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The Desperate Search that Howard Keel is on is for his children whom he has custody of for six weeks every summer as per the court agreement with ex-wife Patricia Medina. The two kids, Lee Aaker and Linda Lowell, survive a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness and are on their own in the woods.
As was the custom in those bygone days of the big studios you had someone under contract you kept them working. In Keel's case they had no big musical property for him at the moment so he was put into this B film which could have used color to accentuate the nice rural settings the film was shot in.
Desperate Search had the action alternate between the kids and their struggle to survive and the search and rescue operation which Keel and Medina are both part of as they are both pilots. In the former young Lee Aaker stands out as he tries to keep himself and his perpetually whining and crying sister safe and moving from the wreck to where he thinks dad might be searching. Through most their scenes the two children are playing tag with a hungry mountain lion and the most frightening scene in the film is little Linda Lowell wading into a river to escape the mountain lion.
Medina is a competitive sort by nature and her competitiveness carried over into the marriage which caused the breakup. Keel's second wife is supportive Jane Greer who is not a pilot and she and Medina almost get to scrapping the way Alexis and Crystal used to on Dynasty.
Desperate Search moves at a nice pace and the cinematography and editing is really first rate. A few more production values and this could have been an A feature.
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