7.5/10
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128 user 44 critic

The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 15 December 1965 (USA)
Trailer
3:08 | Trailer
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
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brief footage of the crash that killed Paul Mantz is shown near the end of the documentary Cinerama Adventure (2002). See more »

Goofs

The glasses in Hardy Krüger's spectacles are flat; no sight-corrections at all. See more »

Quotes

Lew Moran: Maybe Frank Towns, who's flown every crate they've ever built and could fly in and out of a tennis court if he had to, maybe that great hell-for-leather trailblazer's nothing more than a back number now. And maybe men like Dorfmann can build machines that can do Frank Towns's job for him, and do it better
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
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User Reviews

 
Epic example of conflict resolution and mastering challenges - and a great movie!
12 June 2005 | by MarkusBussmannSee all my reviews

This masterpiece is now 40 years old and has lost nothing of it's excitement due to it's fantastic, outstanding actors (Attenborough and Kruger have never done better from my point of view), director, scenery and the simplicity of the story itself. A plane lost in a desert, no help and a challenge to master by people, who never chose to master their destiny together in a hostile environment.

The way the conflict is layed out can serve as an example for organizational conflicts, cultural conflicts, simply: whenever humans have to solve a problem that jeopardizes their future under resource constraints. Or even mankind on earth in the hostile universe, who need to solve their very own conflicts? All actors are able to deliver fully convincing natural emotions in this kind of situation to make the audience understand why humans usually fail to solve these conflicts. How many actors can you name today that are superstars and can do it like them? It's becomes evident how difficult the first step to compromise or to accept leadership of another person is, especially for western individuals. Accept leadership and downgrade oneself in the hierarchy, despite the fact that there is usually one solution which suits the groups interest as a whole better? How many leaders or e.g. managers are able to do this? In the end, the collaborative approach is successful, staged behind a general struggle for power, influenced by the cold war environment, containing an explosive mix of historical facts and clichés on British imperialism/militarism, American heroism, German nazihodd/engineering rational and various other aspects. You could easily work out how difficult the situation would be, if nowadays a e.g. member of priest of a Christian church would crash land together with a Muslim mullah. How would they be able to work together to master the hostility of the desert? Would they be able to accept a compromise? You can spend months to identify all the clichés that are used to increase the tension between the characters they have to understand to manage their faith, unfortunately you need a lot of historical background knowledge on 19th century till cold war to understand all the details, but that is only another good reason to start studying this.

The movie also shows that every specific cultural background has it's advantages closely tied to its disadvantages, e.g. the heroism advantage of attack eaten up by a lack of rationality (for example due to alcoholism/boredom). Actually, this movie should be screened as an example for success for conflicts of international companies, global organizations or just humans between the frontiers of different cultures.

And if this is too educational for you: It is even great entertainment, if you are just watch it from a pure emotional point of view. Myself being a German I would wish that we still can show of some of the engineering mastership that Dorfner shows of - however I'm happy that no technocrats are now ruling my country.

In the end: What a masterpiece!


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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
See full technical specs »

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