7.6/10
16,405
116 user 45 critic

The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama | 15 December 1965 (USA)
After a plane crash in the Sahara, one of the survivors says he's an airplane designer and they can make a flyable plane from the wreckage.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) (as Elleston Trevor)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Heinrich Dorfmann (as Hardy Kruger)
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Gabriele Tinti ...
Alex Montoya ...
Peter Bravos ...
William Aldrich ...
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Storyline

A cargo plane goes down in a sandstorm in the Sahara with less than a dozen men on board. One of the passengers is an airplane designer who comes up with the idea of ripping off the undamaged wing and using it as the basis for an airplane they will build to escape before their food and water run out. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Its excitement is headed straight for you! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 December 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Flug des Phoenix  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,355,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Attenborough (Lew Moran) later directed Hardy Krüger (Heinrich Dorfmann) in A Bridge Too Far (1977). See more »

Goofs

Captain Towns refers to having cleaned the carburetor jets thoroughly. The Pratt and Whitney R-2800 has a pressure carburetor that could not be disassembled in that desert without contaminating it. Also, it could not have been reassembled correctly without the use of a pressure bench to re-calibrate all the regulating springs and diaphragms. See more »

Quotes

Heinrich Dorfmann: I must say, without a radio, you would have expected them to turn for their alternate airport by now. Wouldn't you?
Trucker Cobb: I don't know, you grew up boy? Are you from the oil fields?
Heinrich Dorfmann: My brother's there Dorfmann. I went to visit him on a holiday.
Trucker Cobb: You went to visit your brother a general?
Heinrich Dorfmann: Yes he's chief under the geophysicist for the Iraqi oil company. That pilot, I would have thought he was a little elderly to be flying without a copilot. Wouldn't you?
Trucker Cobb: That sand's a bastard you know that, a real ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED...

THAT PAUL MANTZ, A FINE MAN AND A BRILLIANT FLYER GAVE HIS LIFE IN THE MAKING OF THIS FILM... See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

The Phoenix Love Theme
Senza Fine"
Sung by Connie Francis
Music & Italian Lyrics by Gino Paoli
English Lyrics by Alec Wilder
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A masterpiece from the good old days
3 January 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I agree with most of the people here that this movie is an overlooked gem. It always comes to mind when I think of movie classics, but most people I've known have never seen it. If it comes on TV or you get the chance to rent it, definitely give it a look.

While the movie stands alone as a great suspense and survival movie with great dialogue and a greater cast, it also has some aspects that give it deeper significance. A couple of people have commented on the "old school seat-of-the-pants flying" vs. "mathematical engineering" conflict in the movie, and this is certainly a big part of it.

Another conflict, subtler but just as important, has gone completely unmentioned here. That's the issue of the crew's mistrust of Kruger for being German. This movie is pretty important for the way it excellently touches on the tension many people still felt by the sixties on working side by side with the former enemy in the new postwar world. It's not an accident that the three main characters that have to come together to survive are American, English and German. "Flight of the Phoenix" is one movie that is timeless in its direct appeal but should be taken in context of the time in which it was produced in order to be fully appreciated.

Taking these conflicts together, the overall message is clear. In the brave new world, unless we put aside old divisions and value input from everyone, no one gets out alive.


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