Tobacco companies sponsored radio and tv shows and personalities. Arthur Godfrey was known to be sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes, which is what he offers the FE
. I love the way Dick Merrill flatly tells him he doesn't smoke, which is greeted by mild astonishment by the other crew members. In the early 1950's this would have been a genuine reaction. The majority of men in the US smoked especially in stressful jobs such as aviation. Medical doctors even suggested smoking as a way to calm nerves! The formal photograph of Eddie Rickenbacker is shown with Captain Eddie holding a cigarette.
The Super-Connie is shown in flight on one engine, but you better believe it is doing so without the full load of passengers shown in the movie. I am also in doubt Arthur flew the actual flight with passengers, but in the days of the CAB, anything was possible.
One of my greatest thrills was flying on an Eastern L 1049 on a sightseeing flight over Louisville (KSDF) to celebrate the inauguration of the aircraft on the Louisville-Newark route to compete with American's DC 6 service on their Louisville-LaGuardia service. I loved to sit in the cabin in front of the wing so I could glance back at the mighty piston engines pounding along.
Another terrific flight was later when I flew on a brand new Eastern L1049G "Golden Falcon" Louisville-Newark. All first class, it had the most beautiful interior of any aircraft I have flown on in my entire 60 years! Pale blue and gold with tan accents, I wish I had some photos to share. My small family of three were seated in two pairs of seats facing each other just behind the wing on the pilot's side. The falcon emblem on the nose was painted in gold, not red as was normal for most Eastern planes. The nose was black, showing off it's radar. The humpback of the Constellation design was never so beautiful as it was in the G version, in my opinion. Eastern's dark blue "feathered" color scheme was one of the most striking in a very colorful age. Above the cheatline was the almost billboard red lettered "Fly Eastern Airlines Super G" If I remember correctly, the flight took almost three hours, and featured dinner. Part of the offering on the dinner tray was a small pack of four cigarettes.
The film features a sight of a Martin 404 "Silver Falcon" which Eastern was justly proud. Pressurized, featuring integral boarding stairs in the tail, and luggage racks as you boarded. It was a great advance over the DC 3, and carried almost twice the passengers.
All in all, I highly recommend the film for anyone interested in this era. Arthur Godfrey is a very sincere, very easygoing broadcaster who had a very popular morning television show for years. He was also a genuine and accomplished aviator. He got his big break in broadcasting in 1945 by happening to be in Washington for Franklin Roosevelt's funeral, which he described with heartfelt emotion.