Air France has always had a cosy relationship with the cinema, from both the historical and cultural angles.
This privileged relationship has recently given rise to “Air France Loves Cinema” a series in four episodes recounting some of the Company’s principal milestones. The first episode to be screened is entitled "1945-1958: Rebirth" (*).
1945: France emerges from the war bruised and battered, and has to pick itself up, economically and culturally. Air France, whose operations were scaled back during the war, benefitted from the reconstruction, which led to the birth of modern commercial aviation.
The burgeoning film industry kept pace with the changes. Air France used this development to tie its image to the production of box-office hits and to become a powerful symbol. "Aux Yeux du Souvenir", directed by par Jean Delannoy in 1948, is the was the first such movie, featuring spanking new airport infrastructure, new aircraft, and the values enshrined in airline personnel: the skill of Jean Marais as the pilot, the professionalism of the air hostess, played by Michèle Morgan).
Then came a rash of movies where stars promoted air travel, projecting a sophisticated, contemporary image of the airline with “the longest network in the world”. Stars like Edith Piaf, Bourvil, and Brigitte Bardot travelled by air, both on-screen and off! 259
Make-believe air travel was superseded by the real thing!
(*) Now screening on Air France long-haul flights
If you liked this article, discover: