|Index||7 reviews in total|
In fact, it wasn't Bette Midler who first brought new blood into the heavy-handed 7O's and 80's Disney productions. It was people like Elliott Gould who originally provided the shot in the arm that Disney needed. In this movie he lends his wise-cracking, go-to-hell character to the role of Noah Dugan and it's a joy to watch! The whole cast is great, and the whole movie is a delight from start to finish.
First off, I'd like to say that I haven't seen this movie since I was a kid. I just finished watching for the first time in 16 years, with mixed opinions. First, the story is good. The dialogue is decent (swearing in a Disney kids movie? Right on!). The cinematography is ok. The directing is pretty good. The acting is okay. The music is HORRIBLE. I've noticed, not only with this picture, but almost every Disney movie from the late 60s on into the mid 80s, if you turn the music off, it's actually more enjoyable to watch. Being a music theory major in college, I have come to really appreciate good scoring for movies. There are several scenes where the music is entirely inappropriate (such as after the crash, when they're rounding up all the equipment and animals and the music is straight from Yee Haw). Still, after all these years, it was good to watch it again. So if you can cringe your way through the sappy music, you're good to go with this edgy Disney movie.
I had previously written to the IMDB about this film and I wanted to add a few more comments about it because it is one of my favorites of all time. I think it is Disney's best film and I only wish that more people could see it because it has never been shown on TV. Ernest K. Gann who wrote the story for the film also wrote the classic John Wayne film The High And The Mighty. He also wrote another fine film about an airplane disaster called Fate Is the Hunter with Glenn Ford. Elliott Gould gives his finest performance in this film. This man is probably best known as Barbara Striesands husband and I feel that is a great dishonor to him. They gave her the American Film Institute's Lifetime Ahcievement Award and he has been in almost four times as many films as her. Is that justice? Genevieve Bujold is wonderful in this film and the chemistry between her and Gould is wonderful as well. She is an actress who has never been given her just due as well. She made a film a couple years later with Chris Reeve called Monsignor that was such a devastating bomb that it blacklisted her for life basically. Rick Schroder is one of the few child actors who made a successful transition to adult roles. This was his first film after he made The Champ with Jon Voight (people said that he was one of the most appealling child actors to come along) he proves in this film that he can act and I think it is his best performance. There was a biography of Walt Disney called Walt Disney Hollywood's Dark Prince that mentioned that TLFONA was one of the biggest bombs in the history of the studio and I still cannot understand why. This is family film at its very best. This movie is a classic and one of the fondest memories of my childhood is watching it.
this is the best feel-good movie of all time. nothing too bad happens but it's not boring. nothing too surprising happens but it's not predictable. nothing too funny happens but it's not stupid. it's corny but perfectly so. Elliott Gould is good. he is a better actor when it comes to serious/comedies, like Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye" and/or "California Split", but he's having fun here and so does the audience. the woman in the movie is cute. she is a missionary and Gould flies her to an island but they go the wrong way and end up on the wrong island, this one seemingly deserted. tagging along, as it were, are two kids played by Ricky Shroder (now Rick) and Tammy Lauren, who would grow up to be very gorgeous. also there is a bull and a duck, as the kids pets, and two Japanese men on the island who've been there for 35 years and don't know that the war is over. they are gungho with the rising flag, but then they turn good when the missionary lady goes and meets them. and then they put the rising star flag on the plane that crashed that they all transform into a boat. here i had my only problem. the Japanese, during the war, sided with the Nazis. wouldn't Elliott Gould or the missionary lady have a problem with having that flag as the main mast on the ship? and wouldn't the two men, upon learning that America nuked three of their cities to win the war, get sort of angry? but oh well, it doesn't matter. there is a shark in the movie too and it's very scary, even though it's only stock footage, and the ending is almost sad but then gets happy and you will smile during the end credits. oh and another funny thing is that the credits in the beginning happen twenty minutes into the movie after a couple of thugs, who are after Gould for owing them money, are chasing the airplane that is taking off. and the two thugs are played by Dana Elcar of "Baretta" fame, and John Ryan ("Runaway Train"), usually a heavy in movies. here he's bumbling. Vincent Gardenia makes an important cameo. he played the chief inspector in "Death Wish" who was always sneezing.
