The Spirit of St. Louis - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Spirit of St. Louis Reviews

Page 1 of 6
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
November 28, 2011
Director Billy Wilder puts on a showcase with this biopic of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh. Lindbergh's life, from his humble barnstorming days to his "welcome home" tickertape parade through the streets of New York City (where he was supposedly greeted by 4 million people), is represented through both flashbacks and linear storyline. Lindbergh, of course, was the first aviator to fly nonstop from New York to Paris, and in doing so, both cemented his place in history as well as forever changing the way we travel. Wilder employs many great techniques while telling Lindbergh's story, from the aforementioned flashbacks, to giving the audience a chance to listen in on Lindbergh's inner monologue (most particularly effective when Lindbergh is trying to get to sleep the night before the big flight). And it seems so effortless the way it's all blended together, like Wilder got a dose of Bergman before making the film. Jimmy Stewart plays Lindbergh effortlessly, despite being twenty years older than the man he was portraying at the time. Then again, Stewart often plays the same kind of role (not that there's anything wrong with that), so there's little in the way of surprises regarding the Lindbergh character. While this is a Lindbergh biography (somewhat), there's little attention paid to his life post-flight, whether it be his supposed nazi sympathizing or the kidnapping of his child in what was referred to as the "crime of the century", and rightly so. A film entitled "The Spirit of St. Louis" should be about the uplifting triumph of the human spirit over a great challenge, not some tabloid fluff. Stewart and Wilder manage to capture the "spirit" to which these endeavors were made. Good stuff.
Super Reviewer
½ January 21, 2008
A gripping biopic about Charles Lindbergh's record-breaking non-stop transatlantic flight of 1927. Billy Wilder does not immediately spring to mind as the ideal director for this sort of thing, but he does a solid job on the whole, occasionally injecting some of his trademark humour--sometimes successfully, sometimes not--but generally playing it straight. The success of the film is due in no small part to the ever-excellent James Stewart's infectious, boyish enthusiasm and to Franz Waxman's music, which underscores the tension marvellously. Visually, the film is pretty drab, and it's quite pointlessly photographed in Cinemascope. The portion detailing the flight itself is broken up by superfluous flashbacks, too obviously just a device to create the illusion of time passing. Another dubious device sees Lindbergh conveying his thoughts to us, the viewer, by chatting to a fly trapped in his cockpit! Silly as that undoubtedly is, I can sympathise with the makers' desire to supplement or limit Stewart's voice-over before it got too tedious.
Super Reviewer
½ June 15, 2009
Billy Wilder's only Bio-Pic and directing of Jimmy Stewart is a nice change of pace. It's not his greatest film,but it is his best looking color film.Based on Lindbergh's autobiography it's about the preparation and flying across the Atlantic Ocean. Stewart Sells this film and Wilder comes up with interesting methods to keep the viewer from being bored. Some of the flashbacks are a little too aw...shucks,but some are really entertaing. Most of the flying footage is real and it looks great. I wish Wilder would have set a more claustrophobic mood ,because the sleep depravity works well .Enjoyable off the beaten path for Wilder and again it looks gorgeous.
Super Reviewer
½ April 11, 2007
The acting was a little goofy at points, but it sure was fun to look at.
½ February 19, 2015
.....

