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:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Lukas Heller (screenplay), Trevor Dudley Smith (novel) (as Elleston Trevor)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Stewart ... Frank Towns
Richard Attenborough ... Lew Moran
Peter Finch ... Captain Harris
Hardy Krüger ... Heinrich Dorfmann (as Hardy Kruger)
Ernest Borgnine ... Trucker Cobb
Ian Bannen ... Crow
Ronald Fraser ... Sergeant Watson
Christian Marquand ... Dr. Renaud
Dan Duryea ... Standish
George Kennedy ... Bellamy
Gabriele Tinti ... Gabriele
Alex Montoya Alex Montoya ... Carlos
Peter Bravos Peter Bravos ... Tasso
William Aldrich William Aldrich ... Bill
Barrie Chase ... Farida
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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:

Its excitement is headed straight for you! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or events, is purely coincidental. See more »

Goofs

A part of the exact same footage of Trucker (Ernest Borgnine) is shown twice: After the crash, as he is standing on top of a sand dune, removing his hat and scratching his head. See more »

Quotes

Heinrich Dorfmann: Gentlemen, I have been examining this aeroplane.
Frank Towns: Yeah?
Heinrich Dorfmann: Yes. We've everything we need here to build a new one and fly it out. Now, if you'd like to have a look at my calculations, I don't know whether you can read my handwriting.
Frank Towns: Are you trying to be funny?
Heinrich Dorfmann: What did you say?
Frank Towns: I said, are you trying to be funny?
Heinrich Dorfmann: That is precisely the reaction I would have expected from a man of your obvious limitations.
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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 Ghost Ship (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A masterpiece from the good old days
3 January 2001 | by Joe-385See all my reviews

I agree with most of the people here that this movie is an overlooked gem. It always comes to mind when I think of movie classics, but most people I've known have never seen it. If it comes on TV or you get the chance to rent it, definitely give it a look.

While the movie stands alone as a great suspense and survival movie with great dialogue and a greater cast, it also has some aspects that give it deeper significance. A couple of people have commented on the "old school seat-of-the-pants flying" vs. "mathematical engineering" conflict in the movie, and this is certainly a big part of it.

Another conflict, subtler but just as important, has gone completely unmentioned here. That's the issue of the crew's mistrust of Kruger for being German. This movie is pretty important for the way it excellently touches on the tension many people still felt by the sixties on working side by side with the former enemy in the new postwar world. It's not an accident that the three main characters that have to come together to survive are American, English and German. "Flight of the Phoenix" is one movie that is timeless in its direct appeal but should be taken in context of the time in which it was produced in order to be fully appreciated.

Taking these conflicts together, the overall message is clear. In the brave new world, unless we put aside old divisions and value input from everyone, no one gets out alive.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Arabic

Release Date:

15 December 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Flight of the Phoenix See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,355,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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