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The High and the Mighty (1954)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 3 July 1954 (USA)
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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.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dan Roman
... May Holst
... Lydia Rice
... John Sullivan
... Sally McKee
... Ed Joseph
... Gustave Pardee
... Ken Childs
... Donald Flaherty
... Humphrey Agnew
... Lillian Pardee
... Gonzales (as Gonzalez Gonzalez)
... Howard Rice
... Lenny Wilby, navigator
... Hobie Wheeler
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Storyline

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 williamsportump@chilitech.net

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The 2-Year Best-Seller Sensation! The Year's Greatest Cast! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 July 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William A. Wellman's The High and the Mighty  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,470,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound System)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the 'disaster film' genre came of age in the 1970s, one of the most suspenseful elements was determining who would survive and who would die in the course of the adventure. However, at the time The High and the Mighty (1954) was made, it was all but unheard of that non-villainous characters in peril - particularly women and children - should perish. With death off the table, the screenplay resorted to extended flashbacks into the passengers' private lives, and it is for this that the film has sustained its greatest criticism over the course of time. Some of the flashbacks are comic, others poignant, but all of them are wholly irrelevant to the essential plight of an airplane bound for a crash landing and, even more detrimental, they break the suspense by allowing the audience to leave the entrapped environment. For modern-day viewers, particularly those steeped in 1970s disaster films, the flashback sequences lend a jarring, incongruent note to the otherwise genre-faithful proceedings. See more »

Goofs

When co-pilot Dan Roman was walking down the aisle to explain to the passengers what was wrong with the engines, you could see the whole right wall of the plane was missing as the camera tracked him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ben Sneed: Hey fella, ain't you Dan Roman?
Dan Roman: Yeah.
Ben Sneed: I heard you whistlin' and I said to myself only one guy does that just so.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: John Wayne (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech
Traditional
Whistled by John Wayne
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User Reviews

The Wayne Family needs to open the vault and get this legendary film back to the public as a DVD or VHS before people forget about it.
7 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

I saw The High and the Mighty when I was 16 in a theater when it first came out. Every woman walked out in love with John Wayne and every man wanted to BE John Wayne. We all hummed, whistled or la-la-la'd the theme song all the way home.

I would love to add The High and the Mighty to my collection of John Wayne films, but the Wayne Family Trust has got to allow this film to be converted to either a DVD or a VHS format. I know they are waiting for the time when they can squeeze the maximum number of dollars out of it, but if they aren't careful, they will wait too long and the world will have moved so far beyond the ideas, concepts and technology of the 50's that the film will not appeal to the younger generation of purchasers of movies.

It's more than just Wayne's performance that is being withheld from the public. I am also a great admirer of the work of the great British actor, Robert Newton and he turned in a marvelous performance here. So did Jan Sterling, Claire Trevor, Paul Fix, Lorraine Day and all the rest of the cast. Their fans deserve to see these actors in this film too. The only actor I could live without is Robert Stack. He has never done a thing for me. But the film as a whole is wonderful and should be released...ASAP


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