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The High and the Mighty (1954)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  3 July 1954 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 4,073 users  
Reviews: 162 user | 35 critic

When a commercial airliner develops engine problems on a trans-Pacific flight and the pilot loses his nerve, it is up to the washed-up co-pilot Dan Roman to bring the plane in safely.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
May Holst
...
Lydia Rice
...
John Sullivan
...
Sally McKee
...
Ed Joseph
...
Gustave Pardee
David Brian ...
Ken Childs
Paul Kelly ...
Donald Flaherty
...
Humphrey Agnew
Julie Bishop ...
Lillian Pardee
...
Gonzales (as Gonzalez Gonzalez)
...
Howard Rice
Wally Brown ...
Lenny Wilby, navigator
...
Hobie Wheeler
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Storyline

One disaster after another happens on this trans-Pacific flight. You have the pilot who loses his nerve! The washed-up co-pilot. The milquetoast flight engineer. The young hot shot second officer. And a cabin full of passengers with every range of problems and personalities there could possibly be. Here you have the Duke in a role he didn't want, and a movie with the title song that became Duke's theme. What else could any John Wayne fan want? It's all here, and then some. Written by williamsportump@chilitech.net

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The 2-Year Best-Seller Sensation! The Year's Greatest Cast! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 July 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William A. Wellman's The High and the Mighty  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound System)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time of the filming Hawai'i was not a state but it was a territory of the United States and going through immigration between Honolulu and the mainland was not necessary. No passports for US citizens were ever shown nor needed. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, Air Traffic Control clears the aircraft to land on "runway 39" This is impossible. Runways are numbered are within 10 degrees of their actual magnetic heading, and since there are only 360 degrees on the compass, the highest runway number possible is "runway 36". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ben Sneed: Hey fella, ain't you Dan Roman?
Dan Roman: Yeah.
Ben Sneed: I heard you whistlin' and I said to myself only one guy does that just so.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in I Love Lucy: Lucy and John Wayne (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Barber of Seville
(excerpts) (uncredited)
Music by Gioachino Rossini
See more »

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User Reviews

Mike and Pat--Don't hold this one back
14 January 2002 | by (Long Island NY) – See all my reviews

Probably the most popular film that has never been released to any video medium, The High and the Mighty is th4e granddaddy of all of those disaster pictures that became popular in the 70s, but they do not hold a candle to this one.

The Wayne Family in general, and I would assume sons Michael and Patrick in particular, own the film along with some others. One has to wonder why they do not release it. I have a copy I recorded from HBO many years ago and when aired it was a great print. I am fortunate to be able to see it now and then at my own leisure.

The plot of a crippled airliner in the middle of the Pacific doesn't accurately describe this film. It is a true character study with some of the finest actors of the day on hand delivering brilliant performances. Those that stand out include Jan Sterling (oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner), Claire Trevor (Oscar nominated), Phil Harris, Robert Newton, and David Brian. But each and every one in the rest of the cast can take a bow for a job well done. And That includes Wayne himself. His Dan Roman is complete, a man with strengths and weaknesses, but a man who eventually is the only one to step up in a time of crisis. It is one of his best performances.

William Wellman's direction keeps the film moving, Dimitri Tiomkin's Oscar winning score had viewers whistling along with Whistling Dan.

Mike and Pat, please let this one out before it becomes an antique. A new generation of your father's fans await this classic. It is not fair to deny them their chance to see him. And by the way. John Wayne was not the original choice to play Dan Roman. When He acquired the rights to the film he just wanted to produce it ( a la Bullfighter and the Lady). His choice wanted to play the role, but schedule conflicts prevented this, thus John Wayne had to play the role he offered to Spencer Tracy


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