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Flight of The Phoenix

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movieman1957
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Flight of The Phoenix

Postby movieman1957 » April 10th, 2011, 7:51 pm

What happens when a plane crash lands in the desert? Hopefully you have this crew on board to get you out. Hopelessly lost and desperate to find their way out they decide that there is only one way - downsize and reconstruct the plane.

Starring Jimmy Stewart as the pilot this drama deals with his attempts to keep order and play devil's advocate to Hardy Kruger's design engineer background as they attempt to rebuild their broken plane.

Stewart lives somewhere between guilt ridden soul and ship's captain as he deals with the rescue and the loss of two of his passengers. Frequent shots of the two graves, often over his shoulder, are reminders of what he sees as his responsibility for their deaths. He seems to be losing his grip on them as others decide to leave only to meet sure death. But his struggle with Kruger is really the crux of the film. There is a pretty interesting twist that almost brings everything and everyone to a halt.

Strong performances from Stewart and Kruger are supported well by Richard Attenborough as a navigator with a drinking problem who takes it upon himself to play mediator and supporter of Stewart and Kruger. Most unusual casting choice is Dan Duryea as devout Christian who just wants to get home. It's a small part but so different from what we have seen of Duryea it is a nice change.

A bit long but the personal conflict is the driving force to the film. Twelve days in the desert will make most anyone cranky, if not crazy, but they hold on because they have to.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Flight of The Phoenix

Postby Rita Hayworth » April 10th, 2011, 8:17 pm

Movieman1957

Your write up is quite impressive ...its one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart movie and he and Hardy Kruger were stars of this epic adventure. Thanks for sharing.

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JackFavell
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Re: Flight of The Phoenix

Postby JackFavell » April 11th, 2011, 8:08 pm

I have to agree, I love your write-up! And I still haven't rewatched this movie....grrrrr. Call me slow.

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Re: Flight of The Phoenix

Postby movieman1957 » April 11th, 2011, 8:55 pm

Call me when you have and we'll chat some more.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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JackFavell
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Re: Flight of The Phoenix

Postby JackFavell » April 12th, 2011, 7:49 am

I sure will!

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Vienna
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Re: Flight of The Phoenix

Postby Vienna » November 19th, 2012, 5:09 pm

I always enjoy this film. The relationship between the officious Peter Finch and his subordinate, Ronald Fraser is well played.
I agree it was a nice change of pace for Dan Duryea.

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JackFavell
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Re: Flight of The Phoenix

Postby JackFavell » November 19th, 2012, 5:28 pm

I rewatched it recently, it's a movie that transfixes, you can't help but watch even if you know how it turns out, because the acting is so top notch and it's such a gripping story. I absolutely loved Dan Duryea, wish he had more to do here, but that's ok, his presence is a nice balance considering all the craziness going on.

Isn't it funny I thought the sergeant was Bernard Lee of The Third Man and James Bond fame, although now looking at photos of both he and Fraser, Bernard Lee has an altogether more refined look about him, not quite right for the role in Phoenix. Though I am sure he could have acted the role.

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Re: Flight of The Phoenix

Postby clore » May 6th, 2013, 9:24 pm

What I love about this film is that Stewart has gone back to actually delivering a performance instead of relying on those stock mannerisms of the Henry Koster comedies that were bordering on self-parody. Robert Aldrich claimed that Stewart was apprehensive given that he was appearing with a group of British and European veterans, but when they all met for a reading, the foreign contingent showed that they were absolutely in awe of their star. Aldrich thought that this may have played a hand in Stewart's playing it straight and not resorting to type.

Stewart also recognized the greatness of the material. Supposedly he had tried to option the book himself, but was outbid for the rights.

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Re: Flight of The Phoenix

Postby JackFavell » May 7th, 2013, 7:23 am

Clore, you are totally right. Stewart doesn't exhibit any of his mannerisms in this picture, and it's all to the good. I like movies of attrition, if you know what I mean, ones where the members are picked off one or two at a time. The Lost Patrol for instance, which covers very similar territory, but in a more traditional way. I don't know why, but they always seem to work. This one goes much deeper than most... It's about reality and fantasy, and how they intersect, and it's about how the dreamers who actually make things happen can be the most insane individuals on the planet, something like Man in the White Suit. I love every deluded performance in the movie, especially Stewart's thorny one. He's a real guy faced with a terrible situation and he reacts as such. It ain't pretty, but it's so good.


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