Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Emmy™Award-Winning Documentary Film

"Broadcast" version now airing on most public television stations.

"Uncensored" version now on DVD and in film festivals.

Synopsis: A charismatic figure featured in Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff, Florence "Pancho" Barnes was one of the most important women in 20th Century aviation. A tough and fearless aviatrix, Pancho was a rival of Amelia Earhart's who made a name for herself as Hollywood's first female stunt pilot. Just before WWII she opened a ranch near Edwards Air Force Base that became a famous -- some would say notorious -- hangout for test pilots and movie stars. Known as the "Happy Bottom Riding Club", it became the epicenter of the aviation world during the early jet age. Chuck Yeager celebrated breaking the sound barrier there in 1947, and Howard Hughes and Jimmy Doolittle caroused in the bar. The Club's destruction by fire in 1953 is seen by many to mark the end of a Golden Era in post-WWII aviation. In the same fashion Pancho herself has become something of a legend, a fascinating yet enigmatic icon whose swagger is often celebrated, but whose story has been largely unknown. Until now.

A documentary film produced and written by Nick Spark and directed by Amanda Pope. Featuring interviews with test pilots Bob Cardenas, Bob Hoover and Chuck Yeager, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and biographers Barbara Schultz and Lauren Kessler. Narrated by Tom Skerritt with Kathy Bates as the voice of Pancho Barnes.

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Women in Aviation
"Read Nick Spark's article about Pancho
from Women in Aviation magazine (.pdf)"
30 September 2009

Pancho Flies to Hot Springs Film Festival

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We're extremely proud to announce that The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club is an official selection of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.  HSDFF is one of the oldest documentary film festivals in the world, held annually in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The festival began in 1992, with a screening of ten Academy Award nominated documentaries. The festival screens 100 documentaries each year and is recognized by the International Documentary Association and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of seven national Academy Award qualifying venues.  The festival runs from October 16-25th, and dates and times of the screening of Legend will be announced shortly.  UPDATE: the film will screen twice, first on Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 2:25pm and then on Friday, October 23, 2009 at 11:25am.

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The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club ©2008-2010 Nick Spark Productions, LLC.