Flying Padre

Flying Padre is a 1951 short subject black-and-white documentary film. It is the second film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The film is nine minutes long and was completed shortly after Kubrick had completed his first film for RKO, the short subject Day of the Fight (1951). The studio offered him a follow-up project for their Screenliner series.[1]

1951 short film directed by Stanley Kubrick
Flying Padre

Title card from Flying Padre
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Written by Stanley Kubrick
Produced by Burton Benjamin
Starring Fred Stadmueller
Narrated by Bob Hite
Cinematography Stanley Kubrick
Edited by Isaac Kleinerman
Music by Nathaniel Shilkret
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date
March 23, 1951
Running time
9 minutes
Country United States
Language English

. . . Flying Padre . . .

The subject of Flying Padre is a Catholicpriest in rural New Mexico, Reverend Fred Stadtmueller. Known to his parishioners as the “Flying Padre”, his 4,000-square mile parish is so large, he uses a Piper Cub aircraft (named the Spirit of St. Joseph) to travel from one isolated settlement to another.

The film shows two days in his daily life, with the Reverend providing spiritual guidance, saying a Funeral Mass, and other glimpses of his life such as his breakfast routine at the parish house. His days include a funeral service for a ranch hand, and counseling of two young parishioners who have been quarrelling. In the climax of the film. the “Flying Padre” also operated as an impromptu air ambulance by flying a sick child and his mother to hospital.

  • Bob Hite as Himself – Narrator (voice)
  • Reverend Fred Stadtmueller as Himself
  • Pedro as Himself

After Kubrick sold his first short film, the self-financed Day of the Fight, to RKO in 1951 for $4,000 (pocketing a $100 profit),[2] the company advanced the 23-year-old filmmaker money to make a follow-up project, a documentary short for their Pathe Screenliner series which specialized in short human-interest documentaries. He originally wanted to call the film Sky Pilot but the studio did not like the name.[1][3]

Flying Padre is narrated by CBS announcer Bob Hite. [N 1]

In an interview in 1969, Kubrick referred to Flying Padre as a “silly thing”.[2]Flying Padre, however, was an important landmark in his budding career as a filmmaker. “It was at this point that I formally quit my job at Look to work full time on filmmaking,” Kubrick stated in an interview.”[1]

. . . Flying Padre . . .

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. . . Flying Padre . . .

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