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 <email@example.com>
After the injured Gabriele cuts his wrists, Towns uses a stick to dip in the tanks. In close-up, he removes the stick to examine it. In the next wide shot as Dorfmann says "come along, it is quite essential to maintain our schedule", Towns has the stick back inside the tank and is taking it out again. See more »
It may not be the best possible advertisement. but Frank Towns is probably one of the few really great pilots left in this push-button world of yours.
Yes, 'Oh, really!' He was flying by the seat of his pants in planes that were nothing more than bits and pieces before you even went to school!
That's precisely what is wrong - he has remembered everything and learned nothing!
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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 »
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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