6.9/10
2,921
76 user 23 critic

Island in the Sky (1953)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama | 5 September 1953 (USA)
Trailer
2:44 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
A C-47 transport plane, named the Corsair, makes a forced landing in the frozen wastes of Labrador, and the plane's pilot, Captain Dooley, must keep his men alive in deadly conditions while waiting for rescue.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Ernest K. Gann (screenplay), Ernest K. Gann (novel)
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a commercial airliner develops engine problems on a trans-Pacific flight and the pilot loses his nerve, it is up to the washed-up co-pilot Dan Roman to bring the plane in safely.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Laraine Day
Blood Alley (1955)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

His ship seized by the Chinese Communists, American Merchant Captain Tom Wilder languishes in prison but Chinese villagers help him escape to sail them to Hong-Kong.

Directors: William A. Wellman, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Paul Fix
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Struggling to retain custody of his daughter following his divorce, football coach Steve Williams finds himself embroiled in a recruiting scandal at the tiny Catholic college he is trying ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: John Wayne, Donna Reed, Charles Coburn
The Sea Chase (1955)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

As World War II begins, German freighter Captain Karl Ehrlich tries to get his ship back to Germany through a gauntlet of Allied warships.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: John Wayne, Lana Turner, David Farrar
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During the 1860s in the South Pacific, Capt. Ralls, skipper of the Red Witch, has a series of adventures involving sunken gold bullion, pearls, natives, an unscrupulous ship owner and a giant octopus.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Gig Young
Jet Pilot (1957)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Air Force Colonel Jim Shannon is tasked to escort a defecting Soviet pilot who is scheming to lure Shannon to the USSR.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: John Wayne, Janet Leigh, Jay C. Flippen
Hondo (1953)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Army despatch rider Hondo Lane discovers a woman and young son living in the midst of warring Apaches and becomes their protector.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: John Wayne, Geraldine Page, Ward Bond
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

In the post-war Hawaii, House Un-American Activities Committee investigators Jim McLain and Mal Baxter hunt down Communists.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Nancy Olson, James Arness
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Quirt Evans, an all round bad guy, is nursed back to health and sought after by Penelope Worth, a Quaker girl. He eventually finds himself having to choose between his world and the world Penelope lives in.

Director: James Edward Grant
Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey
Tycoon (1947)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In South America, an American engineer is asked by his boss to build a mountain railroad tunnel following a shorter but more dangerous route.

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: John Wayne, Laraine Day, Cedric Hardwicke
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During WWII, a submarine's second in command inherits the problem of torpedoes that don't explode. When on shore, he is eager to win back his ex-wife.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: John Wayne, Patricia Neal, Ward Bond
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A dramatization of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Capt. Dooley
Lloyd Nolan ... Captain Stutz
Walter Abel ... Col. Fuller
James Arness ... Mac McMullen
Andy Devine ... Willie Moon
Allyn Joslyn ... J.H. Handy
Jimmy Lydon ... Murray (as James Lydon)
Harry Carey Jr. ... Ralph Hunt
Hal Baylor ... Stankowski
Sean McClory ... Frank Lovatt
Wally Cassell ... D'Annunzia
Gordon Jones ... Walrus
Frank Fenton ... Capt. Turner
Robert Keys Robert Keys ... Maj. Ditson
Sumner Getchell ... Lt. Cord
Edit

Storyline

A C-47 transport plane, named the Corsair, makes a forced landing in the frozen wastes of Labrador, and the plane's pilot, Captain Dooley, must keep his men alive in deadly conditions while waiting for rescue.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He Fought Every Futy of Man and Mountain To Get Where His Woman Was! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 September 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

William A. Wellman's Island in the Sky See more »

Filming Locations:

White Mountains, Arizona, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$967,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (WarnerPhonic/RCA Sound System)| 4-Track Stereo (WarnerPhonic/RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The little yellow radio shown in the movie was a actual radio. Its design was based on a World War II German emergency transmitter. It is a BC-778/SCR-578/AN-CRT3 emergency transmitter (it could not receive) affectionately called "Gibson Girl", a name taken from the narrow-waisted female drawings of 1890s fashion artist Charles Gibson. Its shape allowed the operator to hold it between the legs while cranking it the necessary eighty RPM to produce enough electricity to operate. It could be set to automatically send an S.O.S. signal, or switched to send Morse Code signals. Early models transmitted only on 500kHz, later models also could transmit on 8,280kHz (later modified to 8,364kHz). It was notorious for being tough to crank. See more »

Goofs

The US insignia on the fuselage have the red line through the center of the 'wing-portion' around the central star. This was not placed there until post-war ~1947. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Dooley: I'll shoot the first one of ya to leave camp. I'll aim for your legs. I may miss and hit ya in the back of the head. Either way serves ya right.
See more »

Connections

Version of Fate Is the Hunter (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Waters
(uncredited)
Written by Emil Newman and Irving Newman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
ISLAND IN THE SKY (William A. Wellman, 1953) ***
21 May 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This proved to be an unjustly neglected gem, especially in view of the overrated THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY (1954) – which I watched in conjunction with it – from the same team. As with John Wayne's other Batjac productions, the film hasn't been seen in decades but, hopefully, it will be rediscovered now via Paramount's SE DVD.

It features one of Wayne's more interesting roles, and his performance is accordingly impressive. Director Wellman and Wayne (in his capacity as executive producer) managed to make a low-key and unusually realistic film, which celebrates camaraderie, amid the studio system – with very little concession to typical Hollywood trappings (unlike its glamorized and inflated follow-up!). Ernest K. Gann, who spent his life in aviation and who followed this with THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, for the first time adapted his own novel to the screen and this gave the script a definite ring of authenticity: consequently, we find here any number of wonderful human (and often humorous) vignettes – but especially poignant are Sean McClory's death scene and the finale where the downed airmen are, at long last, spotted by their comrades who form the search party. Besides, the black-and-white cinematography (by Archie Stout and William H. Clothier, both of whom shot many a John Wayne picture) is remarkable and, done with little or no special effects, was – by all accounts – seminal in its field. The cast, too, is peppered with familiar faces (either established – and reliable – character actors or upcoming stars) but, more importantly, solid performers all around.

Wellman, a flying aficionado as well, made 11 films on the subject and numbers this one among his favorites (I tend to agree with him, given that I was slightly let down by some of his more renowned work like BEAU GESTE [1939], BATTLEGROUND [1949] and THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY itself!). The director's long career in films, tackling all kinds of subjects, was undoubtedly an interesting one: though he never quite achieved the reputation of, say, John Ford or Howard Hawks, he was of the same breed (and, indeed, this particular film has the feel of these two giants' work – both of whom, obviously, also proved crucial to John Wayne's career – and especially Hawks' CEILING ZERO [1935] and ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS [1939], with which ISLAND IN THE SKY shares some of its plot line).


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 76 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed