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The Last Flight of Noah's Ark
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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

One of first Disney films with an edge

Author: Zorba the Bomb from Ann Arbor
9 March 2000

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.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Pretty good, with exceptions.

Author: behemuthm from Los Angeles, CA
10 May 2001

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.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Good Disney film about some castaways and their efforts to save themselves from a forced landing

Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain
29 January 2014

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 .

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A Feel-Good Movie that Really Works!

Author: Well18 from quebec, california
24 January 2005

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.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Elliott Gould in benign Disney-mode--like a G-rated Bogart

Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
26 June 2017

Unemployed pilot must pay 5 G's in 24 hours to his bookmaker or else his goons will work him over; he reluctantly accepts a job flying a feisty missionary and her farm animals to an island in the South Pacific in a rickety B-29 bomber, but the plan goes awry. First, the couple is joined by two stowaway orphans who are worried about the animals, then the plane goes off-course and the pilot is forced to crash land the aircraft on the beach of an uncharted island--inhabited by two Japanese soldiers who are unaware that WWII is over. In the first half of the 1970s, Elliott Gould made film after film, mostly counterculture comedies which established him as an anti-hero; he appealed to the young people of the era who hoped to shout down the Establishment. By 1980, Gould had become part of the Establishment, a working stiff in Hollywood, and the industry's middle ground (Disney) was eager to turn him into a grouchy sweetie-puss, a Bogart father-figure for marriage-minded women and wet-eyed youngsters. Gould doesn't embarrass himself here--he's firm with both the kids and the missionary (a forthright but not stubborn Genevieve Bujold)--but he's coasting, his energy at half-mast. The film, adapted from Ernest K. Gann's story "The Gremlin's Castle", has elements of "Swiss Family Robinson", "The African Queen" and even (God help us) "Jaws", but director Charles Jarrott blessedly keeps it moving instead of stopping to preach. There are things Jarrott probably had no control over, such as the kids fussing and crying over the animals or Maurice Jarre's cloying music, which tugs at the tear ducts. It doesn't quite work, but there are compensations. Gould and Bujold manage to develop a faintly-warm rapport, and Charles F. Wheeler's cinematography is excellent. The island location is lovely, and the Japanese men (John Fujioka and Yuki Shimoda) are handled with respect. As for the bookmaker, we are to assume he got his money, and also that the seasick bull made a speedy recovery. This is Disney, after all. **1/2 from ****

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

For fans of Gould, Gardenia, and Ryan hear this ....

Author: merklekranz from United States
15 June 2016

While Vincent Gardenia and J.P. Ryan only appear in the film's beginning, they are pretty much in character. Gardenia wise cracking and Ryan playing a really small part as a "heavy" after Elliott Gould for money owed to his bookie. The story is rather "formula driven". Plane carrying animals goes down on an island. Japanese Soldiers appear, eventually making friends with Gould and Genieve Bujold. Two kids who were stowaways are the only reason this is a family film. I found them to be more annoying than anything, but obviously they were not going to go away. Once the plane is turned into a raft, we get the expected crisis of the minute, including a shark attack, and a storm. All ends well, and the movie is far from memorable, especially for adults. - MERK

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Enjoyable family film

Author: TurboarrowIII from United Kingdom
28 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think this is an enjoyable and happy family film.

A Superfortress, flown by Elliott Gould, (As Noah Dugan..hence the title of the film) crashes on a supposedly uninhabited island after batteries in a radio cause the compass to read wrongly and make the plane go off course.

Along with Gould are a missionary, played by Genevieve Bujold, two children played by Ricky Schroder and Tammy Lauren plus a lot of animals.

The island they crash on has two Japanese soldiers left there after WW2 who don't know the war has ended. Eventually they work together to turn the crashed plane into a boat which they use to try to get back to civilisation.

The performances are very good. Gould produces a great performance which is so much better than in Escape to Athena made just before this in which he hammed it up badly. Here he is sensitive and believable as the gruff but caring Dugan. Bujold is also good as the missionary. She is very good in the way she gets the two Japanese soldiers to work with them to convert the plane into a boat. Both the kids are good too. Especially Schroder who was very good at making people feel sadness with his heartfelt crying especially when one of the animals was going to be shot when it was injured.

This isn't a film with any real surprises and has the expected happy ending as they get rescued and Gould and Bujold get married but it is a pleasant, cheery family film which I thought was very enjoyable.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Bookies, B-29, and a Boatload of Barnyard Buddies!

Author: cairn6 from New England
22 September 2012

*** 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.

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7 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

what a great film

Author: dtucker86 from Germany
12 April 2002

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.

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4 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Been a while since I've seen it, but...

Author: The Peacemaker from Canada
16 June 2000

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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