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The Survivor (1981)

Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 9 July 1981 (Australia)
Trailer
2:58 | Trailer
A plane crashes just after takeoff and the only survivor, the pilot, walks out of the wreckage. He doesn't remember the crash, but 300 passengers and crew are dead. As the investigation goes on people are wanting answers.

Director:

David Hemmings

Writers:

David Ambrose (screenplay), John P. Harrison (Blu-ray Booklet Liner Notes) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Powell ... Keller
Jenny Agutter ... Hobbs
Joseph Cotten ... Priest
Angela Punch McGregor Angela Punch McGregor ... Beth (as Angela Punch-McGregor)
Peter Sumner ... Tewson
Lorna Lesley Lorna Lesley ... Susan
Ralph Cotterill Ralph Cotterill ... Slater
Adrian Wright Adrian Wright ... Goodwin
Tyler Coppin ... Boy
Kirk Alexander Kirk Alexander ... Dr. Martindale
Jon Nicholls Jon Nicholls ... Jackson
Roger Cardwell Roger Cardwell ... Flight Engineer
Jenufa Scott-Roberts Jenufa Scott-Roberts ... Stewardess
John Edmund John Edmund ... Goswell
Denzil Howson Denzil Howson ... Rogan
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Storyline

Keller is an experienced pilot whose plane crashes in a field near a town. He ends up being the sole survivor, but he's unable to remember what happened that caused the plane to crash. He also can't explain how come he's the only one who survived without even a scratch while everyone else on board died. A local female psychic, Hobbs, who's been having visions ever since the night of the crash, and Keller's own sense of survivor's guilt convince Keller that he needs to get to the bottom of things. Meanwhile, some of the children killed in the crash begin appearing to some of the locals and an eerie series of strange deaths occurs. Keller and Hobbs approach the local priest, who seem to be the only one in town who believes in Keller's innocence and Hobbs disturbing visions.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the terrifying best-selling novel by James Herbert. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 July 1981 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Aterrorizante Confronto Final See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 1,300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph Cotten's last film See more »

Goofs

The pilot is seen switching off the "No Smoking" and "Fasten Seat Belt" signs almost immediately the plane is airborne, yet just a few seconds later it can be seen that the wheels have not been retracted. The signs would have been kept lit until the plane was well into the air, which would be some time after the wheels had been retracted. See more »

Connections

Featured in Katarina's Nightmare Theater: The Survivor (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
obscure for a reason (not to say there isn't a lot to like)
19 June 2010 | by Michael A. MartinezSee all my reviews

THE SURVIVOR is one of those cases where the trailer is a lot creepier and more entertaining than the film itself. The setup is quite intriguing: Robert Powell plays the pilot and sole survivor of a 747 crash in Adelaide, Australia. Jenny Agutter is a psychic medium who contacts him to inform him that the victims of the crash are angry lost souls and need him to set everything straight.

This film promises a lot but quickly degenerates into a very slowly paced thriller which gives us neither shocks nor gore in a misguided effort to try to play to both the audiences of high-brow scares and exploitation. It's no wonder it never hit American theaters as the film feels very, very foreign and doesn't have much in the way of action or entertainment value beyond its opening cataclysmic plane crash (which is handled surprisingly well). There's a little bit of creepiness to go around but much, much too little too late. Also the film obviously spent the lion's share of its budget on production design for its wrecked plane in field location, so unfortunately it feels pretty repetitive after the umpteenth time the characters come back to it.

I do have to give a special mention to the film's musical score however. Brian May is almost criminally marginalized as the composer for the Mad Max films as well as all-too-often confused with the guitarist from Queen. In my opinion he provided all of the best film music to come out of Australia during the 70's and 80's and this film has to be near the pinnacle of his work, up there with ROAD GAMES and TURKEY SHOOT.

Oddly for a film set in Australia the film doesn't have much home base representation among the principal cast. American acting legend Joseph Cotten is on-hand as a Catholic priest. This was his last major film role though sadly a waste as his character is completely superfluous.


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