28 user 6 critic

The Crowded Sky (1960)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 2 September 1960 (USA)
Disaster movie about a Navy jet and a commercial airliner heading for a mid air collision.


Joseph Pevney


Charles Schnee (screenplay), Hank Searls (novel)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Dana Andrews ... Dick Barnett
Rhonda Fleming ... Cheryl Heath
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. ... Dale Heath
John Kerr ... Mike Rule
Anne Francis ... Kitty Foster
Keenan Wynn ... Nick Hyland
Troy Donahue ... McVey
Joe Mantell ... Louis Capelli
Patsy Kelly ... Gertrude Ross
Donald May ... Norm Coster
Louis Quinn ... Sidney Schreiber
Ed Kemmer ... Caesar (as Edward Kemmer)
Tom Gilson ... Rob Fermi
Hollis Irving ... Beatrice Wiley
Paul Genge ... Samuel N. Poole


A navy jet with a defective radio system and a passenger plane get in danger of collision. In flashbacks we learn about the personal problems of the pilots and most of the crew. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The most fascinating people the gods of chance ever swept up into high adventure!


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In one of the lobby cards, Dana Andrews is being punched by John Kerr inside someone's living room around a poker table. The shot has both of them in a close-to-medium shot, even with their bodies, which was obviously taken from a still photograph during production because in the actual scene, it's a wide shot from slightly above. See more »


In El Paso, Dale tells McVey they will be flying non-stop to Washington, D.C. - a flying distance of about 1,720 miles. However, the Lockheed T-33 they are flying in has a range of only 1,275 miles. See more »


Gertrude Ross: You've GOT to get a haircut. And if you have to let the barber give you Novocaine, let 'em!
See more »


References A Summer Place (1959) See more »


You Can't Stop Me from Dreaming
Written by Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin
Played during the carnival scene
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User Reviews

Dramatic and early disaster movie with star-studded cast about an airplane and a jet get in risk of collision
9 July 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Drama , emotion and tension in a hazardous voyage on a trans-airline flight . Disaster and nail-biting movie about a Navy jet and a commercial airliner heading for a mid air catastrophe , as passengers fasten your belts to a strong disaster . As a navy jet (piloted by Efrem Zimbalist Jr , Troy Donahue) with a defective radio system and a passenger plane (piloted by Dana Andrews , John Kerr) get in danger of collision. As crew , passengers (Keenan Wynn , Jean Willes , Joe Mantell , Patsy Kelly..) , flight attendant (Anne Francis) gripping their seats for the bumpy ride ahead . During the initial scenes , characters are shown describing some life scenes prior to boarding the airplane . And in flashbacks we learn about the personal problems of the pilots and most of the crew. From the suspense packed best seller and the great international tradition of ¨The High and the Mighty¨. The most fascinating people the gods of chance ever swept up into high adventure!

The picture contains drama , suspense , moderate tension and is quite entertaining although with some flaws and gaps .This is a predecessor in the "Airport" series that achieved splendor in the 70s and 80s . It's exciting and entertaining but heavily paced , full clichés and stereotypes with passable acting by all star cast , including a great deal of unexpected zooms . Based on the novel by Hank Searls and screenplay by Charles Schnee , it blasts to the screen with every kind of love , thrills , and intrigue . Plastic acting and stock characters detailing a hectic flight . The film is dealing with a tumultuous flight and the relationship among passengers . All clichéd and stock roles with regurgitation of all usual stereotypical situations from disaster films . This thrilling tale may remind some spectators ¨The High and the Mighty¨ written by Ernest Kann , directed by William A Wellman with John Wayne , to which , especially with its star-studded casting and plot , it bears a more than coincidental resemblance . It matches the notorious talents of prestigious actors , some of then old TV favourite as Efrem Zimbalist Jr. of 77 Sunset Strip against those of the more screen-seasoned as Dana Andrews , John Kerr , Rhonda Fleming . And a long support cast , such as : Keenan Wynn , Troy Donahue , Jean Willes , Troy Donahue , Joe Mantell , Patsy Kelly, Paul Genge , Donald May , Louis Quinn , among others

It contains a colourful cinematography in Technicolor , CinemaScope by Harry Stradling Sr . Emotive as well as atmospheric musical score by Leonard Rosenman . This old-fashioned motion picture was professionally directed by Joseph Pevney . The craftsman Pevney shot all kinds of genres as Comedy , Film Noir , Mystery , Drama , such as : ¨Who is the black Dahilia ?¨, ¨The strange door¨, ¨Man of a thousand faces¨, ¨Mysterious Island of beautiful women¨, ¨Cash McCall¨, ¨Tammy and the bachelor¨, ¨Istanbul¨, ¨Because of you¨ , and especially Wartime movies : ¨Torpedo run¨, ¨Away all boats¨ , and Westerns as ¨Night of Grizzly . At the end of his long career he made a lot of episodes of famous TV series , such as : High Chaparral , Rockford cases , Marcus Welby , Petrocellli , The Fugitive , Alfred Hitchcock presents , Executive suite , Mission imposible , Monster family , The loner , Star Trek , Virginian , Sam Cade , Bonanza . Rating : 5.5/10

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Release Date:

2 September 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crowded Sky See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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