IMDb > Zero Hour! (1957)
Zero Hour!
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Zero Hour! (1957) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.6/10   780 votes »
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Up 46% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Arthur Hailey (screenplay) &
Hall Bartlett (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Zero Hour! on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 November 1957 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
It Builds to the Tensest 50 Minutes in the History of the Screen!
Plot:
A routine flight turns into a major emergency as passengers and crew succumb to food poisoning - is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane... See more » | Full synopsis »
NewsDesk:
Leslie Nielsen: 1926 - 2010
 (From IMDb News. 28 November 2010, 9:55 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Reviewing 'Zero Hour!' On Its Own Terms See more (47 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Dana Andrews ... Lt. Ted Stryker

Linda Darnell ... Ellen Stryker

Sterling Hayden ... Capt. Martin Treleaven
Elroy 'Crazylegs' Hirsch ... Capt. Bill Wilson
Geoffrey Toone ... Dr. Baird

Jerry Paris ... Tony Decker
Peggy King ... Stewardess Janet Turner
Charles Quinlivan ... Harry Burdick

Patricia Tiernan ... Mrs. Joan Wilson (as Carole Eden)

Steve London ... First Officer Walt Stewart
Jo Ann Wade ... Treleaven's Baby Sitter
Ray Ferrell ... Joey Stryker (as Raymond Ferrell)
John Ashley ... TV Singer

Willis Bouchey ... British Army Doctor
Robert Stevenson ... Air Traffic Controller
Maxine Cooper ... Sick Plane Passenger
Mary Newton ... Plane Passenger with Rosary Beads
David Thursby ... Whitmond - the Argo Fan
Will Sage ... Vancouver Radar Controller
Noel Drayton ... Vancouver Control Man
Will J. White ... Vancouver Policeman (as Will White)
Fintan Meyler ... Hysterical Woman

Hope Summers ... Mrs. Summers
Larry Thor ... Vancouver Radio Dispatcher
Richard Keith ... Station Manager
Russell Thorson ... Vancouver Flight Dispatcher
Arthur Hanson ... Reporter
Roy Gordon ... Frank Graham
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Woody Chambliss ... Whitmond's Drinking Buddy (uncredited)

William Conrad ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Duane Grey ... Plane Passenger (uncredited)
S. John Launer ... Vancouver Switchboard Operator (uncredited)
James Maloney ... Plane Passenger (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Nightclub Waiter (uncredited)
Katherine Warren ... Mrs. Purdy - Landlady (uncredited)
John Zaremba ... Passenger with Sick Wife (uncredited)
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Directed by
Hall Bartlett 
 
Writing credits
Arthur Hailey (screenplay) &
Hall Bartlett (screenplay) &
John C. Champion (screenplay) (as John Champion)

Arthur Hailey (teleplay "Flight Into Danger")

Produced by
John C. Champion .... producer
Hall Bartlett .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Ted Dale 
 
Cinematography by
John F. Warren (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
John C. Fuller 
 
Production Design by
Boris Leven 
 
Set Decoration by
Ross Dowd 
 
Makeup Department
Steve Drumm .... makeup artist
Kay Shea .... hair stylist
Lillian Shore .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Lee Lukather .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Buddy Messinger .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Tom Coleman .... property master
Ben Mantz .... sketch artist
 
Sound Department
Lyle Figland .... sound recordist
Charles Grenzbach .... sound recordist
 
Special Effects by
Norman O'Skeete .... special effects
Al Henley .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
John P. Fulton .... special photographic effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Thomas Morris .... camera operator (uncredited)
Gene Polito .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eddie Armand .... wardrobe (as Eddie Armand Scheffer)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Ted Dale .... conductor
 
Other crew
Newt Arnold .... assistant to producer
Wink Blair .... executive secretary
Harold Cope .... technical advisor
Joan Eremin .... script supervisor (as Joan Eremin Buck)
Paul Mantz .... night aerial footage (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
81 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
S. John Launer (Switchboard Operator) and Willis Bouchey (British Army Doctor) went on to bigger and better things appearing as judges in the "Perry Mason" (1957) series.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At the end when the plane crash lands, the landing gear come out from under the plane and the nose gear breaks. A later scene shows the plane skidding with no gear under it and all propellers severely damaged. In last scene of plane skidding to a stop, the propellers are at first intact and then damaged again. The nose gear is back and breaks again and the broken right landing gear is back under the wing.See more »
Quotes:
[observing an outbreak of food poisoning sweeping the plane]
Stewardess Janet Turner:What is it, doctor? What's going on?
Dr. Baird:I'm not sure. Unless... what was it we had for dinner tonight?
Stewardess Janet Turner:Well, we had a choice. Steak or fish.
Dr. Baird:Yes... I remember. I had steak. What did he have? The co-pilot?
Stewardess Janet Turner:He had fish.
Dr. Baird:All right. Now we know what we're up against. Every passenger who ate fish for dinner on this plane will become ill within a half-hour after consumption.
Stewardess Janet Turner:Why?
Dr. Baird:I'm very certain now that it has to do with the fish. There seems to have been contaminated seafood brought on the plane.
Stewardess Janet Turner:How could the fish be contaminated? The airline checks all foods prior to departure.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Remade as Airplane! (1980)See more »
Soundtrack:
Zero HourSee more »

FAQ

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Reviewing 'Zero Hour!' On Its Own Terms, 21 November 2007
Author: Piafredux from United States

Since every other reviewer here has commented on the relation between 'Zero Hour!' and its latter-day spoof 'Airplane!', let me be the first to contribute a review of 'Zero Hour!' on its own terms.

