Received a brief theatrical showing in New York City in 1971 with a G rating. See more »
After Glen Walkup's first encounter with Captain Bannerman in the terminal, there is some footage of the aircraft on the ramp. As a service truck passes, two men preparing a large motion picture camera can be seen on the observation deck. See more »
Look, Bannerman, you can play the big hero to the ladies around here, but as far as I'm concerned you're just an airborne bus driver, and not a very good one at that. I fire better men than you every day.
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I saw this film a long time ago. It was an NBC Movie of The Week in 1969(and repeated in 1970) and wound up on many "Movie for a Saturday Afternoon"'s on UHF stations through the 70's subsequently. All I could think of was this film, when I saw the opening episodes of the current LOST.
Lloyd Bridges plays the Captain of a Hawaii-to-Australia 707 airliner, "Trans-Pacific Airlines" with an assorted cast of characters we are all introduced to in the opening airport/bar/departure lounge scenes. One of these characters is a little boy, flying on his own to meet his father in Sydney, who doesn't feel so well(telling us this will factor into the plot). We are also introduced to Andrew Prine's smarmy character who has an altercation not only with Billy Dee Williams character but manages to smart-mouth Bridges as well when(as I recall) he breaks up a fight Prine has provoked-so we know he's trouble(nowadays he would be thrown off the plane to start).Bridge's co-pilots inform him of a "pretty bad typhoon" near the Solomon Islands and they alter flight plans to skirt around it. As the plane is well into the flight, the little boy is by now quite ill, and found to have acute appendicitis and, according to the med student on board "has to begotten to a hospital immediately" in an exchange with Bridges (Now, all we can think of is Leslie Neilsen in AIRPLANE! for which Bridges sort of parodied the very "Captain" role dialog from this film!). Which of course means, Bridges makes the fateful decision to turn the plane into the storm and fly to Samoa which is within two hours travel. Of course the plane loses part of a wing to lightning, and is caught in tremendous turbulence and with damaged hydraulics Bridges has to ditch it the shallow waters of a handy but remote island which appears on the radar.(Some of the plane crash scenes are remarkably similar to Tom Hank's CASTAWAY with regard to the storm, crash etc.)
At first people are stunned and confused, the remains of the plane are washed out to sea and all anyone has are the clothes on their backs and a few supplies. The kid is gotten "painless" drunk on booze and the med student nips out his appendix so that's dealt with. A radio was rescued and when Bridges finally gets a signal with it they hear the news report of the plane loss, but are crushed to hear the authorities-discovering the plane's wing tip-assume all hands are dead and thus the search is discontinued. Now they realize they are here for the long run and have to form some kind of society only that differences arise in who will follow who-with a bigot(Andrew Prine) and a businessman(Ralph Meeker)and several others wanting their own way. So now we go into LORD OF THE FLIES territory. As factions and ensuing violence are dealt with, Bridges tells the boy that if they are here for the long run, he wants them to make a better society...
The movie was designed as a pilot for a weekly TV series that never took off-it was killed before it was even aired so the film was aired as a one-off. Oddly, later in 1976, CBS took some of the same plane footage and the concept and with leads Kevin Dobson and Lara Parker aired the pilot STRANDED which took the plot several months to a year ahead(I can't remember) showing the kind of society people would form with the rusting plane wreckage not far from their village/camp. This was a more family-friendly drama with a young boy and his dog being central to the plot. There was even a small lagoon that was inhabited by a "monster"-a giant eel(not huge huge, but think large boa constrictor) that creates some tension. And hints of "the others" who left this bunch when the plane crashed and formed a different society on the other side of the island. You could really tell this was a pilot.
And now...we have LOST...which remarkably incorporates lots of the ideas of these pilots, just with new twists and really amped up tension and violence. LOST is *supposedly*(according to the actor who played the "pilot" in the first show) preparing a flashback episode which has the crash of the plane but told from the pilot's point of view and everything leading up to that, which is designed to give us more information of what happened, how they went off course, etc.
So, it shows, what goes around comes around. Just depends on the talent handling it that makes it "new".
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