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Opening credits from the film. (Three Guys Named Mike)

Hollywood Air

The first Hollywood movie showcasing airline travel, Three Guys Named Mike, came out in 1951

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We swear we were doing work-related research when we came across this quote from Daniel L. Rust’s 2009 book Flying Across America: The Airline Passenger Experience:

“The first Hollywood movie showcasing airline travel, Three Guys Named Mike, was released in 1951 and starred Jane Wyman as a plucky American Airlines stewardess who became the object of affection of three men, all named Mike (Watch the full movie at Internet Archive). Directed by Charles Walters, the lighthearted film chronicled a stewardess’s training and provided a glimpse into the not-so-glamorous world of airline employment…. young writer named Sidney Sheldon wrote the screenplay. As one of the most successful novelists of the twentieth century, Sheldon would eventually sell more than 300 million books worldwide, besides creating successful television shows such as I Dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart.

Three years after the release of Three Guys Named Mike, John Wayne starred with an impressive cast in the granddaddy of airline disaster movies entitled The High and the Mighty. Based on Ernest K. Gann’s book of the same name, the film set the genre standard for decades to come. A generation of people watched spellbound as John Wayne defied the odds in successfully bringing a crippled airliner in to land at San Francisco after experiencing in-flight problems en route from Honolulu. The theme song, which won an Academy Award, was so closely associated with John Wayne that it was played at his funeral.”

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