The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

James Stewart plays transatlantic pilot hero Charles Lindbergh.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Home Video

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James Stewart
as Charles Augustus 'Slim' Lindbergh
Murray Hamilton
as Bud Gurney
Patricia Smith
as Mirror Girl
Bartlett Robinson
as B.F. Mahoney
Sheila Bond
as Model/Dancer
Marc Connelly
as Father Hussman
Arthur Space
as Donald Hall
Harlan Warde
as Boedecker
Dabbs Greer
as Goldsborough
Paul Birch
as Blythe
David Orrick
as Harold Bixby
Robert Burton
as Major Lambert
James L. Robertson Jr.
as William Robertson
Maurice Manson
as E. Lansing Ray
James O'Rear
as Earl Thompson
Griff Barnett
as Old Farmer
Johnny Lee
as Jess the Cook
Herbert C. Lytton
as Casey Jones
Roy Gordon
as Associate Producer
Aaron Spelling
as Mr. Pearless
Charles Watts
as O.W. Schultz
Syd Saylor
as Photographer
Lee Roberts
as Photographer
James O'Reare
as Earl Thompson
Ann Morrison
as Mrs. Pearless
James L. Robertson
as William Robertson
Nelson Leigh
as Director
Jack Daly
as Louie
Carleton Young
as Captain
Eugene Borden
as French Policeman
Olin Howland
as Surplus Dealer
Percival Vivian
as Professor
Budd Buster
as Mechanic
Ray Walker
as Barker
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Critic Reviews for The Spirit of St. Louis

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4)

Spirit is a James Stewart one-man show.

Full Review… | August 15, 2007
Top Critic

It's quite engrossing, with the period trappings lovingly presented.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Not one of Billy Wilder's best efforts -- still has some interest because of James Stewart's performance, which is very nearly a one-man show.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A haunting recollection of one of the thrilling events of our times has been handsomely staged by Mr. Wilder, and for that you should see the film.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
New York Times
Top Critic

Not one of Billy Wilder's strong features, this biopic of the ace flyer is too conventional, lacking the helmer's more characteristic humor, irony, cynicism.

Full Review… | April 28, 2011

The adventure of the historical making flight was captured, but not its spirit.

Full Review… | March 18, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Spirit of St. Louis

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.

Devon Bott
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer


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.

cody franklin
cody franklin

Super Reviewer


The acting was a little goofy at points, but it sure was fun to look at.

Tom S.
Tom S.

Super Reviewer

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