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“The High and the Mighty Airplane”: A diverse America dumps its privilege and finds itself coming in on a wing and a prayer.

“I need a big man!”

That’s Robert Stack on the right. In the future he’ll star in “Airplane!”

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  • BillH May 15, 2021, 7:54 AM

    Probably close to a hundred north Atlantic crossings 60+ years ago flying L1049 and C-130E, and I’ve been there up close, although not over that much water. Of all the aviation movies I’ve watched, this one impressed me the most. Not the Hollywood hoopla, but the various kinds of personalities and how they behave in a for sure existential crisis – i.e. if things don’t work out, you’ll probably cease to exist.

  • ghostsniper May 15, 2021, 10:06 AM

    Speaking of Glen Campbell.
    In 1970 John Wayne made a movie titled “Chisum” and in it is a song named “Turn Me Around” and the singer has sounded to me like Glen Campbell from the very beginning. Since “True Grit” was made the previous year in 1969 and Wayne had the habit of using the same people over and over in his movies it was easy to believe that singer was Campbell.

    Well, a couple years ago I stumbled upon the fact that it wasn’t Campbell but rather Merle Haggard who I was never familiar with. Anyway, here is the clip from Chisum that has the song Turn Me Around, have a listen and see if it doesn’t sound like Glen Campbell.


  • gwbnyc May 15, 2021, 12:04 PM

    Robert Newton (!!), “Blind Tom” in “The Desert Rats”, ably supporting.

    …from the looks of some of the passengers that aircraft could never sink.

  • Casey Klahn May 15, 2021, 2:04 PM

    gwbnyc for the win with the Mae West joke.

  • Auntie Analogue May 15, 2021, 4:06 PM

    Based on the eponymous novel by Ernest K. Gann, whose other aviation books are just as riveting (my favorite is Fate Is The Hunter), The High And The Mighty is one of my all-time favorite films because director William Wellman wove its character studies into its flight path narrative with considerable aplomb.

    Look for Little Rascals child star Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer in an adult bit role as co-pilot of the search and rescue plane.

  • Callmelennie May 15, 2021, 5:31 PM

    Talk about a small internet! I know this Porfle Popnecker guy. At a different internet time and space he was one of the best song parodists in the English speaking world, with a genius for free association. We were the best of internet friends!!

  • gwbnyc May 15, 2021, 8:11 PM

    Casey for the Mae West follow-up assist on the win 🙂

    Auntie- a scene in “Pat&Mike” yields Tracy, Hepburn, Chuck Connors, Charles Buchinsky and Carl Switzer in the same room.

  • John The River May 16, 2021, 8:37 AM

    My girlfriend thinks I’m nuts because I keep a library of physical DVD’s upstairs, but those films that I like to see again are available less and less frequently on streaming services. Of two titles mentioned, “High and the Mighty” and “Fate is the Hunter”, only HM is available and with a rental price.
    “Fate is the Hunter” however I don’t have. It’s been decades since I’ve watched it. Can’t remember ever seeing it available on DVD. And I can’t find it on any streaming service.
    Darn! Now I want to see it.

    Probably be remade, with a ‘diverse’ cast. And a ‘music’ score by Cardi B.

  • Auntie Analogue May 16, 2021, 9:50 AM

    My dear John The River, aside from its title the film Fate Is The Hunter has nothing to with Gann’s autobiographical novel of his career in commercial aviation. The movie is a disappointing muddle surrounding an airliner crash.

    The other Gann novel in whose film adaptation John Wayne stars is Island In The Sky, a tale of a C-47 crew forced down in the barren frigid wilds of Labrador. Despite its location setting that doesn’t resemble the barren wilds of Labrador, this movie is worth seeing for its ruggedly etched characters, and it’s on a DVD whose special features are also worth the price of admission.

  • Annie Rose May 17, 2021, 6:17 AM

    One of my favorite John Wayne movies is In Harms Way. The cast includes other greats: Kirk Douglas, Burgess Meridith, Patricia O’Neal, George Kennedy, Henry Fonda, and others. A good depiction between the reality of those who do what needs to be done vs preening peacocks trying to get favorable press to promote a political career during a time of war. The Duke overcomes them all, but at a high price.

  • John The River May 17, 2021, 6:35 AM

    All those John Wayne movies are in my library and get watched every few years. I couldn’t remember much about Fate is the Hunter other than it starred Glenn Ford and Rod Taylor, both of whom I’ve always liked.
    Be thankful for Turner Classic Movies which I can get through Hulu. Almost all we watch.