6.6/10
1,199
58 user 24 critic

Zero Hour! (1957)

In 1950s Canada, during a commercial flight, the pilots and some passengers suffer food poisoning, thus forcing an ex-WW2 fighter pilot to try to land the airliner in heavy fog.

Director:

Hall Bartlett

Writers:

Arthur Hailey (screenplay), Hall Bartlett (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dana Andrews ... Lt. Ted Stryker
Linda Darnell ... Ellen Stryker
Sterling Hayden ... Capt. Martin Treleaven
Elroy 'Crazylegs' Hirsch ... Capt. Bill Wilson
Geoffrey Toone ... Dr. Baird
Jerry Paris ... Tony Decker
Peggy King ... Stewardess Janet Turner
Charles Quinlivan ... Harry Burdick
Patricia Tiernan ... Mrs. Joan Wilson (as Carole Eden)
Steve London ... First Officer Walt Stewart
Jo Ann Wade Jo Ann Wade ... Treleaven's Baby Sitter
Ray Ferrell Ray Ferrell ... Joey Stryker (as Raymond Ferrell)
John Ashley ... TV Singer
Willis Bouchey ... British Army Doctor
Robert Stevenson ... Air Traffic Controller
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Storyline

A routine flight turns into a major emergency as passengers and crew succumb to food poisoning - is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane? If that sounds vaguely familiar, it's because 'Airplane' was a send-up of this forerunner of the 1970s disaster movie.. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It Builds to the Tensest 50 Minutes in the History of the Screen!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La hora trágica See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Ana, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$400,764 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Linda Darnell, who played Ellen Stryker, was actually married to an airline pilot in real life at the time the movie was filmed. See more »

Goofs

The stricken airliner was to land at Vancouver, British Columbia. At one point it was indicated on a map that the Vancouver airport was bordered by dense clusters of apartment buildings and various other civilian structures in close proximity. In reality, the Vancouver airport is situated on an island at the mouth of the Fraser River, is bordered all around by water, and has no such apartment complexes or other civilian structures anywhere nearby. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Treleaven: Ted, that was probably the lousiest landing in the history of this airport. But there are some of us here, particularly me, who would like to buy you a drink and shake your hand. We're coming over.
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Connections

Featured in 30 Greatest Disaster Movies (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Zero Hour
Song and Theme composed by Arthur Hamilton
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User Reviews

 
"Our survival hinges on one thing - finding someone who not only can fly this plane, but didn't have fish for dinner."
22 August 2007 | by bensonmum2See all my reviews

It's like déjà vu all over again. Until last night, I had never seen Zero Hour!, but I feel as if I've seen it a dozen times. I knew that some of Airplane! (the sick girl and singing nun for example) came from Airport, but I had no idea just how much was taken from Zero Hour! Airplane! is like some weird comedic remake or re-imaging of Zero Hour! - and they nailed it right down to the exclamation mark. And it's not just ideas or concepts that were taken from Zero Hour!, entire sections of dialogue were lifted and used in Airplane! I'm shocked to discover that lines like "I guess I picked the wrong week to give up smoking" weren't written especially for Airplane! The dialogue is so similar that when little Joey visits the cockpit and the captain asks if he's ever been in cockpit before, I kept waiting for him to ask "Have you ever seen a grown man naked?" as he does in Airplane! Even some of the performances in Airplane! are eerily reminiscent of Zero Hour! Take Robert Stack in the role originally done by Sterling Hayden. Amazing stuff! The funny thing to me about this example, however, is that Hayden is actually more intense in the role than Stack could have dreamed.

Giving a rating to Zero Hour! is difficult. Even if you've only seen Airplane! once (and I've probably seen it a couple of dozen times over the years), it's all but impossible to keep a straight face (Who am I kidding? It's impossible not to downright laugh out loud.) when Johnny goes to make coffee or when Stryker straights sweating buckets behind the controls of the plane. It's impossible to take the melodrama of Zero Hour! seriously. So I don't know how I would rate the movie had I never seen Airplane! I would like to think I would have still enjoyed the experience and would have formed a similar opinion. But I have seen Airplane!, so I have that built in bias. In the end, because the movie kept me entertained (for whatever reason) throughout it's brief 81 minute runtime, I'm rating Zero Hour! a 7/10.


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