IMDb > Five Came Back (1939)

Five Came Back (1939) More at IMDbPro »


User Rating:
7.1/10   1,050 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 36% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jerome Cady (screenplay) and
Dalton Trumbo (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Five Came Back on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 June 1939 (USA) See more »
CRASH LANDING in the HEADHUNTER'S JUNGLE! (original print ad) See more »
Twelve people are aboard Coast Air Line's flagship the Silver Queen enroute to South America when the... See more » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Five Came Back from Eternity See more (31 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Chester Morris ... Bill

Lucille Ball ... Peggy Nolan
Wendy Barrie ... Alice Melbourne

John Carradine ... Mr. Crimp

Allen Jenkins ... Peter 'Pete'

Joseph Calleia ... Vasquez

C. Aubrey Smith ... Professor Henry Spengler
Kent Taylor ... Joe Brooks, the Co-Pilot

Patric Knowles ... Judson Ellis
Elisabeth Risdon ... Martha Spengler
Casey Johnson ... Tommy Mulvaney
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pedro de Cordoba ... Latin Ambassador (uncredited)

Frank Faylen ... Photographer (uncredited)
Bud Geary ... Policeman (uncredited)
Charlie Hall ... Airport Worker (uncredited)
Dick Hogan ... Lawrence 'Larry', the Steward (uncredited)
Robert Homans ... Police Captain (uncredited)

Selmer Jackson ... Airlines Official (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Flower Lady (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Pat O'Malley ... Michael 'Mike' Mulvaney, Tommy's Father (uncredited)
Ronald R. Rondell ... Page with Package (uncredited)

Directed by
John Farrow 
Writing credits
Jerome Cady (screenplay) and
Dalton Trumbo (screenplay) and
Nathanael West (screenplay)

Richard Carroll (original story)

Produced by
Robert Sisk .... producer
Original Music by
Roy Webb 
Cinematography by
Nicholas Musuraca 
Film Editing by
Harry Marker 
Art Direction by
Van Nest Polglase 
Costume Design by
Edward Stevenson (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Argyle Nelson .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sam Ruman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Albert S. D'Agostino .... associate art director (as Albert D'Agostino)
Sound Department
John E. Tribby .... recording director
John E. Tribby .... sound recordist
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects
Bud Geary .... stunt double (uncredited)
George Magrill .... stunt double (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Joseph F. Biroc .... camera operator (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Douglas Travers .... montage
Music Department
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Lee S. Marcus .... production executive (as Lee Marcus)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
75 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Finland:S | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #5284)

Did You Know?

Later remade as "Back From Eternity" with Robert Ryan, Anita Ekberg and Rod Steiger.See more »
Miscellaneous: Aboard the plane, Professor Spengler tells Crimp that he seems to be a "maniac depressive", when what he obviously means is "manic depressive".See more »
Vasquez:Hanging is such an unpleasant death. Besides, a hanged man always dies alone. I much prefer dying in the company of decent citizens like you... always provided I'm the last to die.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Trumbo (2007)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Five Came Back from Eternity, 31 July 2012
Author: wes-connors from Earth

Passengers get ready for the ill-fated flight foreshadowed in the film's title "Five Came Back". Handsome businessman Patric Knowles (as Judson Ellis) and pretty blonde secretary Wendy Barrie (as Alice Melbourne) are going to elope. Looking like either a movie star or a classy call girl, beautiful Lucille Ball (as Peggy Nolan) wants to straighten up and fly right. Elderly botany professor C. Aubrey Smith and his wife Elisabeth Risdon (as Henry and Martha Spengler) want to enjoy their twilight years. As his gangster father is threatened with extinction, cute little Casey Johnson (as Tommy Mulvaney) is shuttled to safety with henchman uncle Allen Jenkins (as Pete)...

Veteran airman Chester Morris (and Bill Brooks) and co-pilot Kent Taylor (as Joe) announce a slight delay when they are asked to take on detective John Carradine (as Crimp) and his prisoner Joseph Calleia (as Vasquez)...

When the plane crashes in an Amazon jungle thought to be inhabited by hungry head-hunters, the crew must chose only five passengers to return home on their rickety, repaired plane. The director, John Farrow, re-made this as "Back from Eternity" in 1956. The later film has a stronger script, but with performances becoming overly obvious. Here, the swiftness highlights subtlety; for example, note the impassionate love between Mr. Knowles and Ms. Barrie, then how Mr. Taylor telegraphs his interest. The more toned-down tart played by Ms. Ball is superior, but lacks detail. You're well off seeing both versions as they make up for things lacking in each other.

******* Five Came Back (6/23/39) John Farrow ~ Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, Joseph Calleia, Patric Knowles

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (31 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Five Came Back (1939)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
More on the plane John_45
Gilligan's Island... bettiegia
Six Came Back? santo1967
Chester's + Lucille's characters cmbrower
Where to purchase kstallings100
No Remakes for this film... Doug-169
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Mysterious Pilot The Spider Returns The Secret of Treasure Island The Galloping Ghost Clipped Wings
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Adventure section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.