Volume 12 Number 2/3
October, 1996
The Amelia Earhart Library and Film Festival

Listed below are the Earhart-related books and films we know about. A brief review is provided for those with which we are familiar. Not included in this list are the many books intended for children. For special reviews, click on the title to open a new window with a full-length review.

King, Thomas F.; Randall S. Jacobson, Karen Ramey Burns, and Kenton Spading.
Amelia Earhart’s Shoes – Is the Mystery Solved? AltaMira Press, 2001, $24.95.
Earhart, Amelia
  20 Hrs. 40 Min. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1929. AE’s account of the Friendship flight. The title refers to the duration of that flight.
Earhart, Amelia
  The Fun Of It. New York: Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1932. AE’s autobiography (as of her solo Atlantic crossing) and paean to other contemporary female flyers. The title explains why she flies.
Earhart, Amelia
  Last Flight. New York: Harcourt Brace and Company. 1937. Originally to be titled World Flight, this account of Earhart’s second and fatal attempt to circle the globe was posthumously assembled, and creatively edited, from notes she had sent home during the trip. Interesting reading, but don’t take it all as fact.
Garst, Doris Shannon
  Amelia Earhart: Heroine of the Skies. New York: Messner, 1950.
Howe, James Moore
  Amelia Earhart: Kansas Girl. New York: Bobbs Merrill, 1950.
De Leeuw, Adele Louise
  Story of Amelia Earhart. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1955.
Briand, Paul L., Jr.
  Daughter of the Sky. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1960. The very first of the conspiracy books-Amelia flies to Saipan by mistake (a course error of 90 degrees) and is captured by the Japanese.
Morrissey, Muriel Earhart.
  Courage is the Price. Wichita, Kansas: McCormick-Armstrong, 1963. Mrs. Morrissey’s account of her sister’s life and career.
Goerner, Fred
  The Search For Amelia Earhart. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1966. A bestseller and the most influential of the Earhart books to date. AE was a spy who was captured in the Marshall Islands, imprisoned on Saipan, and died at the hands of the Japanese. Well written. A conspiracy classic.
Dwiggins, Don
  Hollywood Pilot. New York: Doubleday, 1967. A biography of Paul Mantz with a substantial section devoted to his association with Earhart as her technical advisor. His comment, ”She wouldn’t listen to Papa” speaks volumes about both Mantz and Earhart.
Burke, John
  Winged Legend–-The Story of Amelia Earhart. London: Arthur Barker, 1970.
Klaas, Joe
  Amelia Earhart Lives. New York: McGraw Hill Book Company, 1970. Pulled from bookstores by the publisher following a lawsuit by the woman Klaas (and sidekick Joe Gervais) said was Amelia Earhart. Best read as fiction if you can find a copy.
Pellegreno, Ann Holtgren
  World Flight: The Earhart Trail. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1971. On the 30th anniversary of Earhart’s final flight, the first of many Amelia-wannabes makes it all the way ’round in a Lockheed Electra.
Davidson, Joe
  Amelia Earhart Returns from Saipan. Canton, Ohio: Davidson Publishing Company, 1972. When the name of the author and the publisher match, it’s a bad sign.
Davis, Burke
  Amelia Earhart. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1972.
Strippel, Dick
  Amelia Earhart: The Myth and the Reality. Jericho, New York: Exposition Press, 1972. An early, although not very successful, attempt to establish the facts. This backlash against the conspiracy theories has the flight crash at sea.
Carrington, George
  Amelia Earhart, A Report. Vancouver, B.C.: Britnav Services, 1977. Earhart was a spy, flying to Howland and then over Truk and Kwajalein before ditching and being taken in custody by the Japanese who took her to Saipan. Amazing.
Tanous, Peter
  The Earhart Mission. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978 (novel).
Thayer, James Stewart
  The Earhart Betrayal. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1980 (novel).
Backus, Jean L.
  Letters From Amelia. Boston: Bacon Press, 1982. A collection of AE’s letters to family, friends and business associates. Provides some fascinating insight into a complex personality.
Knaggs, Oliver
  Amelia Earhart: Her Last Flight. Cape Town, South Africa: Timmins Publisher, 1983. Eyewitnesses around the Pacific clearly remember the lady flyer who was captured by the Japanese.
Loomis, Vincent, with Jeffrey Ethell
  Amelia Earhart, The Final Story. New York: Random House, 1985. Earhart was not a spy, but was mistaken for one when she crashed at Mili Atoll in the Marshalls. Many documents reproduced in appendices, most of which contradict the thesis of the book.
Chadwick, Roxane
  Amelia Earhart–-Aviation Pioneer. Minneapolis: Lerner, 1987.
Devine, Thomas E., with Richard M. Daley
  Witness To the Execution. Frederick, Colorado: Renaissance House, 1987. The U.S. Marines burned Earhart’s airplane on Saipan, and Mr. Devine knows because he saw them do it.
Donahue, J. A.
