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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:
...
Barney
...
...
Gilbert Carson
...
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:

Finding it after four decades is quite a challenge . . . but holding onto it is really an adventure! [USA Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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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

One of two 1981 movies directed by David Hemmings first released in that year. The other picture was The Survivor (1981). Both films were made with producer Antony I. Ginnane and both movies featured an airplane as a central story element. See more »

Goofs

When Brown's goons are trying to pull Gib out of the hybrid vehicle, the treads on the vehicle are clearly not moving, even though the vehicle is moving forwards. The hull of the vehicle is different, with the frame extending well in front of the helicopter cabin, giving away the fact that this was a model on rails. See more »

Quotes

Barney: It's all right. Air's gettin' a little thin.
Sally: Can we go where it's thick?
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
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User Reviews

 
Adventure movie filled with chases , emotion , sympathetic performances and marvelous outdoors
7 April 2014 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

In a lake high in the mountains of New Zealand hunter Gibbie Gibson (Donald Pleasence) discovers a plane wreck , the contents of the stash in the cargo aircraft comprised a shipment of gold war medals, Christmas mail correspondence, a crate of 100 bottles of Kentucky-made Old Crow bourbon whiskey, 1000 gold-bars in gold bullion and the entire payroll in cash for the American South Pacific Fleet. The value of the cargo in the film's story-line was said to be US $50 million . Finding it after four decades is quite a challenge , but holding onto it is really an adventure . It puts moody Gibson , her daughter (Lesley Ann Warren) and an adventurer , a helicopter pilot (Ken Wahl), chasing the treasure hidden since 1944 in the plane wreck of the Yankee Zephyr and risking their lives thereby. Meanwhile , a nasty gang boss (George Peppard) and his hoodlums on their tails . As a group of crooks follow and threaten them .

This exciting film packs thrills , non-stop action , humor , helicopter pursuits , motorboat chases and wonderful landscapes . The picture was originally conceived as being a comic-adventure caper in the style of 1963's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and the film was "New Zealand's first big budget ($6 million) co-production". There's denying the energy in the frenetically paced flick but it remains flawed and sometimes unfocused. One of the big early creative decisions about the picture was whether this action-adventure-race film would be an off-road land or underwater salvage movie . The movie was re-titled 'Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr' for its distribution in the USA and it was first shown in America via pay-cable, where it carried no rating but was preceded with a warning vis-a-vis violence and strong language . The casting is frankly good , as Star Billing the followings : Ken Wahl , Lesley Ann Warren , Bruno Lawrence and special mention to George Peppard as a snarling villain and Donald Pleasence as a likable drunk . Gorgeous outdoors shot in location in the rugged terrain from New Zealand . Although the film was made in New Zealand instead of Australia due to an Australian Actor's Equity dispute , this was due to the refusal to permit four foreign actors to be cast in the film's four top-billed lead roles ,as such, this meant there would be not one Australian actor in any of these parts . Before the picture's setting was located to the South Island of New Zealand due to union disputes, the film was originally intended to be set in the rain forests of tropical north Queensland, Australia, specifically in the region of Cape York.

This was second of two Australian theatrical feature films that were directed by David Hemmings in the early 1980s , the first was The survivor (1981) . Both films were made with producer Antony I. Ginnane and both movies featured an airplane as a central story element . David Hemmings replaced Richard Franklin as director. The latter was the film's original director but withdrew from the production when the filming location changed from Australia to New Zealand . This was last cinema movie directed by David Hemmings for around eleven years until 1992's Dark Horse (1992). Hemmings' only other theatrical feature after that movie was 1996's Lone Justice 3 (1996). In between these three pictures Hemmings did direct in television such as A Team (1983), Airwolf (1984), Magnum P.I. (1980) and Quantum Leap (1989).


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