7.6/10
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118 user 47 critic

The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

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)
Reviews

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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:

Sometimes the sun sets men on fire... See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Arabic

Release Date:

15 December 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Flug des Phoenix See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Tallmantz Phoenix P-1 was designed by Otto Timm and built by Tallmantz Aviation, Inc. for the film. It had the following characteristics: Length: 45' Wingspan: 42' Engine: a like-new Pratt & Whitney R-1340 nine cylinder radial engine of 650 horsepower, taken from a T-6, as were the wheels and various other parts. Wings: wing panels taken from a T-11 (civilian conversion of an AT-11, which is a Beechcraft 18 type ) The apparent wing, tail, and undercarriage wire bracing was made out of clothesline, and was intentionally made to look flimsy. The fuselage and empennage were all hand-built from scratch, plywood over a wood frame. The cockpit was shallow and makeshift. The pilot sat down. Another person stood behind the pilot, and was strapped to a stringer. See more »

Goofs

Incorrectly regarded as a goof: "When Captain Harris is preparing to walk across the desert, he declares that he had better get going because it is almost dark. However, the length of his shadow indicates it is much closer to noon than it is to dusk." From the tone of Captain Harris' voice, and congruent with pilot Frank Towns' prior attempts to dissuade him by challenging his abilities...one being an inability to precisely navigate by the stars...Captain Harris is obviously being sarcastic in stating it's almost dark despite the midday hour. See more »

Quotes

'Ratbags' Crow: Don't forget to put it down in your diary, how very, very nice it was at the party here until the booze ran out!
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 Battlestar Galactica: Flight of the Phoenix (2005) 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

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User Reviews

 
One of the best survival films ever
9 December 2004 | by brian-j-huffmanSee all my reviews

I use snippets from this film in a project management class. It is hard to imagine how the casting could have been any better. Jimmy Stewart plays the part of the aging pilot with an adventurous past so well not only because he was a terrific actor, but because he really was an aging pilot with a an adventurous past. Richart Attenborrow (spelling?) is wonderful as the diplomatic copilot that stands between Stewart and the engineer played by Kruger.

The dialogue was some of the best I've ever heard. "Mr. Townes you behave as though stupidity were a virtue..." You have to love it.

I'm almost sorry to see this movie being remade since it was done so well, but I'll still line up for the new one just to see if the magic can be made to work twice.


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