  The Earhart Disappearance: The British Connection. Terre Haute, Indiana: SunShine House, Inc., 1987. Spies and spies and more spies, spies everywhere you look. The most elaborate plot yet, involving (apparently) everyone with 2,000 miles of Earhart’s route.
Morrissey, Muriel Earhart, with Carol Osborne
  Amelia, My Courageous Sister. Santa Clara, California: Osborne Publisher, 1987. Basically a re-issue of Courage Is the Price with many original documents reproduced.
Brennan, T.C. ”Buddy”
  Witness to the Execution: The Odyssey of Amelia Earhart. Frederick, Colorado: Renaissance House, 1988. More spies. Backhoe archaeology on Saipan unearths the actual blindfold ripped from Amelia’s eyes before she was executed. (We usually leave the blindfold on.) A video is available complete with witness interviews.
Lovell, Mary S.
  The Sound Of Wings. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989. Close –- but no cigar. The best of the biographies to date. Generally well researched and extensively footnoted, Lovell does fine until she tries to deal with the disappearance. Her support of the crashed-and-sank theory is based upon opinion presented as fact and facts that are not true.
Rich, Doris L.
  Amelia Earhart: A Biography. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989. An endorsement by the Smithsonian doesn’t excuse rumor and speculation presented as truth. Poorly footnoted and often just plain wrong.
Keyzer-Andre, Henri
  Age of Heroes. Mamaroneck, New York: Hastings House, 1993. The nonsensical autobiography of a self-aggrandizing character who claims to have seen Japanese documents proving that the Zero was based upon Amelia’s captured Electra.
Brink, Randall
  Lost Star. New York: W. W. Norton Co., 1994. Perhaps the most disingenuous of the conspiracy books. Shopworn and thoroughly discredited speculation presented as new evidence.
Wilson, Donald Moyer
  Amelia Earhart: Lost Legend. Webster, New York: Enigma Press, 1994. A festival of folklore. They’re all here, the eyewitnesses who saw the lady flyer captured, imprisoned, or executed by the Japanese and the American veterans who found AE’s suitcase, briefcase, diary, etc.
Roessler, Walter & Leo Ganz
  Amelia Earhart –- Case Closed? Hummelstown, Pennsylvania: Aviation Publishers, 1995. Crashed-and-sank speculation based upon bad information and unwarranted assumption.
Mendelsohn, Jane
  I Was Amelia Earhart. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1996 (novel.)
Anderson, Alison
  Hidden Latitudes. New York: Scribner, 1996 (novel).
Butler, Susan
  East to the Dawn, The Life of Amelia Earhart. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1997. A feminist biography, well-researched and exhaustive.
Long, Elgen M. and Marie K.
  Amelia Earhart – The Mystery Solved. Simon & Schuster, 1999. 320 pp. $25.00 hardcover.
Film Reviews (by Russ Matthews)
Flight For Freedom. Feature film, 1943. The story of how famous American aviatrix, Tonie Carter (a transparently fictionalized Earhart), gallantly gave her life to aid U.S. war preparations. It is almost certainly the root of countless Amelia sightings throughout the Pacific Theater. The film is best viewed now as a clever piece of war propaganda and for its revelation that everyone of Japanese descent is a spy.
Amelia Earhart. Made for TV, 1976. A comprehensive two-part miniseries comprised mainly of vignettes from the life of St. Amelia. The film shows notable restraint in dramatizing the disappearance with and Itasca-centric point of view, yet throws in an (unconsummated) affair with Paul Mantz.
Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight. Made for cable TV, 1994. The filmmakers actually remained faithful to their source material here –which, unfortunately, turns out to be Doris Rich’s error-strewn Amelia Earhart: A Biography. The choice of ample, blonde Dutchman Rutger Hauer to play the role of lanky, dark-haired Irishman Fred Noonan serves as a fitting example of why Final Flight is the most casting-challenged production of them all.
Untold Stories: The Search for Amelia Earhart. 1992. Television documentary. Hosted by Lindsay Wagner and Boyd Matson. Well, what can we say. A combination of Earhart biography and the 1991 TIGHAR expedition. It could have been worse.
Amelia Earhart: The Price of Courage. Television documentary, 1993, aired on PBS as part of ”The American Experience” Narrated by Kathy Bates. Hatchet job on GP, with episodes from Amelia’s life made up out of whole cloth. Who says if it’s on PBS it has to be good. A bomb.

In addition to these monuments to the art of film, a variety of TV shows have featured episodes on Amelia through the decades.

In Search of... Amelia Earhart. Episode of television series : In Search of...” Hosted by Leonard Nimoy. 1970s.
Unsolved Mysteries segment, hosted by Robert Stack. 1980s.
Biography episode, narrated by Mike Wallace, 1960s.
Secrets and Mysteries: Amelia Earhart episode, hosted by Edward Mulhare. 1990s.
American Women of Achievement, short film for school use. 1990s.
The ’37-ers, Star Trek: Voyager episode, starring Sharon Lawrence as Amelia. 1995
Amelia Earhart, A&E Biography episode, 1996.

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