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China Clipper Reviews

An aviation picture without the usual airborne thrills. In 1936, the first transpacific flight of a commercial airline was recent history, and this film gets so caught up with the technical aspects of the San Francisco-to-China flight that it loses much of its entertainment value. O'Brien plays a pioneer in aviation obsessed with the establishment of a transpacific airline. His blinding ambition takes its toll on his marriage, friendships, and everyday life in general. We see success after success in his attempt to prepare for the final flight, and by the time he gets around to it there is very little suspense, for we know the final outcome will also be a success. Bogart puts in a neat little performance in a sympathetic role, a departure from the gunmen he usually played at this time in his career. Unfortunately, he is given very little screen time.