Movie information links provided courtesy of the
Internet Movie Database.
Airship Destroyer (Silent, England, 1909)
A quickie about a zeppelin raid. The model work was very obvious.
The film was a great success, and was directed by Walter Booth,
produced by Charles Urban. There were 2 sequels to this film
"The Pirates of 1920" (1911) and "The Aerial Anarchists (1911).
To quote from a movie
list: "Inspired by Wells, this is one of the first real
science fiction films to be made in England. The story concerns
an attack on London by a fleet of airships from an unknown country.
Through the extensive use of models, buildings were wrecked,
prototype tanks destroyed, and railroads blown up. However,
the films young hero, an inventor, launches radio controlled
aerial torpedoes at the airships, and saves the day."
the Clouds (Columbia, 1934)
Features footage from "Dirigible". A newsphotographer scoops
his rivals with the story.
Stars: Robert Armstrong.
Bureau (Paramount, 1969)
A climatic swordfight in the framework of an early Zeppelin.
Stars: Oliver Reed, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas.
Director: Basil Dearden.
A brief sequence with Howard Huhes and his 1930 classic "Hell's
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale.
Director: Martin Scorsese.
A post-apocalyptic Britain and how it copes with a nuclear war.
In the end a kind of british messiah descends from the heavens
in a blimp.
Stars: Rita Tushingham, Ralp Richardson, Peter Cook.
Director: Richard Lester.
Sunday (Paramount, 1976)
Super Bowl blimp. "Bruce Dern is at his best as the deranged
blimp piolt who masterminds the plot, and Robert Shaw is also
great as the agent out to stop him."
Stars: Robert Shaw, Bruce Dern, Marthe Keller.
Director: John Frankenheimer.
Runner (Warner Brothers, 1982)
Based on Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", film
director Ridley Scott has a blimp invite us to "Begin a new life on the off-world
colonies." The blimp, the city and Scott's vision were brought to the screen
by artistry of special effects wizard Douglas Trumbull.
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer.
Director: Ridley Scott.
Rogers (Universal Pictures, 1940)
Movie serial -- first 2 or 3 episodes where Buck loses the airship
in a snowstorm.
Chan at the Olympics (20th Century-Fox, 1937)
Chan boards the Hindenburg from NYC to Europe to arrive ahead
of a suspect on an oceanliner.
Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke.
Director: H. Bruce Humberstone.
Chitty Bang Bang (UA, 1968)
Based on a book by Flemming, Ian Flemming. In addition to the
title character, has the first helium-filled British airship
-- a replica of a Lebaudy blimp -- 37,000 cu ft and 112 ft long,
made for the film.
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries.
Producer: Albert R. Broccoli.
Director: Ken Hughes.
Turkey (MGM, 1971)
Goodyear Blimp flashes message on night sign.
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, Jean Stapleton.
Director: Norman Lear.
Daikyojû Gappa (Nikkatsu, 1967)
A juvenile giant monster is transported slung beneath two
blimps towed by helicopters.
Director: Haruyasu Noguchi
Lili (Paramont, 1970)
Cameo appearance by a Zeppelin bomber early in this "Mata Hari" spoof
Stars: Julie Andrews, Rock Hudson, Jeremy Kemp.
Director: Blake Edwards.
Dogs of the Air (WB, 1935)
A James Cagney vehicle that features some fleet ops with a unique
two-second shot of a late MACON dropping a Sparrowhawk. Distant,
tiny and quick, but unique.
Airships, airplanes, and the South Pole. Features the U.S.S.
"Los Angeles" and Lakehurst
Based on a story by Frank Wead
Director: Frank Capra.
Winslow of the Navy (Universal, 1942)
12-chapter serial features a U.S. Navy rigid airship in several
Stars: Don Terry, Walter Sands, Anne Nagel.
Directors: Ford Beebe and Ray Taylor.
Correspondent (UA, 1940)
Stars: Joel McCrea, Larainne Day, Herbert Marshall.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock.
Just after the main titles you'll see a blimp on the right side
of the screen.
Stars: Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Gert Frobe.
Director: Guy Hamilton.
