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The High and the Mighty (3-Jul-1954)

Director: William A. Wellman

Writer: Ernest K. Gann

From novel: High and the Mighty by Ernest K. Gann

Keywords: Action/Adventure, Aviation

A Honolulu to San Francisco flight loses an engine, a calamity which brings out the best and worst of those aboard. The grandfather of all disaster films, unavailable for nearly forty years because of a royalty dispute. Won an Oscar for Best Dramatic Score; received additional nominations for Best Director, Best Supporting Actress (two), Best Editing, and Best Original Song, "The High and the Mighty."

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Review by anonymous (posted on 19-Nov-2006)

I first saw this movie when it was new, I was 6 yrs old. I had forgotten about it until recently when I aquired it in DVD format. I have to admit that it stirred a lot of emotion in me as the varoius scenes came flooding back into my memory. The movie scared me because I genuinely felt sorry for the people and was certain they wouldn't make it back safely. I was so captivated by the music, remembering the tune rolling around in my head. So much so that when I tried to whistle it in school that fall, my first grade teacher, Miss Posey, scolded me and I was embarrassed. I remember being focused on the little boy and his balsa glider, and particularly when the engine caught fire. Also the scene where John Wayne is inspecting the tail/control section with a flashlight. The ending of course brought tears to my eyes and I was forever bonded to aviation. It is a wonderful movie and really defines a unique time in our culture. The scenes are colorful and splashy, and very 50's. Many today would probably see it as somewhat 'campy' and vote it less than entertaining, and that would be their loss. For myself, it is a time capsule thing, and I'm happy that it came back to me again to be enjoyed as much as the first time I ever saw it.

Review by G. Evans (posted on 25-Jun-2007)

The original incarnation of E.K.Gann's novel of the same name. A great film in the budding era of aviation industry depicting life aloft as it was in the early 50s. This story of troubled passengers in a troubled airliner unfold in the great DC-4 piston airliner which heralded the advent of luxury air travel. The Oscar winning music score for this film is a true nostalgic tour de force throughout the film. A BIG thanks is due to the restorers of this film which for so long remained unavailable. Warmly recommended.

Review by Bernd J. Boyt (posted on 28-Mar-2005)

The greatest aviation drama epic ever made. I saw this as a ten year old boy in Chicago and it set me on a course to pursue a 30 year career in commercial aviation. Today, in retirement, I still look at this movie as THE standard of aviation dramas.

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