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The High and the Mighty (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
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John Wayne delivered one of his most memorable performances in THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, a suspenseful thrill ride that presaged the disaster films of the 1970s with the story of a commercial jetliner that suffers engine trouble on a transpacific flight from Honolulu to San Francisco. With pilot John Sullivan (Robert Stack) too panic-stricken to act, it's up to second-in-command Dan Roman (Wayne) to guide the aircraft to safety--despite being traumatized by the death of his own wife and child in a plane crash years earlier. Wayne's self-doubting copilot presides over jittery crew members and passengers whose stories are told in flashbacks and fleshed out by a stellar supporting cast that includes Claire Trevor, Jan Sterling, Laraine Day, Phil Harris, Robert Newton, and Sidney Blackmer. Directed by William Wellman from a script penned by aviation writer Ernest K. Gann from his own novel of the same name, THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY garnered six Oscar nominations (including Best Director and Best Supporting Actress for both Trevor and Sterling) and an actual win for Dimitri Tiomkin's indelible, whistle-themed film score. Long held out of print by a legal dispute, this little-seen disaster classic has finally been restored and remastered to its pristine Cinemascope glory for a truly riveting tale of terror in the skies. Product Details •Edition: 2-Disc Set/The John Wayne Collection •Number of Discs: 2 •Rating: Not Rated •Film Country: USA •UPC: 097368876347 Additional Details Genre: Action/Adventure Format: DVD Display Format: 2-Disc Set/The John Wayne Collection
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Top Customer Reviews
I remember it when it was released in 1954 - a memorable film, John Wayne was wonderful in it and had a good supporting cast.
I know I tried to get a copy of this film over 25 years ago and it wasn't available - it was well worth the wait.
The quality of this remastered film is excellent and a tribute to film making of yesteryear. The characterizations were very good, except I always get annoyed when American films make the navigator a weak sister. One of the most striking scenes occurs at the start of the film (in wide screen) showing a tiny airliner, a speck almost, in a vast sea of clouds and sky. This plus the theme music really sets the scene.
A part of the verity of these two films is that Ernest K, Gann, in addition to being a great writer, himself had years of experience flying as a captain, teaching navigation to future ferry pilots in War2 and time in the air back to the DC-2, DC3 as well as later planes such as the DC4 portrayed in the movie.
Only one minor thing somewhat puzzled me ... when they finally successfully landed at SF (surprisingly, with no traction or wind problems), there was no hint of the full-power reverse-pitch deceleration that's part of a standard ground landing. Hopefully there's something in the extras covering that -- possibly it was in the original film but was a victim of the restoration problems mentioned by other reviewers. Or possibly, while never mentioned, they felt there wasn't enough fuel left (they *were* running on fumes at that point, after all) and were hoping the brakes and full flaps would do the trick.
Variety report 12/14/03
Wayne pix to be restored
'High and Mighty,' 'Island' to get homevid release
By MICHAEL FLEMING
The estate of John Wayne has made a deal with Cinetech and Chace Prods. to update and restore two of the actor's 1950s hits, "The High and the Mighty" and "Island in the Sky."
The films were made by Batjac, the company founded by the actor and run by his heirs.
Arrangement was made by Gretchen Wayne, the widow of the actor's late son, Michael. Move came as the result of a volume of calls by fans who wanted to see the films.
Both of the William Wellman-directed films will be released on homevideo sometime next year.
"The High and the Mighty," which starred Wayne and Robert Stack, was originally released in 1954. "Island in the Sky," which starred Wayne, Lloyd Nolan and James Arness, was released in 1953.
Batjac owns many of Wayne's best-remembered films. Michael Wayne presided over the distribution of those films until his death earlier this year.
Just read another blurb somewhere quoting William Wellman Jr. (the Director's son, AND the little boy in the movie that sleeps through the whole thing) stating that he had just finished working on his contribution to the DVD, and that it is coming soon.....
Retired TWA Captain Barry Schiff wrote in the June issue of AOPA Magazine (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assoc - [...]) that he spoke with Gretchen Wayne, and that she stated that the original negatives were damaged by water while in storage, and that technology only recently has evolved to the point where the film can be restored. When asked the BIG question of when, she simply said, "Sooner rather than later."
Good article on the movie if you can get a copy of the magazine.
I wanted nothing more in life than to become an airline pilot after seeing that movie. The theme song, which has continued to play in my head over the ensuing years, always reminds me of that boyhood dream. Unfortunately my eyesight kept me from pursuing that dream and I've always regretted it. Wayne was the perfect hero and the final scenes of the movie have styaed with me ever since. Academy award theme song playing in the background, the station manager of SFO calling John Wayne's character an "old pelican" after he is insturmental in bringing the airliner home after six hours of terror over the Pacific, and John just walks off into the night in his beat up flight jacket saying nothing.
Maybe because I lived near the San Francisco airport and had flown out of there that summer on United to Seattle in an old DC4 and then on to Fairbanks, Alaska on Pan Am to visit my cousin made it even more meaningful. Whatever the reason, I can still remember the great cast and scenes in the back of the plane where everyone was terrified. Its the only movie that has affected me in such a manner.
I wish all who love that movie so much could convince the Wayne estate to release it as it is the finest example of his greatness as an actor.
Most recent customer reviews
Poor acting, couldn't watch much of it. John Wayne was fine, not so for the rest of the actorsPublished 5 months ago by Maureen M.
Not correct format - Doesn't work. I think it is the European standardPublished 15 months ago by Fred Dickson
I enjoyed the movie and John Wayne's acting in role other than a western cowboy was quite interesting to me. I found the plot a bit weak but still enjoyable.Published on Oct. 16 2013 by Kbryant1
Saw this movie years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it which is the reason I ordered it. Haven't watched the DVDs yet, will be wintertime viewing.Published on July 25 2011 by Carolyn L. Stewart
The restoration of this 1950's era film was excellent and the DVD is top quality with many interesting bonus features.Published on July 13 2009 by Geoff Lewis
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