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Crash Landing (1958)

| Drama | July 1958 (USA)
Airplane passengers prepare for a crash landing in the ocean.





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Cast overview:
Capt. Steve Williams
Helen Williams (as Nancy Davis)
Bernice Willouby
John Smithback
Bek Nelson ...
Nancy Arthur
Jewell Lain ...
Ann Thatcher
Sheridan Comerate ...
Howard Whitney
Richard Newton ...
Richard Keith ...
Harrison White
Mrs. Ortega
Lewis Martin ...
Maurice Stanley
Hal Torey ...
Calvin Havelick
John McNamara ...
Phil Burton


Airplane passengers prepare for a crash landing in the ocean.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

July 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Over 5 seconden noodlanding  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Released after director Fred F. Sears' death. See more »


At the first sign of engine trouble, the crew clearly looks out of their right-hand window, and at the rightmost engine. There are even a few brief shots of that engine flaming up, clearly on the right wing of the plane. However, just after that, all outside shots of the plane show the leftmost propeller has stopped and the rightmost propeller spinning normally. See more »


Spoofed in Airplane! (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Decent "B" Picture
12 March 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Crash Landing (1958)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Sam Katzman produced this Columbia "B" movie that's title pretty much tells you all you need to know. A plane loses a couple engines over the Atlantic on a trip from Lisbon to New York. The tough pilot (Gary Merrill) must decide to land and at what point would be best for survival. Before the landing can take place the film must flashback so that we can get to know the pilot as well as other passengers. The disaster genre has always been one of my favorites and this entry here is pretty cheap but in the end it's not too bad. No one is going to mistake this picture for one of the bigger entries like THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY but there's enough nice melodrama as well as suspense to make it worth viewing. Director Sears and producer Katzman worked quite a bit together during this period with the best known of their work being THE WEREWOLF and THE GIANT CLAW. This film has the same charm of those two as we get a pretty interesting story mixed together with cheap thrills. The outside shots of the plane make it look obviously fake and I'd almost put the quality of the shots on the same level as THE GIANT CLAW but thankfully those here aren't as ugly. The character drama isn't too bad as we get a nice performance from Merrill who really sinks his teeth into the tough-as-nails character. I thought he did a very good job at showing off the toughness of this character and sometimes you can't help but want to dislike him, although we do get a decent story of why he's this way. The other characters are pretty standard for this type of film as we have the chance lovers, a young boy with a dog, a preacher, a couple Navy guys and a couple beauty girls. None of the side stories are all that interesting but they make for some mild melodrama. What really makes the film work is what we came to see and that's the suspense built around the landing. The actual landing sequence doesn't look too realistic but the drama building up to it works extremely well and I must admit that I was surprised to see how well Sears handled it. Running a brief 76-minutes means we never get too much character development (a major problem with the films from the 70s) and we get to see Nancy Davis (Reagan) during a couple scenes as the pilot's wife.

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