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)"
27 May 2010

Pancho Barnes Returns to Laguna Beach

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The Legend of Pancho Barnes will be screening in Pancho's old stomping grounds: Laguna Beach.  Yes, this fabulous beachside community was once the site of Pancho's beach house complete with infinity swimming pool and airport.  The house and airport are long gone, but Pancho's spirit lives on in Laguna.  Join us at this special screening, which is hosted by the Laguna Beach Film Society as part of the "For By & About Laguna Beach" series.  It takes place on Thursday, June 17th.  From 6 pm to 7 pm there will be a reception at Wells Fargo Bank Community Room which includes Dinner, Wine and Screening Intro to the evening by writer/producer Nick Spark and introduction of special guests. Admission to this is $20 per person.  Reservations at Laguna Art Museum 949-494-5872 extension 201 or Email JoAnne Story This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The screening begins at 7 pm and takes place at the South Coast Cinema in Laguna and is $15.  Tickets maybe purchased at the Box Office for the screening.

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