7.6/10
16,568
116 user 46 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 ...
Gabriele
Alex Montoya ...
Carlos
Peter Bravos ...
Tasso
William Aldrich ...
Bill
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Farida
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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:

Theirs was the triumph - yours, the excitement! 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,355,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more 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). He also directed Ian Bannen (Crow) in Gandhi (1982). See more »

Goofs

When the crew is discussing how to deal with the Arabs, Dorfmann is clean-shaven one moment and he has a beard the next. See more »

Quotes

Standish: [nervously] The sandstorm'll make it more difficult, won't it?
'Ratbags' Crow: [in a mocking, ironic tone] What? Find us? Nah, it'll simplify things no end, old chap! They'll just bloody give up! Oh, you're not frightened, are ya? You don't want to be despondent, old man, you know! Wait till the water runs out. Then you'll really start laughing!
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 A-Team: The Out-of-Towners (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

The Phoenix Love Theme
Senza Fine"
Sung by Connie Francis
Music & Italian Lyrics by Gino Paoli
English Lyrics by Alec Wilder
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Epic example of conflict resolution and mastering challenges - and a great movie!
12 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

This masterpiece is now 40 years old and has lost nothing of it's excitement due to it's fantastic, outstanding actors (Attenborough and Kruger have never done better from my point of view), director, scenery and the simplicity of the story itself. A plane lost in a desert, no help and a challenge to master by people, who never chose to master their destiny together in a hostile environment.

The way the conflict is layed out can serve as an example for organizational conflicts, cultural conflicts, simply: whenever humans have to solve a problem that jeopardizes their future under resource constraints. Or even mankind on earth in the hostile universe, who need to solve their very own conflicts? All actors are able to deliver fully convincing natural emotions in this kind of situation to make the audience understand why humans usually fail to solve these conflicts. How many actors can you name today that are superstars and can do it like them? It's becomes evident how difficult the first step to compromise or to accept leadership of another person is, especially for western individuals. Accept leadership and downgrade oneself in the hierarchy, despite the fact that there is usually one solution which suits the groups interest as a whole better? How many leaders or e.g. managers are able to do this? In the end, the collaborative approach is successful, staged behind a general struggle for power, influenced by the cold war environment, containing an explosive mix of historical facts and clichés on British imperialism/militarism, American heroism, German nazihodd/engineering rational and various other aspects. You could easily work out how difficult the situation would be, if nowadays a e.g. member of priest of a Christian church would crash land together with a Muslim mullah. How would they be able to work together to master the hostility of the desert? Would they be able to accept a compromise? You can spend months to identify all the clichés that are used to increase the tension between the characters they have to understand to manage their faith, unfortunately you need a lot of historical background knowledge on 19th century till cold war to understand all the details, but that is only another good reason to start studying this.

The movie also shows that every specific cultural background has it's advantages closely tied to its disadvantages, e.g. the heroism advantage of attack eaten up by a lack of rationality (for example due to alcoholism/boredom). Actually, this movie should be screened as an example for success for conflicts of international companies, global organizations or just humans between the frontiers of different cultures.

And if this is too educational for you: It is even great entertainment, if you are just watch it from a pure emotional point of view. Myself being a German I would wish that we still can show of some of the engineering mastership that Dorfner shows of - however I'm happy that no technocrats are now ruling my country.

In the end: What a masterpiece!


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