First, 'Zero Hour!' was obviously shot on a low budget. It uses a lot of stock footage - much of which is badly varied, mismatched as, for example, the airliner in the film is a four-engined DC-4 which, in the film's cuts to stock footage not only appears as a DC-4 in three different airline paint/livery schemes, but it's also represented in still other stock shots by footage of a twin-engined DC-3 and a twin-engined Convair. At the crash landing ending the model used is of a four-engined airliner which is not a DC-4 (it looks like a post-WWII British airliner whose maker/name/identification escapes me at present). Another key to the low budget is the film's inexpensive (I'm trying to be charitable) sets; and at one point a close-up of the plane's instruments are not airplane instruments at all, but a cheaply mocked-up row of three generic panel lamps above which is hand-painted LEFT-NOSE-RIGHT to represent the cockpit's landing gear lock-down indicators. One of the aerial shots of the DC-4, which appears in the film as the aircraft is on final approach, also presents a gaffe: in this stock shot the airliner's Number 4 engine's propeller is feathered - stopped! - which is absurd because in the plot the DC-4 suffers no engine failures.

Worse, though, than 'Zero Hour!'s' jumble of airliner stock footage are the obvious models used for the film's introductory combat sequence. The credits open over fine stock footage of early WWII Spitfire Mk I's in formation. But this footage gives way to models-on-wires "bathtub" shots, and I believe most, if not all, of these shots of model Spitfires and Messerschmitts were simply lifted from an earlier film (which may have been 1956's 'Reach For The Sky'). Worse still, some of the close-ups of what are supposed to be the Canadian squadron's Spitfires actually show actors (who are unrecognizable in their face-covering goggles and oxygen masks) seated in the cockpits of full-size Messerschmitt models! In one egregiously inaccurate (and thus confusion-making) small-model shot a Messerschmitt in Nazi insignia actually represents the crash of a Canadian Spitfire. But this sequence gets even worse than that: at one point it cuts to a model shot - of static-suspended models wobbled by off-screen fans - of a radial-engined Curtiss Hawk 75 painted in French Air Force camouflage and insignia (which, we are supposed to believe, is one of the in-line engined Canadian Spitfires!) "pursuing" a Messerschmitt model! The acting here is not bad - some of it is actually quite good, especially from the splendid, but chronically under-appreciated and underrated, Dana Andrews. It's the cheesy Arthur Hailey dialogue that's the real culprit that robs 'Zero Hour!' of enduring appeal (and which, I'd argue, together with the unintentionally comical plane-switching stock footage, most inspired the later spoof movie); but the cheesy dialogue's not helped, at a few points, by rapid, hectic, less than first-class editing that also betrays the low-budget on which 'Zero Hour' was produced.

The score isn't great, yet it's actually rather good - especially for a suspense film of its time. Some of the makeup is overdone - especially the excessive perspiration on the faces of the ill and the panicking aircrew and passengers and on the anxious ground controllers, which was apparently applied with a surfeit of zeal. Women's hairstyles here are reserved, but expertly done; and the costuming is quite good for a low-budget effort. Also, one of the airline office men begins the film, before he's been through any of the suspenseful trials that ensue, already wearing much more than a five o'clock shadow of whiskers: in 1957 this was most definitely not a tonsorial custom, especially for airline/technical employees - in those days a man's boss could and would call him on the carpet for having had the bad manners to have come to work so direly unshaven.

Former pro football star Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch is a trifle stiff as the captain of the airliner; but then a lot of athletes-turned-actors of that day were also rather wooden in their acting (Chuck Connors comes foremost to mind, especially in his earliest, bit parts). The rest of the supporting cast is comprised chiefly of Canadian talent who do a solid job (notwithstanding that they too labored under the often cheesy lines they were given to read) of moving the story forward and fleshing it out as well as can be expected in a low-budget film.

On its own terms, then, on the IMDb house scale of ten, I believe I have to give 'Zero Hour' 6 stars.

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Love to have seen Sterling Hayden reprise his role in Airplane! mase-6
Airplane ! almost renders THIS as parody now bobo-29
TCM's March 5 showing of Zero Hour! Robert Osborne gave mis-information allenblank
Surely this movie can't be serious... jackson_19087
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Weisbaden? mattcolins
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