Fearless (1993)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  5 November 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 16,869 users  
Reviews: 111 user | 49 critic

A man's personality is dramatically changed after surviving a major airline crash.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nan Gordon
Jeff Gordon (as John De Lancie)
Spencer Vrooman ...
Jonah Klein
Daniel Cerny ...
Byron Hummel
Gail Klein
Cindy Dickens
Peter Hummel


After a terrible air disaster, survivor Max Klein emerges a changed person. Unable to connect to his former life or to wife Laura, he feels godlike and invulnerable. When psychologist Bill Perlman is unable to help Max, he has Max meet another survivor, Carla Rodrigo, who is racked with grief and guilt since her baby died in the crash which she and Max survived. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some people are afraid of nothing.


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and airplane crash realism | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 November 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Joyride  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£423,383 (UK) (20 May 1994)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The airplane crash site was recreated in a field in Northern California and was exactly modeled on a crash that occurred outside Sioux City in Iowa in 1989. The "accident" was reported by several flights flying over the scene. The field was first planted with 85 acres of corn which was then bulldozed to recreate the gouge that a crashing plane would have made. The adjoining cotton field was also purchased to make the crash appear bigger. 140 extras were employed for the scene along with 40 members of the Kern County and Bakersfield Fire Department. One of the town's main roads was closed for a week, and the local electricity company was persuaded to knock down several pylons and snarl up half a mile of electric cable to create a scene of almost total devastation. The crash site took a total of 10 days to prepare, and included throwing 600 suitcases and their contents (all items purchased from local thrift stores) liberally around the site. In total, the recreation cost $2 million. See more »


While driving after the crash, Max checks his map and points to Highway 99 between Bakersfield and Los Angeles. However, he is obviously out in the middle of the Mojave desert and nowhere near either city. See more »


[first lines]
Cop: [seeing more survivors] Hey, there's more over here! Bring another team! Another team here by the tail! We're going to need a lot more help.
See more »


Featured in The Adam and Joe Show: Episode #1.1 (1996) See more »


From Symphony No. 3 ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs")
Written by Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
David Zinman, conductor
Dawn Upshaw, soprano
Performed by London Sinfonietta
See more »

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User Reviews

A transcendental blending of music and film.
15 July 1999 | by (Marshalltown, Ia.) – See all my reviews

None of us can view a movie objectively apart from the sum of who we are. Having a classical music background, I am always keyed into a film's use of music. Fearless reminds me that the combination of music and film is an art form which has been sadly neglected in modern culture and trashed by MTV. This movie is high art. The final sequence is emotionally and spiritually a transcending experience, illustrating the bittersweet reality of human existence. An experience not available through words, music, or images on their own. I cried like a baby. Movies tend to be built upon a setup and a payoff. Tension and release are the common currency for most art. I have never seen a better cinematic payoff than the one Fearless provides. And that's because the setup is flawless. There is endless brilliance here in the telling of the story. Don't miss the use of light. Light flashing across Max's face when death is at the door; in the plane and the car scene with Carla.(If possible, Fearless might have been even more effective in black and white.) The subtle transition to slow motion during the scene with Carla and the baby at the mall. Jeff Bridges is irresistible in this performance. His character has been translated out of the realm of corporeal perspective.(As demonstrated through his allergy to strawberries.) When he walks through the plane and assures the passengers that everything will be fine, I believed him. His appearance is almost a religious experience. But his serenity cannot last. He must be reborn into the frailties of human existence or he will be estranged from the world. And that is the payoff. The glorious payoff in which death in an airplane crash becomes a poetic vision of the human experience. We live, we die, but we imbue the universe with a greater purpose even if there is no god to acknowledge it. I hope history will judge this movie to be a classic, unappreciated in it's time. This is Peter Weir's masterpiece. It's hard for me to believe that he could follow this effort with the extremely banal and uninspiring "Truman Show" But I suppose even Mozart had off days.

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hated it peterknockstead-1
The first strawberry-eating scene jwalla76
One of the greatest endings in film history driver_8
Oscar Nomination. Panterken
How could he have seen partner's decap. if he moved up to sit w/ boy? amili
Confiscating the sharps before the crash wvc-1
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