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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 517 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 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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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:

A Forgotten Relic. A Dangerous Adventure. 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

Second of two pictures first released in consecutive years starring actor Ken Wahl which featured a World War II era cargo plane. In this 1981 film the aircraft was a US Navy DC-3 (Dakota NZ3518) cargo plane whereas in the previous year's Running Scared (1980) it was a C-47 (or Douglas C-47 Skytrain) cargo plane. See more »

Goofs

During the jet boat sequence, Barney (Ken Wahl) is shown in close-up sitting upright in the back of the boat leaning back with arms up on the seat backs beside him, but in the distance shots showing the boat racing around, everyone is hunched over supposedly ducking the shots being fired at them, but also conveniently hiding their faces and disguising the fact that they are all stunt doubles. 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 »


Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Lively, refreshing adventure forced under by Spielberg.
21 November 1998 | by (Adelaide, Australia) – See all my reviews

On the one hand, it is possible to view this film only as an attempt to make a star out of Ken Wahl, whose "The Soldier" had some box-office success. However, the film is infinitely more intresting if taken as an action-adventure in the mold that Spielberg would adopt for "Raiders of the Lost Ark", a film which when released around the same time, served to bury "Race" for all but the dilligent. Certainly the film is similar in certain respects, and may be seen as the first of the imitators, its plot and characters anticipating Robert Zemeckis' hit adventure, "Romancing the Stone". But it is individual enough to warrant some attention.

It was a US/Australia/New Zealand co-production, made by English actor/director David Hemmings on marvellous New Zealand locations. The story focuses on two helicopter pilots and hunters who search for the wreckage of an American plane reported missing during World War II, and carrying a large amount of gold and money. Naturally as the villains appear (led by dapper George Peppard), the film becomes a chase scenario in an agreeably old-fashioned mode, populated by eccentrics.

Donald Pleasance effortlessly steals his scenes, with a characterization resembling that in John Sturges' western epic comedy, "The Hallelujah Trail" some fifteen years earlier. And tpical of the movie's allusive nature, the music score by Brian May ("Mad Max") pays tribute to the theme from John Sturges' "The Great Escape", in which Pleasance also starred.

With sundrenched visuals, and a Europeanized use of open-frame compositions, this adventure is used by Hemmings to explore the lengths to which people are prepared to go to to justify their self-image and self-indulgence. It is less about obsession than about pride. Spielberg would also examine this theme in his later films, as would Hemmings, but to vastly different results.

In many respects, it is a minor film, and unlikely to come under any retrospective scrutiny. But for what it sets out to be, it is lean, charming and entertaining in a way that many film's strive for, but rarely achieve. A curiosity, for completists.


18 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
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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