The King’s Cup Flies Again

11 November 2015

Long-lost Brooklands Cinematic Gem gets rare Public Showing at London’s Cinema Museum on 12th December 2015

After a long search, a relatively unknown British film featuring the thrilling sport of air racing, made in 1932 at the famous Brooklands Race Track, finally gets its public airing at London’s inimitable Cinema Museum.

Through its association with the British Film Institute, the Cinema Museum has tracked down an original copy of The King’s Cup (1933) and will screen it at its cinema hall on Saturday 12th December, using period projecting equipment. Fans of Brooklands and early British film will be able to see a tantalizing glimpse of the airfield and some of the flying that took place there before the Second World War.

The annual King’s Cup Air Race was established by King George V in 1922 as an endurance race, taking in hundreds of miles across the British Isles, to encourage development in engine design and participation in aviation as a sport. In 1928 and 1932 the finish line was at Brooklands. Still continuing to this day, it begins and finishes at various locations up and down the UK and is now run by the Royal Aero Club.

The film stars as Betty Conway the first British ‘It Girl’, Dorothy ‘Chili’ Bouchier, who, coincidentally, starred in the 1934 film Death Drives Through, also made at Brooklands. Alongside her are René Ray (Tiger Bay, with Anna May Wong, 1933) and Harry Milton, to whom Dorothy was married at the time. There is also a cameo part from leading band leader of the era, Lew Stone. The film centres around pilot Dick Carter (played by Milton) who, after losing his confidence in the air, is encouraged to start flying again and goes on to win the King’s Cup Air Race.

Not much else is known about the 1hr 16minutes long film, probably because at that time so many movies were made but only shown for a relatively short period before being ‘shelved’ and forgotten. This copy has 7 minutes missing, covering parts of the climactic air race scenes in which the aircraft fly over various English localities, such as Crystal Palace in London, the Shell refinery on Canvey Island, Blackpool Tower and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Please note, this event DOES NOT take place at Brooklands Museum. Doors open for this event at 7pm on 12th December with a show time of 7.30pm. There will also be an extra feature that looks at some of Brooklands’ film history, along with an introduction from both the Cinema Museum and Brooklands Museum.

Tickets are £15 each and only available through the Cinema Museum so for all enquiries including directions and parking, please visit:

A selection of refreshments will be available to purchase on the night.