A man refuses to believe that pilot error caused a fatal crash, and persists in looking for another reason.



(book), (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam McBane
Sally Fraser
Capt. Jack Savage
Martha Webster
Ralph Bundy
Ben Sawyer
Mickey Doolan
Dan Crawford
Peg Burke
Howard St. John ...
Mark Hutchins
Stillman (as Robert Wilke)
Ted Wilson
Mrs. Llewlyn


Airliner crashes near Los Angeles due to unusual string of coincidences. Stewardess, who is sole survivor, joins airline executives in discovering the causes of the crash. Written by Arthur H. Olsen <102526.2017@compuserve.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He played with death to prove a theory See more »


Drama | Mystery | Thriller | War


See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 October 1964 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Bezwinger des Todes  »

Box Office


$2,525,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although Ernest K. Gann, who wrote book on which film was based, later claimed he was reportedly so unhappy with film that he demanded his name be removed, his name does indeed appear in credits as author of source material. See more »


Following an oceanside plane crash, investigators open a suitcase they have "just fished out of the water" but neither the suitcase nor its contents are wet or even water-damaged. See more »


Capt. Jack Savage: When your number's up, why fight it, right? And if its not, why worry about it?
See more »


Referenced in Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies (2001) See more »


Fate Is the Hunter
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Lyrics by Don Wolf
See more »

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User Reviews

An Overlooked Classic
1 October 2003 | by (Wheaton, IL) – See all my reviews

If you have the chance to catch this movie, please do. In an age where cursing, nudity and violence seem to occupy most films, this is something special...a classic, counting on its storyline, acting and believable characters to hold our attention. The mystery that surrounds the tragedy in this movie cleverly ties together the people involved, the incident itself and is not resolved until the end. The characters are unique, introduced in brief anecdotes by which we come to learn about them. It makes one realize that we too have that same myriad of people we touch ourselves in our own lives. The music is beautifully orchestrated by Jerry Goldsmith. Glenn Ford's intense style is a sharp contrast to Rod Taylor's swashbuckling character. A very strong performance was given by Suzanne Pleshette as well. Her face of pure terror when she is on the second flight is fascinating and believable. My only regret is not being able to get a copy of the soundtrack, which has one of the most beautiful trumpet solos I have ever heard. A movie worth watching anytime, with anyone.

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