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Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981)

Race for the Yankee Zephyr (original title)
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:
...
...
Sally
...
...
Theo Brown
...
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
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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 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The American DC-3 military cargo plane seen in the movie was discovered by production designer Bernard Hides. The aircraft was originally manufactured in Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, USA during the 1940s. She first served with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) after which she was used as a training plane, a commercial carrier and finally as a 'stagliner' transporter carrying live deer across New Zealand. 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 »

Connections

Featured in Dead End Drive-In (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Browneye
(uncredited)
Performed by Donald Pleasence and chorus
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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!


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