Theodore Honey is an aeronautical engineer being sent to Labrador from London to examine the wreckage of a new passenger plane designed by his company. His theory is that the planes are susceptible to metal fatigue after a specific amount of time in the air. The absent minded Honey boards the Reindeer class plane and only realizes that this plane is due to fail in the next few hours after the plane is airborne. He decides to warn the crew and creates an incident regardless of whether he is right or wrong. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The concept of an airliner suffering catastrophic failure due to metal fatigue after a certain number of flight cycles, as outlined in the 1948 novel and this 1951 film, came true with the failures of the de Havilland Comet in 1954. There are a number of eerie parallels between the fictional account and the later actual events. See more »
The airplane is described being powered by piston engines, the sounds, the cockpit area, the flight engineer's controls are made to look like a piston engine airplane of that era. Yet, the engine nacelles on the airplane are that of a turbojet or turboprop. That is, a jet engine with a propeller. See more »
This is one of the better examples of how to craft a drama with just enough humor to lighten the load at just the right times. Most of the credit has to go to Jimmy Stewart, who infuses his character with hilarious absent-mindedness. We constantly have a chuckle at Theodore Honey, yet all the while we are witness to his personal metamorphosis from disinterested and detached scientist to caring and energetic activist.
The whole movie uses technology as the vehicle within which the protagonist lives, works, and eventually changes, but this movie is not about nuts and bolts; it is ultimately about personal transformation - Nothing is the same for Mr. Honey by the end of the film. The joy is watching the transformation, bit by bit, as events literally overtake him.
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