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.
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 »
During the Alaska gold rush, prospector George sends partner Sam to Seattle to bring his fiancée but when it turns out that she married another man, Sam returns with a pretty substitute, the hostess of the Henhouse dance hall.
One disaster after another happens on this trans-Pacific flight. You have the pilot who loses his nerve! The washed-up co-pilot. The milquetoast flight engineer. The young hot shot second officer. And a cabin full of passengers with every range of problems and personalities there could possibly be. Here you have the Duke in a role he didn't want, and a movie with the title song that became Duke's theme. What else could any John Wayne fan want? It's all here, and then some.Written by
One of the reasons that all-star casts became in vogue for 1970s disaster films was because audiences needed to differentiate between up to twenty disparate characters in order to follow the relationships in the plot, and familiar faces cut the audience's work in half. (Director Sidney Lumet used the same philosophy in casting Murder on the Orient Express ). Because The High and the Mighty (1954) could not attract top talent, one of its primary criticisms in the intervening years has been the pronounced challenge in keeping the passengers straight because, though the film rallied some of the finest character actors in Hollywood, their faces were not recognizable enough to distinguish the characters. See more »
When stewardess Spalding was preparing the liquor drinks, a problem with the plane caused a severe vibration. The table and the drinks shook, jumped and nearly fell, yet she did not shake, nor did the walls, or the curtain right behind her. See more »
Soundtrack music is important. Try thinking of 'Star Wars' without John Williams' symphonic score, and you'll see what I'm saying. Dimitri Tiomkin knew exactly how to write for this picture, and how to move the audience, for without his classic and at times choral-accentuated theme and the rousing orchestral cues throughout, this would have been merely a good film rather than the near-great film that it is. Had it been made this year, for example, using a contemporary film composer, I believe TH&TM wouldn't carry it off.
There doesn't seem to be a replacement for Tiomkin on the horizon, and we couldn't afford to lose him.
The best lines belong to Jan Sterling (that cosmetics scene is still gripping), Robert Newton, and lovely Claire Trevor, and there's a great low-keyed, anticlimactic finale.
A Nine from me.
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