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Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land (1983)

The fictional story of the first "hypersonic" commercial passenger plane, which can make the flight from New York to London in a mere four hours. On the maiden flight of this plane, a minor... See full summary »

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(screenplay) (as Robert Malcolm Young), (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Josh Gilliam
...
Erica Hansen
...
Q. T. Thornwell
...
Nancy Gilliam
...
Bowdish (as George Di Cenzo)
...
Janet Briggs
...
Freddie Barrett
...
Laurie Hansen (as Heather Mc Adam)
Michael Sacks ...
Pete
Gary Bayer ...
Martin
Pat Corley ...
Joe Pedowski
...
Felix
...
Mrs. Harvey
Diane Stilwell ...
Betty
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Storyline

The fictional story of the first "hypersonic" commercial passenger plane, which can make the flight from New York to London in a mere four hours. On the maiden flight of this plane, a minor disaster occurs resulting in the plane actually leaving the Earth's atmosphere and orbiting around the globe. A lack of heat-resistant tiling prevents the plane from simply re-entering the atmosphere. With oxygen (and therefore time) running out, the crew of the plane and the crew on the ground must figure out a way to return the plane and its passengers to safety. Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The first hypersonic passenger plane marooned in outer space helpless ... ready for certain death. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

27 February 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Starflight One  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is loosely based on the novel "Orbit" by Thomas H. Block, from 1982. In the novel, a hypersonic plane on a cruise from New York to Sydney exceeds its cruise altitude due to sabotage by a revenge-seeking company engineer. See more »

Goofs

The Space Shuttle Columbia launches multiple times in one day, once with a two hour turnaround time. The absolute minimum turnaround time planned for the Space Shuttle orbiters was two weeks. However, the fastest actual turnaround during shuttle program history was 54 days, performed by the orbiter Atlantis on mission STS-61-B. See more »

Quotes

Joe Pedowski: You're gonna try to fly this thing back?
Captain Cody Briggs: Joe, did you ever skip a flat rock across a lake and watch it skim and bounce along the surface? I wanna give reentry that kind of shot.
Joe Pedowski: I have skipped a few rocks on a few lakes in my time and I never saw yet one that didn't sink. It's one chance in a million.
Captain Cody Briggs: So was this accident.
Joe Pedowski: I am scared out of my mind being up here inside this plane and you want me to go outside?
[laughs nervously]
Joe Pedowski: oh no!
[pause]
Joe Pedowski: I'll need a wire stripper and some wire nuts... and ...
[...]
See more »

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User Reviews

I didn't know enough to laugh.
25 July 2013 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

When I saw this premier on TV I had high hopes that Dykstra would unleash his miniature wizardry on a made for TV movie. I mean, afterall, Star Wars? Star Trek? Battlestar Galactica SFX credits? We all had high hopes. Then the movie aired.

Well, to be honest, I don't recall much other than thinking that this was an extension of the Airport Franchise, only the first Airport film at least had some dramatic teeth in it. The subsequent sequels, even one with George Kennedy at the controls of a Concorde, seemed to get ever moreso dreary. Well, Starflight is no different, but, some, and I do emphasize SOME of the FX are decent enough.

The truth of the matter is that as per a previous reviewer, kids were savvy enough to know that planes couldn't reach suborbital velocities with the technology as it was explained. Heck, I think even reasonably educated adults probably had a few "huh" moments going for them as the drama unfolded.

The shooting style, the acting, the cast, the music, even launching the space shuttle, I could give all of that a pass, even seeing Lee Majors in this thing. But, when they put in the "one thing" that would save them, that's when I finally changed the channel. I think this film aired once more that same year late at night, or the following year during the summer, but, to the best of my knowledge, it never saw the light of day again.

If you're bored, need some airborne disaster action on your TV or computer monitor, then maybe give this thing a single viewing, but don't say I didn't warn you.


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