7.6/10
15,132
115 user 38 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)
Reviews

WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Survivors of a plane crash in the Mongolian desert work together to build a new plane.

Director: John Moore
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Miranda Otto, Giovanni Ribisi
Shenandoah (1965)
Drama | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Shenandoah, Virginia, widower farmer Charlie Anderson lives a peaceful life with his six sons - Jacob, James, Nathan, John, Henry and Boy, his daughter Jennie, and his daughter-in-law ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Charles 'Slim' Lindbergh struggles to finance and design an airplane that will make his New York to Paris flight the first solo transatlantic crossing.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: James Stewart, Murray Hamilton, Patricia Smith
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The biography of the Bandleader Glenn Miller from his beginnings to his death over the English Channel in December 1944, with a lot of his arrangements, partly in an authentic cast.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When her husband dies en route to America, Martha Price and her daughter Hilary are left to carry out his dream: the introduction of Hereford cattle into the American West. They enlist Sam ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: James Stewart, Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An ex-pilot and current baseballer is recalled into the U.S. Air Force and assumes an increasingly important role in Cold War deterrence.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Frank Lovejoy
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century--including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and 2 more credits »
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck
Thunder Bay (1953)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Shrimpers and oilmen clash when an ambitious wildcatter begins constructing an off-shore oilrig.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Joanne Dru, Gilbert Roland
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A stranger defies the local cattle baron and his sadistic son by working for one of his oldest rivals.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The US Army is under pressure from the desperate relatives of white prisoners of the Comanches to secure their rescue. A cynical and corrupt marshal, Guthrie McCabe, is persuaded by an army... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Stewart, Richard Widmark, Shirley Jones
Drama | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When the government agency fails to deliver even the meager supplies due by treaty to the proud Cheyenne tribe in their barren desert reserve, the starving Indians have taken more abuse ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Richard Widmark, Carroll Baker, Karl Malden
Certificate: Passed Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 December 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El vuelo del Fénix  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The plane they leave on at the end of the film was to be a C-82 Boom. The stunt of taking off was too dangerous, so legendary stunt pilot Paul Mantz was asked to merely come in low, run his landing gear along the ground, then take off again, simulating a take-off. On the second take the plane crashed and was destroyed, killing Mantz. As all main footage had already been shot, a North American O-47A observation plane from the Air Museum was substituted for the remaining close-ups. See more »

Goofs

When the Phoenix reaches the oil-derrick oasis at the films end, several shots show a totally different aircraft than the stunt plane flying over. See more »

Quotes

Standish: Insurance companies move in mysterious ways. Much like God... only far less generous.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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: Holiday in the Hills (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Senza Fine
Sung by Connie Francis
Music and Italian lyrics by Gino Paoli
English lyrics by Alec Wilder
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Superb All-Guy Drama
23 November 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

"The Flight of the Phoenix", based on the Elleston Trevor novel, has little more than one set and no costume changes; and the action is confined to the few yards around an airplane crashed in the desert. Yet its story is more gripping than most "action" movies.

An old airplane owned by an oil company crashes at the hands of a crusty old pilot (James Stewart) whose bitterness and fatalism are brought out when he's forced to admit the crash was due to pilot error. His half-alcoholic navigator has insured that the plane was off course, and cannot be discovered by rescue craft (if any); he's a nice guy and becomes the mediator between the rancorous passengers and crew, but he lacks self-confidence (Richard Attenborough in a finely understated performance). The passengers include a company accountant (Dan Duryea); a shell-shocked employee (Ernest Borgnine, by turns touching and silly) sent home in the company of his doctor (Christian Marquand); a straight-laced British officer (Peter Finch) and his mutinous sergeant (Ronald Fraser); several oil company employees, including one who is always making vicious jokes at the expense of the others (Ian Bannen); and a German "designer" (Hardy Kruger) who went to the oil fields to visit his brother.

Stranded in the desert with no hope of rescue, they debate various schemes for salvation, all of which fail, until Kruger tells the others he is an airplane designer and he has discovered a way to build a new plane from the spare parts of the old one. All it needs for a handful of unskilled men, living on a little water and no food but pressed dates, coping with unbearable heat during the day and unbearable cold at night, to transform themselves into aircraft manufacturers before they all succumb.

All performances are good. Some of the actors (George Kennedy, the always interesting Dan Duryea) are woefully underused -- perhaps large segments of their roles wound up on the cutting-room floor. The major tension is the confrontation between Stewart's old-school pilot and Kruger's technologically self-righteous engineer (at one point, Stewart's character makes the incredibly prescient remark that one day the little men with their slide-rules and computers will inherit the earth).

Even when they all decide they'd rather attempt building the new plane with hope than sit around watching each other die, new surprises spring up that compromise the whole thing.

The script and the acting are solid, especially James Stewart in a different and challenging role. The music is sometimes overwhelming, and stings give unnecessary emphasis to some lines. Also of interest is the listing in the credits of "The Love Theme" which seems like a silly thing to call it.

A superlative story of men living on the ragged edge of survival, working together but not necessarily getting along or surrendering their own values.


55 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How did you all react to 'The scene' JAlexa9898
Similar Engineering- Feat movies? kag2
worst remake in the history of movies tgbclm
who is your favourite character? crawfrordboon
Has this ever happened in real life? geo1284060
movie similar to Flight of the Phoenix avalonbrownies
Discuss The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page