When high-living pilot Noah Dugan (Elliott Gould) agrees to fly prim
missionary Bernadette Lafleur (Genevieve Bujold) and her cargo of
animals formed by an array of minor-menagerie (such as goats , bulls ,
assorted poultry , pigs , sheep and a four-legged potential
scene-stealer : a cow , among others) to a far island , it is only
because he is on the run from a pair of hoodlums (two bookies played by
notorious secondaries : John P. Ryan and Dana Elcar) . What neither of
them know is that two of Miss Lafleur's little pupils (Rick Schroder ,
Tammy Lauren) have stowed away hidden into plane rear . As a Boeing B
29 carrying various animals makes a forced landing on a desert island,
and the only chance to escape is to convert the broken-down plane into
a boat . There they discover which it is not as abandoned as they
thought. Then they meet two Japanese soldiers isolated from second
world war .
This amusing Disney movie packs fun situations , easygoing characters , emotions , humor and features impressive flying sequences with a Boeing B-29 Superfortress . However , it failed at box office and was panned by some reviewers , but is today well considered . Enjoyable cast , whose roster of interpretations includes a sympathetic acting by Elliott Gould as a pilot who must scheme their way off a deserted island following the crash landing and attractive Genevieve Bujold who holds her own admirably . And two likable little boys playing as orphans, Rick Schroder and Tammy Lauren , both of whom would have an important career , especially in TV . Furthermore , two Japanese actor as Yuki Shimoda as Hiro and John Fujioka as Cleveland , the latter would play one year later : "Keep Your Hands Off the Island" a similar role along with Terence Hill and Bud Spencer . Nice production design by Preston Ames , five B-29 Superfortresses were acquired in the spectacular flying images . One was used for interior shots at the Disney studio. Another was used for night sequences afloat in MGM's outdoor tank. The third was used for the crash site on the island and the fourth was made into the floating Noah's Ark. Colorful and bright cinematography by Charles Wheeler . Agreeable musical score by the prestigious Maurice Jarre , including some catching songs .
The motion picture was well directed by Charles Jarrott , recently deceased . Jarrot's filmmaking largely keeps sentimentality throughout . Charles was a brilliant craftsman who directed all kind of genres , and he stood out in his historical movies as ¨Mary , Queen of Scots¨ and ¨Anne of the Thousand days¨. He directed adventure as ¨The Dove¨, dramas as ¨The other side of midnight¨ , Biography as ¨Boy in blue¨ , thriller as ¨The amateur¨ , TV movies as ¨Night of the fox¨ , ¨Daniel Steel's changes¨ , ¨Barbara Hutton story¨ and Disney movies as ¨The littlest horse thieves¨, Condorman¨ and this ¨The last flight of Noah ark¨. Rating : 6.5/10 . Worthwhile seeing .
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Noah Dugan is an unemployed pilot who's in a big jam. Deep in debt and
on the run from bookies due to his betting on the horses, he now finds
himself having to choose between being physically harmed by mob strong
arms or taking a job at a friend's fly by night cargo airline flying a
young missionary and a load of farm animals aboard a beat up old B-29
Superfortress to an island in the South Pacific. Against his better
judgment, he straps himself into the pilot's seat and takes off. But
also aboard are two young stowaways who can't bear to see their animal
pets go away, and Noah's not counting on a defective auto-pilot and a
compass giving a false direction due to a tape player messing with the
magnets. Needless to say, they end up far off course and with the
plane's four engines cutting out one by one, they manage to crash land
on a small island somewhere in the middle of nowhere. But they are not
alone there. Two Japanese soldiers who have been stuck there since WWII
initially attack the new visitors thinking the war is still on...but
after some introductions, things smooth over and they put their heads
together and build a boat out of the downed aircraft. At sea they
encounter storms, sharks, and the quest to find land...doing so by
sending a duck out to sea with a help note attached. A happy ending is
the result with all.
A decent Disney film if one can get past the obvious factual errors. A B-29 could never be flown with just one pilot...the control layout requires several crew members. But the story is fun, and the scenery is great....and aviation buffs can take in a wonderful opening credit sequence of a B-29 soaring majestically over a modern day San Francisco Bay.
I remember it being very good. Christians won't be offended. A missionary brings a man to Christ, and they do not make Christians appear to be idiots. A good adventure movie, with a tinge of action and adventure, though not violent.
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