The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club
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Winner of an Emmy and multiple film festival awards including Best Documentary Film and Audience Awards in 2010, The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club is a fun-filled documentary romp through the life of one of the most colorful and accomplished female pilots of the early 20th Century. Florence ''Pancho'' Barnes was the first woman stunt pilot in Hollywood in 1929 and shattered Amelia Earhart's air speed record in 1930. In the 1940's and 50's, Pancho entertained the greatest test pilots in the world, the men with the right stuff at the infamous ''Happy Bottom Riding Club'' guest ranch near Edwards Air Force Base. When Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 in 1947, he partied with Pancho. A friend of the fast and the famous, Pancho Barnes was a swaggering, forceful, ill-behaved woman whose exploits and accomplishments are truly the stuff of legend.
Featuring never-before-seen photographs and film footage and interviews with many of Pancho's friends including astronaut Buzz Aldrin and famed test pilots Bob Cardenas, Bob Hoover and Chuck Yeager, The Legend of Pancho Barnes is an unforgettable, exciting, and poignant romp through aviation history. Narrated by Tom Skerritt, with Kathy Bates as the voice of Pancho Barnes.
This multi-award-winning film has screened throughout the United States on public television (PBS), in Australia, and in nearly a dozen film festivals. Celebrated within the aviation community, it was specially screened at the EAA's AirVenture in 2010 and 2011, at AOPA's annual convention, at Sun 'N Fun, the Arlington Fly In, NASA Dryden, and at scores of air museums nationwide.
This deluxe DVD features both the broadcast version (as seen on public television) and the special uncensored film festival version of the documentary, along with nearly 18 minutes of additional video including deleted scenes. It also features commentary from writer/producer Nick Spark and director Amanda Pope, a study guide for secondary school students, and more.
If you haven't seen the film, and you love aviation history ... you need to see it. --PilotMag, July 2010
Aficionados of aviation's golden age will find a life and times tale here that is as entertaining as it is comprehensive. --Aviation History, March 2011
A thoroughly entertaining look at a very unconventional life. If all you know of Pancho Barnes comes from Kim Stanley's portrayal of her in The Right Stuff, well, you've come to the right place. --After Ellen, July 2009
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Anyhow, this was a wonderful documentary on both Pancho and her Happy Bottom Riding Club. Definitely worth checking out.
If not for her, those guys at Muroc would never had been able to "cut loose" once in a while.
It's a shame she died alone, but her memory will remain forever.
The documentary has so much in it of interest. I found myself freeze framing some of the documents that are very briefly shown to read them. One brief shot is of the Happy Bottom Riding club's guest book with an entry dated 12-10-46 from Slick Goodlin ! If only that book could be reprinted ! I once had the pleasure of meeting Cliff Morris (whose color photo is briefly shown stading in front of the "Air Force" fountain at Pancho's). This was in Lancaster CA in 2005. He used to work at NACA and part time at Pancho's. Cliff was very frail but his son showed me momentoes including his membership card and a music score written by Pancho called "Ghosts of The Badmen" with a note to Cliff. Cliff kindly signed my copy of Barbara Shultz's biography of Pancho which I recommend.
Once again a fascintaing and perfectly produced documentary which was exactly what I had hoped for. The audio interview by Don Kuhns is a great bonus. Pancho sounds so much more articulate and thoughtful than one might have expected given the hype. It is good to have that additional perspective on her life.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a must see by every member of family.