7.1/10
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42 user 19 critic

Five Came Back (1939)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Thriller | 23 June 1939 (USA)
A plane has engine trouble while flying over a jungle inhabited by cannibals.

Director:

John Farrow

Writers:

Jerome Cady (screenplay) (as Jerry Cady), Dalton Trumbo (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Chester Morris ... Bill
Lucille Ball ... Peggy Nolan
Wendy Barrie ... Alice Melhorne
John Carradine ... Crimp
Allen Jenkins ... Pete
Joseph Calleia ... Vasquez
C. Aubrey Smith ... Prof. Henry Spengler
Kent Taylor ... Joe Brooks
Patric Knowles ... Judson Ellis
Elisabeth Risdon ... Martha Spengler
Casey Johnson Casey Johnson ... Tommy Mulvaney
Dick Hogan ... Larry
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Storyline

Twelve people are aboard Coast Air Line's flagship the Silver Queen enroute to South America when the airplane encounters a storm and is blown off course. Crashing into jungles known to be inhabited by head hunters, pilots Bill and Joe race against time to fix the engines and attempt a take off. The situation brings out the best and worst in the stranded dozen as they create a makeshift runway and prepare to escape before the natives attack. But damage to the plane and low fuel reserves means that only 5 people can be carried to safety. Do both Bill and Joe make the flight out? And what about the rest: Peggy, a woman with a slightly tarnished past; Pete, a racketeer who is escorting his boss's young son Tommy; Alice and Judson, eloping lovers who seem to have less in common as their plight changes one of them in the other's eyes; Crimp, who is bringing criminal Vasquez to justice; Prof. and Mrs. Spengler, an elderly couple whom become closer due to their predicament; and finally, is ... Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Fice can escape in the crippled plane! Four must die! One must choose! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lucille Ball and director John Farrow frequently clashed on set. Farrow had a reputation for harshly criticizing his actors and for setting a schedule of lengthy and grueling work days. Ball characterized Farrow as verbally abusive, particularly after tensions flared once production had fallen behind schedule. See more »

Goofs

Adding to the comments about the revolver: It's possible that a couple of the expended shells had been previously removed from the cylinder. However, Vasquez shoots Ellis just before the plane takes off, but there's no indication that he removed any spent shells and little time for him to have done so. See more »

Quotes

Vasquez: Hanging is such an unpleasant death. Besides, a hanged man always dies alone. I much prefer dying in the company of decent citizens like you... always provided I'm the last to die.
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Connections

Referenced in Pitch Black (2000) See more »

User Reviews

 
Top survival drama with rushed, unsatisfying climax...
24 April 2006 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Twelve passengers in a twin-engine plane crash-land in a rain forest just east of the Andes. While the two pilots attempt to fix the aircraft, the travelers get to know each other. Fast-paced drama rolls right along, with the usual cast introductions handled this time with flair and flip sarcasm (Lucille Ball, apparently playing a tart, keeps getting put down by the others but takes all the criticism in stride!). Film is extremely compact, but this hinders it in the end as the final sequence doesn't feel fully played-out and the last shots are disappointing. Otherwise, well-scripted (Dalton Trumbo and Nathanael West are just two of the writers credited), acted with high style and briskly directed by John Farrow, who later remade this story as "Back From Eternity". *** from ****


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Five Came Back See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$225,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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