It was originally planned to show Clark Gable's character parachuting from his abandoned plane at an altitude of 25,000 feet. However, stuntman Jim Unger, who was doubling for Gable, passed out at 20,000 feet due to lack of oxygen and the shot was never captured.
The first MGM film to carry a producer's credit on screen and in promotional materials.
This was the third film in which Clark Gable appeared with a mustache. Up until this point, the majority of his films showed him clean shaven (with the notable exception of Red Dust ), but the phenomenal success of his next two films, Dancing Lady (1934) and It Happened One Night (1934), solidified the mustache as a trademark of his appearance, and from that point forward he would shave it only when necessary, i.e. for period pieces such as Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). In some cases -- Parnell (1937) and Gone With the Wind (1939) come to mind -- he kept the mustache despite the anachronous implications.
The aircraft flown in the movie are de Havilland DH-4s. They were actual air mail planes having been recently retired from the US Postal Service.
This film was out of distribution for decades owing to an impasse involving the copyright, which was finally resolved in 2011. That same year, without fanfare, Warner Home Video released Night Flight (1933) on DVD, and it has since aired periodically on Turner Classic Movies. After many years of speculation by those who had heard of it but had never seen it, audiences were largely disappointed to find Night Flight (1933) a rather commonplace, disjointed effort, despite its starry cast and original promo tag that likened it to "Grand Hotel in the sky!"
While most of the roles are woven across the entirety of the script, Robert Montgomery and Myrna Loy make little more than cameo appearances in the plot.
The third installment in MGM's spate of polished all-star vehicles that began with Grand Hotel (1932), a drama, and continued the following year with Dinner at Eight (1933), a comedy. Night Flight (1933) was envisioned as the studio's all-star entry in the adventure genre. The only actors to appear in all three of these films were John and Lionel Barrymore.
In keeping with the precedent established by Grand Hotel (1932) and Dinner at Eight (1933), this film, the third in MGM's series of all-star productions, utilizes its cast episodically, in disparate scenes, as opposed to their playing off one another as an ensemble. While this was dictated largely by the scripts, which were merely remaining faithful to their source materials, the format served an additional benefit, as it required limited time from its cast members, thus freeing them up to concurrently shoot their individual star vehicles.
Three scenes show radio operators sending Morse Code. One code key looked like a J-38 single key and two were a two paddle key made by the Vibroplex Company which is still in business. The Vibroplex is also known as a Bug because of the bug logo on the key.
Each time a pilot takes off, a series of horizontal swipes supplies aerial views of his vantage point from the plane.