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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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4,972 ( 983)
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:

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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,355,000 (estimated)
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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

The Tallmantz Phoenix P-1 was designed by Otto Timm and built by Tallmantz Aviation Inc. for the film. It had the following characteristics:
  • Length: 45'


  • Wingspan: 42'


  • Engine: a like-new Pratt & Whitney R-1340 nine cylinder radial engine of 650 hp, taken from a T-6, as were the wheels and various other parts.


  • Wings: wing panels taken from a T-11 (civilian conversion of an AT-11 which is a Beechcraft 18 type )


  • The apparent wing, tail, and undercarriage wire bracing was made out of clothesline, and was intentionally made to look flimsy.


  • The fuselage and empennage were all hand-built from scratch - plywood over a wood frame.


  • The cockpit was shallow and makeshift. The pilot sat down. Another person stood behind the pilot and was strapped to a stringer.


See more »

Goofs

When Cobb dies in the desert, he writes his name in the sand. The (already blurry) letters are disturbed when Towns chases away a vulture, but when he turns to read it, the writing is restored (it now looks like wet sand writing). See more »

Quotes

'Ratbags' Crow: Sometimes I wonder how you chaps never won the war.
Heinrich Dorfmann: War?
'Ratbags' Crow: [making sputtering sounds like an airplane and gesturung to suggest a plane flying in a mocking fashion]
Heinrich Dorfmann: [trying not to respond in kind] I wasn't involved.
'Ratbags' Crow: [makes a sound like a machine gun, falls down on the sand, and rolls over] That's it then! That's why they never won!
'Ratbags' Crow: [in a mocking tone] They didn't have old Heinrich!
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 Castaways on Gilligan's Island (1979) 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

 
Outstanding movie with an extraordinary cast and nail-biting direction by Robert Aldrich
21 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

The movie talks about a motley group in a small airplane piloted by a stubborn and obstinate man (James Stewart) and a navigator (Richard Attenborough) . The aircraft crashes on Sahara desert rounded by sand seas and passengers crew (Peter Finch , George Kennedy , Ronald Fraser , Christian Marquand..) have to survive against extraordinary odds and risks and they try to rebuild their plane in order to avoid sufferings caused for hostile elements . This has a well sense desert atmosphere filling one with revulsion for the conditions in which unfortunates are forced to exist stranded on an Arabian uninhabited spot : starvation , famine , heat , thirst , enemies and confrontation among themselves .

This exciting movie is an intelligent variant upon the Hollywood scripts in which aircrafts crash in remote locations such as : ¨Airport¨ series or ¨Alive : Miracle of the Andes¨ . It's a thoughtful and broody film with excellent interpretations and an utterly male star-studded casting . James Stewart as a veteran and embittered pilot is the intrepid hero who's considered guilty of the accident for his error , he's magnificent likeness to Richard Attenborough , a previous RAF pilot and now a boozy alcoholic navigator in a damaged plane . Hardy Kruger as the cocky German engineer is splendid . John Finch as a rigid and stiff officer is very fine and similarly to his coward subordinate Ronald Fraser . Ernest Borgnine as a nutty with enormous eager to escape is sensational . George Kennedy , Gabriele Tinti , Christian Marquand , Dan Duryea are well but make roles quite secondaries . Special mention to Ian Bannen , as the group's mechanic , he only achieved the Academy Award nomination but he didn't obtain it . Frank de Vol musical score (Robert Aldrich's usual musician) is spectacular and lively . Joseph Biroc cinematography is glimmer and colorful . The motion picture is stunningly directed by Robert Aldrich . The second and recent version with Dennis Quaid , Giovanni Ribisi and Miranda Otto is worst deemed . Rating : Awesome and astounding .


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