Friday, April 1, 2016

The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

Director: Robert Aldrich

Writers: Lukas Heller, Trevor Dudley Smith

Composer: Frank De Vol

Starring: James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch, Hardy Kruger, Ernest Borgnine, Ian Bannen, Ronald Fraser, Christian Marquand, Dan Duryea, George Kennedy, Gabriele Tinti, Alex Montoya, Peter Bravos, William Aldrich, Barrie Chase, Stanley Ralph Ross

More info: IMDb

Tagline: One of the most startling twists of fate you have ever experienced in a motion picture!

Plot: 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.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Maybe.

I love these kind of big, known cast pictures of the mid-to-late 60s.  I like the little-to-no nonsense manner of storytelling.  There's some good tension, especially when the Arabs show!, and lots of great performances from some really great actors.  I especially dug Hardy Kruger.  I like the film OK enough until one scene which was the turning point for me that suddenly made it a VERY good film and that's the moment when we all find out Dorfmann's (Kruger) profession.  The way Stewart plays out his reaction and aftermath is just incredible.  From that point on I was hooked but that also comes ate in the picture.  Still, the performances are great and the seemingly impossible situation these men are faced with make this a great picture to watch on a lazy Saturday afternoon.  Unfortunately the 20th Century Fox DVD is weak as hell.  The anamorphic widescreen print looks great and grainy but the extras are horrible.  You only get 3 trailers, one in English (non-anamorphic widescreen), Spanish and Portuguese (both in anamorphic widescreen!!!).  They're all the same length and from what I could tell, the Spanish and Portuguese were the same trailer but with different subtitles!!!  Besides, Fox couldn't be bothered with having the English trailer in anamorphic widescreen?  It's insulting.  I'll probably wait for a better release of this before I watch it again. 

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