6 1/2 Magic Hours (1958)

6 1/2 Magic Hours

Summary: A nostalgic look at the first transatlantic jet flight featuring the Pan-Am Boeing 707

A nice quicky by Pan-Am show casing the joy of internation flight.

We are quickly informed that in the year 1954, a new flight was inaugerated: Flight 1000. The suspense builds as the narrator shows us how all the normal routines take place, nothing special here. Tickets are signed for. Baggage tagged and loaded onto the plane. Boy, this is really "magic" to watch, I tell ya.

If you want to see the magic of luggage moving down a conveyor belt, then be sure to check this news reel out.

Anyway, you see, Flight 1000 is a simulated flight, or as they say "a paper flight." It’s purpose? "To prepare for the revelution in transportation that is now here: the advent of commercial flying by jet clipper."

We now go into details of new concept in travel: An airport terminal. As the camera pans across a table-top model of this futuristic concept, the narrator fills us in on the "magic" behind this new concept:

"Jets are parked around it, as in this model. Passengers will board by walking along a covered ramp directly to the cabin level. Ground transportation will deliver passengers directly to the check-in desk."

We finally get to see some footage (I almost said stock-footage, but this is the original footage that will supply the "stock" for decades to come) of the new Boeing 707 Jet "Clipper". (I really wish he would just say "airplane". )

6 1/2 Magic Hours6 1/2 Magic Hours

The plane takes off while a crowd of cheering people wave from the terminal (!).

Inside the plane, stewardesses hand out newspapers and drinks to the travellers sitting in an unbelievably roomy cabin.

By the way, did you know that the word "stewardesses" is the longest word that you can type with one-hand on a standard QWERTY keyboard? Now back to the film.

The spacious cabin even includes the innovative "individual overhead light units." As the pround narration continues, we are informed that "the roominess also extends to the powder rooms," as we see two women "powdering" up in a pair of truly spacious restrooms.

To show us just how smooth these new jets fly, we see a group of travellers sitting around a table drinking wine, smoking, and building a house of cards! (Man, the room that people had back then. Incredible!)

Upon reaching cruising altitude, the stewardess comes around with the silver serving trolly and serves a lobster dinner to the passengers as they finish their wine and appetizers.

6 1/2 Magic Hours6 1/2 Magic Hours6 1/2 Magic Hours


Is this film from the same universe I live in?

Well, the jet lands in London to a triumphal musical score. Yes, "New York to London in six-and-a-half magic hours," we are told.

A mini London travelouge ensues showing the Changing of the Guard. (Is that really capitalized? Whatever.) Paris is also included in the film, noting how travel by "jet clipper" will get you to your destination more refreshed and with "extra hours" to take in the sites. (Yeah, well, give me a lobster dinner on an airplane and we’ll see.)

OK, now I know I’m living in a different universe. The clips from Paris show a polite Paris cop happily giving directions to American tourists.

Conclusion: Man, did they know how to travel back then!

1 comment to 6 1/2 Magic Hours (1958)

  • Guts3d

    They might have that much room in First Class, but when I have flown in the past you had to breathe in
    when the guy next to you breathed out, it was that cramped! Great mini-review!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>