Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Overlooked Movies -- The High and the Mighty

Here's one a lot of people remember, I'm sure, and it was the inspiration for many that came it. When I was a youth, everybody was talking about it and whistling the theme song. It's one of those big Hollywood movies with a big cast, including Robert Stack, who went on to star in Airplane!. In this one, Stack is the pilot who loses it, and Wayne is the First Officer who has to talk him through the crisis (blown engine).

It all probably seems hokey now, and it's too bad that a lot of people who have see Airplane! didn't see this one first, because it's kind of impossible to see this one the same way.

Some of us, though, having seen it on the big screen back in 1954 will never forget those final shots and John Wayne whistling the theme song.

7 comments:

  1. Great film, great song. I love the ending, too.

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  2. Anonymous8:20 AM

    THis is one of my all-time favorites. I loved the theme song and it was a perfect role for The Duke.

    Jeff

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  3. I haven't seen this in years. But once upon a time it was a kind of staple on Million Dollar Movie - Channel 11 on NYC television.

    I've always liked it. Thanks for the reminder.

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  4. Not a bad movie but I always found it kind of slow. I liked "Fate is the Hunter" better, about the attempts to find out why an airliner crashed.

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  5. Maybe the best movie Phil Harris ever made. Up till that time Phil was known as the drunken bandleader on "The Jack Benny Program" or as the star of "The Phil Harris Alice Fay Show" on radio, and a few years later he became the voice of Baloo the Bear in Disney's version of "The Jungle Book", but in this movie he showed he had some acting chops.

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  6. I always enjoyed Harris on radio, and I liked him a lot in this one. Claire Trevor's in it, too, I think. One line pitch for the movie: Stagecoach on a plane.

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  7. Remember the film fondly and the theme song. Read the novel, too (Ernest K. Gann), which had a little more grit and less gloss. In the vein of Herman Wouk's CAINE MUTINY.

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