Twelve people are aboard Coast Air Line's flagship the Silver Queen enroute to South America when the airplane encounters a storm and is blown off course. Crashing into jungles known to be ... See full summary »
Twelve people are aboard Coast Air Line's flagship the Silver Queen enroute to South America when the airplane encounters a storm and is blown off course. Crashing into jungles known to be inhabited by head hunters, pilots Bill and Joe race against time to fix the engines and attempt a take off. The situation brings out the best and worst in the stranded dozen as they create a makeshift runway and prepare to escape before the natives attack. But damage to the plane and low fuel reserves means that only 5 people can be carried to safety. Do both Bill and Joe make the flight out? And what about the rest: Peggy, a woman with a slightly tarnished past; Pete, a racketeer who is escorting his boss's young son Tommy; Alice and Judson, eloping lovers who seem to have less in common as their plight changes one of them in the other's eyes; Crimp, who is bringing criminal Vasquez to justice; Prof. and Mrs. Spengler, an elderly couple whom become closer due to their predicament; and finally, is ... Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Years ago in New York City I saw the re-make of this film Back from Eternity which was broadcast on WOR TV's Million Dollar movie program. For most of you too young to remember WOR was an RKO station and had access at the time to the entire RKO film library. Films would be run as much as five times a day for a week, like a movie theater.
Back from Eternity was fine, but Five Came Back was really something special. Fortunately RKO had those old King Kong jungle sets and used them for this film. Cut down the cost considerably.
No big names in the cast either. Lucille Ball was not a big name at the time she made it and she's light years from Lucy Ricardo in this. She's a cynical good time gal who's been hurt by one man too many. Chester Morris started the sound era in some A product at MGM, but now was at the B picture level. But they and the rest of the cast nicely fill their roles.
The plot is simple. Morris and co-pilot Kent Taylor are flying a small passenger airline over South America and are forced down in the middle of a rain forest. Some patch work repairs are done. But the plane won't get off the ground with a full load. Some choices have to be made.
But because Joseph Calleia gets a hold of a gun he winds up making the choices. He's a political prisoner being taken to his execution, escorted by policeman John Carradine. With native headhunters all around and them having killed a couple of the passengers already, time is critical.
It's a good film, but if you see either this one or the remake it will be spoiled should you have an opportunity to see the other later.
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