Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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)"
29 June 2010

DocUtah Sept. 24th

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The Legend of Pancho Barnes will be shown as the centerpiece of the Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival or DOCUTAH. Docutah This is a new film festival run in conjunction with Dixie State College that has an important academic componente including master class seminars from industry professionals. The festival runs Sept. 16-25th.  If you've never been to Southern Utah, it's absolutely beautiful country, and well worth the trip.  Hope to see you there!


Date: Friday, September 24, 2010

Time: Reception 5:00 p.m. at Frontier Movie Town; Gala 7:00 p.m. at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

The Kanab Gala will be held at “Angel’s Landing” a beautiful, natural amphitheater on the grounds of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the largest companion animal sanctuary in the United States.  This 3,700-acre facility, which features stunning scenery, has served as a backdrop for well known Western films and television shows.

DOCUTAH The evening will begin with a performance by The Symphony of the Canyons under the direction of Kortney Stirland as they perform “Movie Music Magic” - a selection of film music from productions that have been filmed in the area.  The main event will be a screening of “The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club”.


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