 aviation film starring Alice Faye, Constance Bennett, Nancy Kelly, Joan Davis, Charles Farrell, and Jane Wyman. The screenplay was written by Frank Wead and directed by Roy Del Ruth.[1] It was based on the book, "Women with Wings: A novel of the modern day aviatrix" (Ganesha Publishing, 1935), authored by Genevieve Haugen, who was also an advisor and stunt pilot in the film.


Trixie Lee (Alice Faye) takes a leave of absence from her job as a Hollywood hat-check girl to pursue her career as an aviatrix. She and partner Babe Dugan (Joan Davis) enter an air race from Los Angeles to Cleveland, but an oil leak causes their plane to crash.

Navy flyer Tex Price (Kane Richmond) helps with their engine. Meanwhile, steel mogul T.P. Lester (Harry Davenport) indulges the ambition of his daughter Gerry (Constance Bennett) to fly in the Powder Puff national race. Gerry is also Tex's ex.

Trixie wants to win both Tex and the race, so she and Babe do everything they can to discourage Gerry or sabotage her chances. In the sky during the Powder Puff race, the superior aircraft Gerry owns is winning, but she pretends to have engine failure so Trixie can win.

Knowing that she misjudged Gerry all along, Trixie steps aside as Tex and Gerry get back together.



  1. ^ "Monthly Film Bulletin". ProQuest. January 1, 1939. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 

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