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The Survivor (1981)

5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 567 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 41 critic

A plane crashes just after takeoff and the only survivor, the pilot walks out of the wreckage. He doesn't remember the explosion or the crash, but 300 passengers & crew are dead. As the investigation goes on people are wanting answers.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The Survivor (1981)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Hobbs
...
Priest
Angela Punch McGregor ...
Beth (as Angela Punch-McGregor)
Peter Sumner ...
Tewson
Lorna Lesley ...
Susan
Ralph Cotterill ...
Slater
Adrian Wright ...
Goodwin
Tyler Coppin ...
Boy
Kirk Alexander ...
Dr. Martindale
Jon Nicholls ...
Jackson
Roger Cardwell ...
Flight Engineer
Jenufa Scott-Roberts ...
Stewardess
John Edmund ...
Goswell
Denzil Howson ...
Rogan
Edit

Storyline

Keller is an experienced pilot whose plane crashes in a field near a town. He ends up being the sole survivor, but he's unable to remember what happened that caused the plane to crash. He also can't explain how come he's the only one who survived without even a scratch while everyone else on board died. A local female psychic, Hobbs, who's been having visions ever since the night of the crash, and Keller's own sense of survivor's guilt convince Keller that he needs to get to the bottom of things. Meanwhile, some of the children killed in the crash begin appearing to some of the locals and an eerie series of strange deaths occurs. Keller and Hobbs approach the local priest, who seem to be the only one in town who believes in Keller's innocence and Hobbs disturbing visions.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Pilot Error...Or Supernatural Terror? Only One Man Can Tell! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 July 1981 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Aterrorizante Confronto Final  »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 1,300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original release)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The airplane crash sequence at the beginning of the film took several weeks to set up for filming. It was filmed on a vacant block of land at Panorama, south of Adelaide, South Australia. Over 2000 onlookers turned up to watch the spectacular scene being filmed which took only thirty minutes of filming time for the plane to be completely destroyed by fire. See more »

Goofs

During the takeoff roll, the first officer calls "Vee-one", then "Vee-two", then "rotate". V2 is the climb-out speed with an engine failure, and is never less than the rotate speed, so would not be achieved until the aircraft is airborne. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An engrossing mystery.
29 July 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

One of only a few James Herbert adaptations to reach the screen (the others being "Deadly Eyes" a.k.a. "The Rats", "Fluke", and "The Haunted"), this is a pretty effective movie overall. Directed by actor David Hemmings ("Blowup", "Deep Red"), it's handled with a large degree of sensitivity and subtlety, and is quite slowly paced as well, focusing on building its atmosphere rather than centering around shocks

  • all reasons why some horror fans might not care for it too much. But


if you're patient with this one, you will be rewarded with a film that succeeds at creating a vague sense of unease and maintaining a level of unpredictability.

It certainly begins with a bang: a 747 plane crash lands in the Australian countryside, and its pilot Keller (Robert Powell) walks away without a scratch. Burdened with the guilt of being the only survivor, he's also suffering from amnesia and is determined to discover the cause of the crash. He's eventually assisted by a young woman with psychic abilities, played by an especially beautiful Jenny Agutter.

Also in the cast are Australian actress Angela Punch McGregor, whom you may remember as Michael Caine's leading lady in the film version of Peter Benchley's "The Island", and Hollywood legend Joseph Cotten, although Cotten truthfully never gets a whole lot to do as a local priest. Thankfully, Powell and Agutter are so good that they carry the movie quite well.

The paranormal is introduced into this moody story a bit at a time, with Hemmings never going for the cheap thrill; whatever violence is in the movie is mostly done off screen. Audiences may well appreciate the incredible work that the production does in creating a crash site, and enjoy the way that things wrap up with a creepy reveal / confrontation and a nifty (if not all that original) final twist.

As was said, this may not be to every taste, but genre fans looking for more obscure efforts from decades past are advised to look into it.

Seven out of 10.


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