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.

Information Sign up

Sign up to be on our mailing list for updates.


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

Los Angeles Premiere SOLD OUT !

Print Email

soldoutThe Los Angeles premiere of The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club is now officially SOLD OUT. We're looking forward to seeing so many friends, supporters and fans at the Aero theater on Sept. 10th.  A splendid time is guaranteed for all, as the old saying goes!  Please check back on the website in the days before the event for more details.

Didn't manage to get tickets?  Well, don't despair.  A limited number of tickets may be made available by our hosts, the American Cinematheque.  To be notified of future ticket offerings, or to get on our "wait list" (yes, sometimes people do cancel reservations), please send a note to use using the "Contact" button.  Make sure to include a phone number if we need to get ahold of you.

Due to the overwhelming and enthusiastic response to the Aero screening, it is our hope that we'll be able to put together another Los Angeles-area screening in the near future.  That's one more reason that you might want to sign up for our email list, if you haven't done so already.  Click the "sign up" button on the main page to do that.

Facebook Box

You Can Help

Your tax-deductible donation can help make "The Legend of Pancho Barnes!" a reality.


News Letter

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