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" They give of themselves, so that others may live "
It is said, during the worse disasters, we see ordinary people, exhibiting extraordinary heroics. Basically that's the core of this film entitled " Flight From Ashiya. " The men of the Air Rescue Service are given a ceremonial tribute and for the most part it's about them. Three men and their lives are personified each offering a segway into their background. The first is Glenn Stevenson (Richard Widmark) the experienced commander who's lingering demons are a deep reminder that his personal bigotry is not only a hindrance to his job, but is itself more of a danger than the black ocean he willingly faces. Next is his second in command, Lt. John Gregg (George Chakiris) who's memories of a mountain accident have become a major obstacle to his courage. Fearing he caused the death of stranded villagers, he doubts he will ever overcome it. The last member of the crew is Tsgt. Mike Takashima. (Yul Brynner) Reaching into his past, he recalls vividly a tragic accident in which a lost love reminds him of his shortcomings and vulnerability. Together the crew receives a summons to fly into raging Pacific storm at night to risk life and limb and rescue a raft load of Japanese survivors on the verge of drowning. The film is a stark reminder of what these courageous men face in their tireless efforts to save lives. Excellent acting from Widmark, Brynner and Chakiris make this a worthy tribute to the profession. Unfortunately the clumsy use of miniatures and models diminishes the visual power of this fine movie. Nevertheless, actual locations and backdrops add to the touching story and contribute to it's success. ****
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