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Island in the Sky (1953)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama | 5 September 1953 (USA)
A C-47 transport plane, named the Corsair, makes a forced landing in the frozen wastes of Labrador, and the plane's pilot, Captain Dooley, must keep his men alive in deadly conditions while waiting for rescue.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Captain Stutz
...
Col. Fuller
...
Mac McMullen
...
Willie Moon
...
J.H. Handy
...
Murray (as James Lydon)
...
Ralph Hunt
...
Stankowski
...
Frank Lovatt
Wally Cassell ...
D'Annunzia
...
Walrus
...
Capt. Turner
Robert Keys ...
Maj. Ditson
...
Lt. Cord
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Storyline

A C-47 transport plane, named the Corsair, makes a forced landing in the frozen wastes of Labrador, and the plane's pilot, Captain Dooley, must keep his men alive in deadly conditions while waiting for rescue.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

With All the White Hell of the Wasteland Against Him Dooley Was Beating His Way Back! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 September 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William A. Wellman's Island in the Sky  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$967,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(WarnerPhonic/RCA Sound System)| (WarnerPhonic/RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was one of just three films released theatrically in "WarnerPhonic" sound, an early four-channel surround sound system. Unfortunately, only the mono version of the soundtrack has survived. See more »

Goofs

The transport planes are marked "United States Air Force" and have the letters USAF on the underside of the wing. The U.S. Air Force did not become an independent service until 1947. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Dooley: They're coming, boys. Boys, they're coming. Boys, they're coming!
[planes fly apast]
Capt. Dooley: I guess we're awful hard to see down here. Harder than we thought.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lost in Space: Island in the Sky (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Island in The Sky
(uncredited)
Written by Emil Newman, Hugo Friedhofer and Johnny Lehmann
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dooley's Down!
9 August 2005 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Island In the Sky" has long been unavailable for viewing. The recent DVD release remedies that. It has been beautifully restored to its original black and white brilliance and contains some of the best aerial photography (no special effects here) by veteran cinematographer William Clothier.

Capt. Dooley (John Wayne) and his crew, co-pilot Lovatt (Sean McClory), radio man D'Annunzia (Wally Cassell). navigator Murray (James Lydon) and engineer Stankowski (Hal Baylor) are civilian filters, flying a military aircraft used for supplying troops in WWII. Suddenly their compass malfunctions and they drift off course, flying into uncharted grounds deep into The Great White North. The plane goes down in the wilderness and the crew is forced to find ways to survive in the bone chilling cold.

Meanwhile back at the base the cry of "Dooley's Down" rings out. Fellow pilots rally to help their downed colleagues. Col. Fuller (Walter Abel) along with his sergeant (Regis Toomey) coordinate the search efforts. Among the pilots in on the search are Stuz (Lloyd Nolan), McMullen (James Arness), Moon (Andy Devine), Handy (Allyn Joslyn) and Fitch (Louis Jean Heydt).

Dooley and his crew fashion a shelter and fight to survive. One day the rescue planes fly over but do not see the downed filters. Finally after several searches..............

As in most John Wayne films, the John Wayne Stock Company is evident. Appearing in various roles are Harry Carey Jr,, Bob Steele, Darryl Hickman, Gordon Jones, Carl "Alflafa" Switzer, Paul Fix, Fess Parker, Mike "Touch" Connors and in a hilarious bit, Wellman regular George Chandler.

William Wellman, who provides the voice over narration, was a master at directing air movies having begun with the classic "Wings" (1927). The aerial shots of the fleet of DC-3 planes is breath taking. Credability is stretched a little when we see the downed airmen clad only in their regular clothing and wrapped in single blankets supposedly surviving in temperatures of up to -70F. Also the story takes place in Northern Labrador however, the doomed plane was flying a north-west course of some 600 miles away from the St. Lawrence River which would take them away from Labrador and into Northern Quebec.

The DVD Special Edition contains an excellent feature commentary with Leonard Maltin, William Wellman Jr., Darryl Hickman and James Lydon. Maltin also hosts the other segments including a memorable "John Wayne Stock Company" interview with veteran actor Harry Carey Jr.

Well worth the long wait.


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