7.6/10
17,075
118 user 46 critic

The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 15 December 1965 (USA)
After a plane crash in the Sahara, one of the survivors says he's an airplane designer and they can make a flyable plane from the wreckage.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) (as Elleston Trevor)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Frank Towns
... Lew Moran
... Captain Harris
... Heinrich Dorfmann (as Hardy Kruger)
... Trucker Cobb
... Crow
... Sergeant Watson
... Dr. Renaud
... Standish
... Bellamy
... Gabriele
Alex Montoya ... Carlos
Peter Bravos ... Tasso
William Aldrich ... Bill
... Farida
Edit

Storyline

A cargo plane goes down in a sandstorm in the Sahara with less than a dozen men on board. One of the passengers is an airplane designer who comes up with the idea of ripping off the undamaged wing and using it as the basis for an airplane they will build to escape before their food and water run out. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One of the most startling twists of fate you have ever experienced in a motion picture! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 December 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Flug des Phoenix  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$5,355,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film includes four Oscar-winning actors (James Stewart, Ernest Borgnine, Peter Finch, and George Kennedy), and one Oscar-winning director (Sir Richard Attenborough). See more »

Goofs

The vultures in the movie are Turkey Vultures. Turkey Vulture is an American species (from North America to Tierra del Fuego). There are no native Turkey Vultures in the Sahara. See more »

Quotes

Frank Towns: If you hadn't made a career out of being a drunk you might not have been a second-rate navigator in a firth-rate outfit. And if you'd not stayed in your bunk to kill that last bottle, maybe you might have checked that engineer's report on the radio and we might not be here now. All right!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED...

THAT PAUL MANTZ, A FINE MAN AND A BRILLIANT FLYER GAVE HIS LIFE IN THE MAKING OF THIS FILM... See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Odd Couple: The Fight of the Felix (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

The Phoenix Love Theme
Senza Fine"
Sung by Connie Francis
Music & Italian Lyrics by Gino Paoli
English Lyrics by Alec Wilder
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

An enjoyable performance driven spin on the disaster movie genre
3 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

Returning from an oil field with a plane full of crew etc going on leave, Frank Towns' plane enters a sandstorm over the Sahara desert and crashes. As various attempts at rescue or escape fail one passenger, Dorfmann suggests his plan to rebuild the plane as a smaller version and attempt to fly out, leaving the bulk of the damage craft behind. However tensions mount as personalities conflict as all the men face death.

I had only ever heard of this film before I finally got round to watching it last night on television. I was aware of the basic plot and had assumed it was more recent that it actually was. I watched it assuming that it was made in the early seventies when the disaster movie genre was just starting to take off (sorry – accidental pun). However this was made prior to this and is probably a much better film for it – in the seventies the film would have required more spectacle, so the crash would have been much more dramatic and horrifying. As it is now, the film is more about the men under stress than it is about anything else.

This is brought out well and the majority of the drama and tension within the film is as much from these conflicts as it is from the pressure to escape the desert. The film is longer than I expected it to be but it pretty much sustains itself for that length. The main reason for the film working so well is the cast, which has it's fair share of famous faces but also has more than it's fair share of good performances.

Stewart is really strong in the lead (although, in fairness, there is no one main character) and becomes increasingly grizzled as the film goes on. His character is not without flaws even if he does come out of this well. Attenborough is also good but is less evident in the film than some of the others. Krüger has the least pleasant of the roles given that he plays a tough German. He manages to make the character likeable while still going about his task with a strict organised German air to him. Finch is good and is well supported by Fraser. The support cast includes strong performances from Borgnine, Bannen, Kennedy, Marquand and the director's own son is thrown in for colour!

Overall this is much better than the disaster-type movie I had expected as it is a film where the plane crash isn't a blaze of spectacle and the death scenes aren't played out for full effect. Instead it is a tension adventure story that is driven by some great performances by a cast full of well known actors.


27 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 118 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed