Amelia Earhart - Popular Culture

Popular Culture

Earhart's life has spurred the imaginations of many writers and others; the following examples are given although many other mentions have also occurred in contemporary or current media:

  • "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight", by "Yodelling Cowboy" Red River Dave McEnery, is thought to be the first song ever performed on commercial television (at the 1939 World's Fair). He recorded it in 1941 and it was subsequently covered by artists including Kinky Friedman and the Country Gentlemen.
  • The 1943 Rosalind Russell film Flight for Freedom derived from a treatment, "Stand by to Die", was a fictionalized treatment of Earhart's life.
  • Possibly the first tribute album dedicated to the legend of Earhart was by Plainsong, In Search of Amelia Earhart, Elektra K42120, released in 1972. Both the album and the Press Pak released by Elektra are highly prized by collectors and have reached cult status.
  • Patti Smith published two poems dedicated to Earhart: "Amelia Earhart I" and "Amelia Earhart II" in her 1972 poetry collection Seventh Heaven.
  • Singer Joni Mitchell's song "Amelia" appears on her 1976 album Hejira and also features in the video of her 1980 live album Shadows and Light (1980) with clips of Earhart. Commenting on the origins of the song, which interweaves the story of a desert journey with aspects of Earhart's disappearance, Mitchell said: "I was thinking of Amelia Earhart and addressing it from one solo pilot to another ... sort of reflecting on the cost of being a woman and having something you must do."
  • "In Search of: Amelia Earhart," (1976) was episode 16 of the 1976–1982 In Search Of series; this episode spurred a number of popular documentaries that followed.
  • A 1976 television bio production titled Amelia Earhart starring Susan Clark and John Forsythe included flying by Hollywood stunt pilot Frank Tallman whose late partner in Tallmantz Aviation, Paul Mantz, had tutored Earhart in the 1930s.
  • William Katz's 1980 novel Ghostflight features Amelia Earhart's reappearance after being captured by nazis, and subjected to age-prolonging treatment.
  • Clive Cussler's 1992 novel Sahara mentions that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were executed on Saipan and their remains returned and hidden near Washington DC.
  • The documentary Amelia Earhart: The Price of Courage (1993) from American Experience.
  • Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight (1994) starring Diane Keaton, Rutger Hauer and Bruce Dern was initially released as TV movie and subsequently released as a theatrical feature.
  • I Was Amelia Earhart (1996) is a faux autobiography by Jane Mendelsohn in which "Earhart" tells the story of what happened to her in 1937, complete with heavy doses of romance with her navigator.
  • Amelia And Eleanor Go For A Ride (1999) is a children's picture book written by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Brian Selznick. It tells the story of the impromptu flight taken by Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt in 1933.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "The 37's" (first aired 1995), Earhart, portrayed by Sharon Lawrence, was one of many humans abducted by an alien race in 1937, only to be found in cryo-stasis on a planet on the other side of the galaxy.
  • Academy Award nominee Amy Adams portrayed Earhart in Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009).
  • In Amelia (2009), Earhart is portrayed by Hilary Swank, who also served as co-executive producer of the biopic.
  • In 2011, the Great Canadian Theatre Company hosted a musical play titled Amelia: The Girl Who Wants To Fly.
  • Google honored Earhart on her 115th birthday anniversary by putting up a doodle on its site on July 24, 2012.

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