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Five Came Back (1939) Poster

Trivia

According to Turner Classic Movies, there were real trees on the set for the jungle scenes. In one scene, Lucille Ball was leaning against one of the prop trees and spiders crawled out of it and into her hair, sending her and the rest of the cast screaming & running.
Budgeted at a mere $225,000, which was extremely low even by RKO standards, this picture netted a relatively amazing $262,000 in profits.
The aircraft in this film is a Capelis XC-12
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Actors Chester Morris and Kent Taylor, who played the pilots, both went on to play fictional safe-cracker and jewel thief Boston Blackie: Morris in a series of B-movies at Columbia and Taylor in an early-50s TV series.
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According to Lucille Ball's biographer, Charles Higham, Ball spent much of her time during production of this film fending off the unwanted advances of co-star Chester Morris. The crude advances of the soon-to-be-divorced Morris, production delays, daily feuds with director John Farrow, and closer-than-desired encounters with wildlife that had stowed away in some of the trees that had been brought on set as props made this an unpleasant shoot for Ball.
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Later remade as Back from Eternity (1956) with Robert Ryan, Anita Ekberg and Rod Steiger.
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Lucille Ball and director John Farrow frequently clashed on set. Farrow had a reputation for harshly criticizing his actors and for setting a schedule of lengthy and grueling work days. Ball characterized Farrow as verbally abusive, particularly after tensions flared once production had fallen behind schedule.
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This film was originally distributed to theaters as a standard programmer, essentially a "B-Movie" which could accompany a more alluring feature film. Despite the studio's dismissal of the film and its low budget, it proved to be quite successful commercially and garnered very positive reviews from critics. The surprise success of this film led studios such as RKO and Paramount to offer director John Farrow work on larger budget, feature films.
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John Farrow also directed the remake of this film, Back from Eternity (1956).
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Persistent, heavy rains and John Carradine briefly being incapacitated from an illness slowed production and made the film run well beyond its allotted shooting schedule.
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In 1950, Patric Knowles also starred in the similarly titled Three Came Home (1950).
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The aircraft, The Silver Queen, is a Capelis XC-12, the same aircraft used the in the George Sanders film of 1944, Action in Arabia (1944).
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