Pancho Barnes
Pancho Barnes (1988 film).jpg
Written byJohn Michael Hayes
Story byDavid Crisholm
John Michael Hayes
Directed byRichard T. Heffron
StarringValerie Bertinelli
Ted Wass
James Stephens
Cynthia Harris
Music byAllyn Ferguson
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
ProducersBlu André
Alice Pardo
Production locationsHartlee Field Airport, Denton, Texas
Forney, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas
Galveston, Texas
CinematographyWilliam Wages
EditorsMichael F. Anderson
Michael Eliot
Running time150 minutes
Production companyOrion Television
Original networkCBS
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMono
Original releaseOctober 25, 1988 (1988-10-25)

Pancho Barnes is a 1988 American made-for-television biographical film about the pioneering female aviator, starring Valerie Bertinelli, Ted Wass, James Stephens and Cynthia Harris. The film was directed by Richard T. Heffron and premiered on CBS on October 25, 1988.[1][2][3]


Leaving an arranged marriage to Reverend Rankin Barnes (James Stephens), Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes (Bertinelli) takes an interest in flying light planes in the 1920s, and soon rivals Amelia Earhart (Nance Williamson), breaking world speed records.

Barnes is hired by Howard Hughes (David Kockinis) to do stunt flying for the film Hell's Angels, instigates the formation of the Associated Motion Picture Pilots, was a World War II Air Force Civilian Pilot Trainer, and establishes the Happy Bottom Riding Club as a mess hall for pilots and former servicemen.[4]



Don Shirley of the Los Angeles Times was critical, saying the film sanitized Barnes' life and persona.[5]


At the 1989 Emmys, Pancho Barnes won Outstanding Achievement in Costuming for A Miniseries or A Special and was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for A Miniseries or A Special.[6]

See also


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Florence "Pancho" Barnes; the Woman, the Legacy". Mojave Desert News. Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Setting the record straight on Pancho Barnes". Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Who is Pancho Barnes…". Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Television Review : 'Pancho Barnes' Never Gets Off the Ground". Los Angeles Times. 25 October 1988. Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  6. ^ "PANCHO BARNES". Retrieved 10 January 2022.