Great Race (WB, 1965)
Jack Lemmon as "Professor Fate" accompanied by Peter Falk
includes a hot-air balloon and a fanciful airship to spy on
Director: Blake Edwards.
Working (Paramount, 1981)
This is the one where Jerry goes from job to job. During his
stint as a mailman in Florida he delivers mail to the Goodyear
Blimp base, and, finding no one around, he takes the blimp for
Star & Director: Jerry Lewis.
Angels (Astor Pictures, 1930)
WW1 saga has a good Zeppelin raid scene in it (with some typical
Hollywood embellishment - did the Germans ever really cut the
cloud car loose with someone still in it?!?!) as well as some
great WWI dog fight and bomber scenes.
Stars: Ben Lyon, James Hall, Jean Harlow.
Director: Howard Hughes.
The Beatles -- from Beethoven to Blimp.
Director: Richard Lester.
Comes The Navy (WB, 1934)
A Cagney comedy with the perpetual misfit bouncing from the
ARIZONA to the real MACON. As far as I can tell the cast and
crew actually went to Sunnyvale and filmed a typical MACON undocking
and launch operation. There is a very good closeup of the stern
beam and bridle. Since this was fine grain 35mm the quality
is much better than we usually get. And it's unique to that
picture, even though some stock Navy film is also used.
Valley (Monogram Pictures, 1932)
Bob Steele and Gertrude Messinger -- and the Goodyear blimp:
Volunteer! The typical B-western story involves a cowboy and
a gang of crooks searching for a secret treasure. The hero is
injured and the plot is resolved when (of all unlikely things)
the blimp and the protagonist's allies come to the rescue.
Hindenburg (Universal, 1975)
Based on the stabotage theory. Good feel for the times and for
transatlantic travel aboard the amazing ship. And yes, the LZ129
had a Bluthner
piano on board its first season flights -- but not this one.
Stars: George C. Scott, Anne Bancroft, William Atherton.
Director: Robert Wise.
Hole in the Head
Musical/comedy with a blimp in the opening
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Thelma Ritter.
Director: Frank Capra.
and Glory (Columbia, 1987)
"A funny, poignant, truthful, and enjoyable child's-eye view
of London during The Blitz." Hard to miss the barrage balloon.
Stars: Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Derrick O'Connor.
Director: John Boorman.
Jones and the Last Crusade (Paramount, 1989)
In their quest for the Holy Grail, Sr. & Jr. exit Germany
via ILM's passenger Zeppelin, complete with F9C clone.
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery.
Producer: George Lucas.
Director: Steven Spielberg.
at the Top of the World (Disney, 1974)
Verne's dirigible travels to the North Pole and discovers an
island with a colony of Vikings. Go figure.
Director: Robert Stevenson.
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
Majo no Takkyubin
A dirigible plays a big part.
Director, Screenplay, Production:
of the Texas Rangers (Republic, 1941)
This serial features a ZR3-like airship that takes a bad-guy's
hook-on plane in the first and last chapters. Forgettable
other than it is one of the few times Hollywood featured the
Laputa: The Castle
in the Sky (US: Buena Vista, 1986)
Tenku no shiro Rapyuta
"In an imaginary kingdom where new technology mixes with
old and giant airships ply the skies, a young boy, an evil mastermind,
a forgotten princess, a band of sky pirates, and a legion of
doomsday robots battle to discover or protect the secrets of
the legendary floating city called Laputa." Animated.
of Extraordinary Gentlemen (US: 20th Century Fox,
English-uniformed raiders devastate a German Zeppelin works,
the flaming skeletons collapsing in Hindenburg-style devastation.
Stars: Sean Connery.
Zeppelin (Tiffany, 1930)
Naval airship crashes in Antarctica
Satan (MGM, 1930)
musical aboard a passenger ship.
Stars: Kay Johnson, Reginald Denny, Lillian Roth.
Director: Cecil B. DeMille.
of the World (Disney, 1961)
Based on the Jules Verne novel.
Stars: Vincent Price aboard a fantastic airship.
Director: William Witney.
Starnge airship allows the fearless crew to escape supernatural
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo.
