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Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981)
"Race for the Yankee Zephyr" (original title)

 -  Action | Drama | Adventure  -  April 1984 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 521 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 5 critic

In a lake high in the mountains of New Zealand hunter Gibbie Gibson discovers a plane wreck from ww-ii. When he tells it around, a gang of crooks follows and threatens him and his daughter,... See full summary »

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Title: Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Barney
...
...
Gilbert Carson
...
Theo Brown
Bruno Lawrence ...
Baker
Grant Tilly ...
Collector
Robert Bruce ...
The Bartender
Harry Rutherford-Jones ...
Harry
Tony Sparks ...
Brown's Henchman
Clark Walkington ...
Brown's Henchman
Frank Taurua ...
Brown's Henchman
Steve Nicolle ...
Brown's Henchman
Dick Jones ...
Brown's Henchman
Dennis Hunt ...
Brown's Henchman
Edit

Storyline

In a lake high in the mountains of New Zealand hunter Gibbie Gibson discovers a plane wreck from ww-ii. When he tells it around, a gang of crooks follows and threatens him and his daughter, because they know there are 50 million dollars in the wreck. Helicopter pilot Barney helps Gibbie against them, risking his life thereby. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Forty years ago, a government plane carrying the world's greatest fortune disappeared over the most desolate yet beautiful place on earth [USA Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

April 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The make and model of the "The Yankee Zephyr" airplane was a US Navy DC-3 cargo plane - Dakota NZ3518. "The Yankee Zephyr" was played by an actual real-life DC-3 plane. It was repainted in United States Army Air Forces (AAF / USAAF) colors for the film and then sunk in Lake Wakitipu near Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand. The plane was then raised from the lake after principal photography was completed. According to the forum on the 'Wings Over New Zealand Aviation' website, the plane was moored at Kelvin Peninsular in Lake Wakatipu for several months after production on the movie was finished. It was floating for a time about 100 meters off the shore under rafts of 44-gallon drums under its wings and fuselage. Jet boaters would jet-ski over the planes wings for fun. The plane was eventually scuttled, scrapped and finally sold but its ZK-BEU cockpit was salvaged and saved. See more »

Goofs

There were apparently two different chopper/tractor hybrids made. The one used for most of filming had exposed drive wheels between the tank-type tread and the hull of the vehicle. However, the vehicle that Brown stops on the road has narrow treads with no inner wheels, and the wheel rims inside of the tread are totally different from those on the vehicle in other scenes. The cockpit plexiglas on the vehicles differs between the scene where Brown stops them and every other scene involving the hybrid vehicle. See more »

Quotes

Gilbert Carson: Back down there, god knows what it's like, down there. Could be murder, down in there. Who knows?
Theo Brown: Could be murder, right here.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the first unit credits, Theo Brown pops up in the lake, wearing an inflatable life vest and bellowing for help. He continues to call for assistance as the second unit credits roll. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ozploitation Trailer Explosion (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Browneye
(uncredited)
Performed by Donald Pleasence and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ain't no race like a drunken Aussie race!
10 July 2013 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

First and foremost I just have to state that nobody – and I do mean NOBODY – could depict a jolly old drunk like Donald Pleasance could! I already worshiped his alcoholic character in "Wake in Fright" (also an Aussie movie and quite possibly the most underrated film of all time), but that was a serious motion picture whereas "The Race for Yankee Zephyr" is more of a light-headed and comical treasure hunting adventure. Either way, Pleasance effortlessly steals every scene he's appearing in as the unintelligibly mumbling and heavily drinking poacher Gilbert Carson. His delicious and infectious laughter alone is enough reason to seek out this sadly forgotten early 80's flick as far as I'm concerned! Along with his "business" partner Barney, Carson is out in the beautiful New Zealand Mountains when a deer hunt goes awry and he falls from the shoddy helicopter into a lake. When he recovers, he actually notices that he stumbled upon the remains of an old American WWII aircraft named Yankee Zephyr. Now, during the brilliantly nostalgic opening sequences, we learned that this aircraft carried on board the Christmas gifts for all overseas fighting soldiers, including many cases of Whiskey, army decorations and a damn big load of gold bars! Carson hardly has the time to convince Barney and his estranged daughter Sally to help him bring back all this richness, as suddenly the obnoxious British millionaire Theo Brown arrives in town to claim the gold. Carson alone knows the exact location, but he definitely doesn't intend to share the gold – let alone the whiskey – with Brown, thus the race for Yankee Zephyr begins. I've read quite a number of negative and complaining reviews about this movie, but I seriously can't figure out why that is. Sure the production values aren't on the same level as other contemporary adventure movies (like "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or "Time Bandits") but it's nevertheless an exhilarating and enthusiastic effort that put a vicious grin on my face from start to finish. What's not to like in fact? There are numerous chase sequences on the land, in the air and on the water! There are Aussie bar fights and astounding landscapes to admire. And apart from Pleasance delightful over-the-top performance, there's also George Peppard who clearly enjoyed portraying an exaggeratedly stereotypical British villain. Heck, the film even shamelessly copies the legendary theme music from "The Great Escape"! Especially since I've seen the downright genius documentary "Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!" (if you consider yourself to be a cult-movie fanatic and you haven't yet seen this documentary, first of all shame on you and, secondly, hurry up) I've been moderately obsessed with Australian exploitation cinema and this one is a stellar entry. Quite the "dream team" was involved in this, notably writer Everett De Roche ("Razorback", "Long Weekend", "Roadgames"…) and David Hemmings in the director's chair. The latter is mainly known as a great actor ("Deep Red", "Blow-Up") but he also directed a couple of remarkable titles, like "The Survivor" and of course this little gem. Search for it! Unless you're a sourpuss, I guarantee you will not regret it!


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Go buy the movie, so we can talk about it knsevy
What a stupid cover art of the DVD!!! akuzmenko
Poor. Not even Donald Pleasence could save it. limecat86
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