Second half of movie is flight across Atlantic. Stewart monologue interspersed with flashbacks.
June 28, 2012
James Stewart stars as Charles Lindbergh as he makes his legendary solo flight to Paris. Stewart perfectly projects the loneliness Lindbergh felt on his flight, and the fatigue and sleeplessness he fought along the way. A wonderfully made film!!
November 28, 2011
Director Billy Wilder puts on a showcase with this biopic of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh. Lindbergh's life, from his humble barnstorming days to his "welcome home" tickertape parade through the streets of New York City (where he was supposedly greeted by 4 million people), is represented through both flashbacks and linear storyline. Lindbergh, of course, was the first aviator to fly nonstop from New York to Paris, and in doing so, both cemented his place in history as well as forever changing the way we travel. Wilder employs many great techniques while telling Lindbergh's story, from the aforementioned flashbacks, to giving the audience a chance to listen in on Lindbergh's inner monologue (most particularly effective when Lindbergh is trying to get to sleep the night before the big flight). And it seems so effortless the way it's all blended together, like Wilder got a dose of Bergman before making the film. Jimmy Stewart plays Lindbergh effortlessly, despite being twenty years older than the man he was portraying at the time. Then again, Stewart often plays the same kind of role (not that there's anything wrong with that), so there's little in the way of surprises regarding the Lindbergh character. While this is a Lindbergh biography (somewhat), there's little attention paid to his life post-flight, whether it be his supposed nazi sympathizing or the kidnapping of his child in what was referred to as the "crime of the century", and rightly so. A film entitled "The Spirit of St. Louis" should be about the uplifting triumph of the human spirit over a great challenge, not some tabloid fluff. Stewart and Wilder manage to capture the "spirit" to which these endeavors were made. Good stuff.
½ April 10, 2011
Really good. Very enjoyable and yet I don't think this film would have worked without James Stewart. Billy Wilder's direction and co-written script are sharp and incisive. Great movie and such a classic.
June 5, 2010
The great Jimmy Stewart shows off his acting talents by somehow making the wooden Charles Lindbergh seem almost human. Lindbergh wished he was this interesting. A decent old-school film about a great person, though incredibly sensationalized in typical Hollywood fashion.
½ June 17, 2008
The movie is well-made, but it's very by-the-book and way too long. Not very interesting or exciting.
June 9, 2008
i saw it at school... it was ok but at the age i saw it i really didnt care for it. maybe i should watch it again.
January 5, 2008
Realistically, James Stewart is a good 10 years too old for this role, and yet I can't fault him for anything he does here - he really captures the spirit and handles the solitude of the role well. It reminded me of the tone and feel of the book, which was a pretty good accomplishment.
½ July 9, 2007
A good movie but did get slow at times. Then again, I definitely credit to Billy Wilder and Jimmy's acting (which was mainly reaction shots to narrations) for making it as interesting as it was. I mean an hour of one man in a plane? Good movie, but not great.
June 16, 2007
This is another powerfu true story and Jimmy Steward did an amazing job in this movie. it's something everyone will love.
½ June 7, 2007
While an extremely solid movie, Billy Wilder seems to leave his soul out of this one and just leaves a solid film.
May 28, 2007
James Stewart is fatally miscasted but he does best he can do playing someone 20 years younger than himself. Beautifully shot but empty.
November 27, 2004
VERY EXCITING AND INTERESTING. QUITE WELL ACTED BY STEWART. WELL DIRECTED AND WRITTEN. A VERY ENTERTAINING FILM
½ May 23, 2016
Charles Lindbergh's historic, epic solo trans-Atlantic flight in 1927, the first ever solo crossing of the Atlantic in an airplane. We see how Lindbergh set about organising financiers for his flight, purchasing, designing and building the plane, test flights, (through news on other fliers) the potential fates awaiting him and the flight itself, especially the hardships he had to endure and how he overcame them. We also see, though flashbacks, his earlier life - how he learnt to fly and his first few jobs in aviation.

Despite being directed by master-director Billy Wilder and starring the great James Stewart, I did not have high hopes for this movie. It seemed like a fairly dry subject and could easily have degenerated into a paint-by-numbers historical drama. However, Wilder makes it interesting, through the flashbacks and, especially, hearing Lindbergh's thoughts. The thoughts show the genius of the man - how he approached problems, his endurance and his resourcefulness.

Wilder does a good job at showing the hardships Lindbergh had to go through and how easily he could have failed. Shows well just what an heroic feat it was.

Good work from Jimmy Stewart as Lindbergh. At the time he was about 23 years older than his character but it doesn't really show.

Interesting, entertaining dramatisation of a very historic event.
½ February 19, 2015
.....

Second half of movie is flight across Atlantic. Stewart monologue interspersed with flashbacks.
May 18, 2014
A dramatization of the first non stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

As usual, James Stewart's acting cannot be faulted. He manages to overcome this film's weaker points.
Page 1 of 6