Director: Stephen Sommers.
in the Air (WB, 1940)
Involves a US airship named the USN Mason (not a typo). Surprisingly
enough, the Mason -- which is testing the super secret Inertia
Projector -- crashes off the coast of California. It all appears
to be shot using studios mock ups and props. I don't remember
seeing any prototype footage in the movie. This film is the
source of the crash scenes in the 1946 history of the rigids.
Stars: Ronald Reagan as 'Brass' Bancroft
Director: Lewis Seiler.
Quest (Universal , 1996)
Stars Jean Claude Van Dam as an American fighter in the 1920s
who gets entered into a global martial arts tournament in the
Far East. Roger Moore plays an English con man. At the height
of the tournament, he and his assistant try to make off in the
night with the heavy grand prize by sailing away in a hovering
vintage white blimp. The blimp is real and is in many shots,
though Moore and companion are caught when the blimp is shot
Red Tent (Paramount, 1969)
Recreation of Nobile's doomed arctic voyage
Stars: Sean Connery, Claudia Cardinale, Peter Finch.
Director: Mikhail Kalatozov.
Rocketeer (Disney, 1991)
Based on Dave
Stevens' graphic novel character Cliff Secord -- a hot pilot
who stumbles across a one-man rocket pack. Explosive climax
on the LZ130 "Luxemburg" with remarkable effects from ILM. This
is a highly underrated film.
Stars: Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connely, Timothy Dalton.
Director: Joe Johnston.
(Nordisk [a Danish company], 1913-Silent)
Set in Germany, it features a generals daughter, played by Asta
Nielsen, who gets a ride in a zeppelin, namely LZ10 Schwaben.
The film used the airship extensivly --- in the hanger, on the
ground, and in the air with vistas mainly of the Ruhr. Apparantly,
Nielsen used the ship for a leaflet drop advertising a new cinema.
Goodyear blimp makes an appearance over Miami's night sky.
Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeifer.
Director: Brian DePalma.
Captain & The World of Tomorrow (Paramount,
Looks like it took its inspiration from Fleicher's classic
Superman cartoons. In fact, it looks like a comic. Laden with
state-of-the-art deco visuals -- including the usual exploding
Stars: Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow.
Director: Kerry Conrtan.
Star is Born (First Artists, 1976)
Streisand vehicle with the blimp's shadow passing over a stadium.
Films [Sony], 2005)
Animated. The title character is abducted by a pressure airship, and the comic
villain escapes in another.
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
God it's Friday (Columbia Picures, 1978)
With a Goodyear blimp nightsign footage .
Man's Navy (MGM, 1944)
Definitive WWII Navy airship movie with extensive filming at
Stars: Wallace Beery, James Gleason, Tom Drake.
Director: William A. Wellman.
In The City (Columbia, 1937)
Movie begins and ends with multiple blimps flying on an ad campaign
over New York and London
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Nigel Bruce, Ralph Richardson.
Director: Marion Gering.
Ticklish Affair (1963)
Finale features a rescue from an aerial ladder into a U.S. Navy
Stars: Gig Young, Red Buttons.
Director: George Sidney.
Minute Warning (Universal, 1976)
Football and blimp as a sniper spotter.
Stars: Charlton Heston, John Cassevetes, Martin Balsam.
Up! (Disney/Pixar, 2009)
A house, lifted by balloons, sails the sky and a Hindenburg-size dirigible grace this wonderful film.
Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson.
to a Kill (UA, 1985)
Bond is shaken, not stirred, atop the Golden Gate Bridge via
Stars: Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Grace Jones.
Director: John Glen.
Postapocalytic airship in search of land.
Stars: Kevin Costner, Dennis Hooper, and the Pacific Ocean.
Director: Kevin Reynolds.
White Diamond (Marco Polo Film AG, 2004)
Documentary released as a feature film. A helium filled balloon journeys
of the rainforest of Guyana. Stunning.
Stars: Graham Dorrinton.
Director: Werner Herzog.
Academy Award winner, silent film. WW1 bombing raids.
Stars: Clara Bow, Charles Rogers, Richard Arlen.
Director: William A. Wellman.
WW1 secret sabotage mission to Scotland. Great re-creation of
an early combat Zeppelin.
Stars: Michael York, Elke Sommers
Director: Etienne Perier.