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The High and the Mighty (1954)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 3 July 1954 (USA)
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ON DISC
When a commercial airliner develops engine problems on a trans-Pacific flight and the pilot loses his nerve, it is up to the washed-up co-pilot Dan Roman to bring the plane in safely.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Ernest K. Gann (screenplay), Ernest K. Gann (novel)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Dan Roman
Claire Trevor ... May Holst
Laraine Day ... Lydia Rice
Robert Stack ... John Sullivan
Jan Sterling ... Sally McKee
Phil Harris ... Ed Joseph
Robert Newton ... Gustave Pardee
David Brian ... Ken Childs
Paul Kelly ... Donald Flaherty
Sidney Blackmer ... Humphrey Agnew
Julie Bishop ... Lillian Pardee
Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez ... Gonzales (as Gonzalez Gonzalez)
John Howard ... Howard Rice
Wally Brown ... Lenny Wilby, navigator
William Campbell ... Hobie Wheeler
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Storyline

On a flight from Hawaii to California, the engine dies on the plane Dan is flying. As he prepares for a crash landing, the passengers reassess their lives. The template for disaster movies with an Oscar-winning score and a cast list that reads like a who's who of 1950s film. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The 2-year best seller blasts to the screen with every kind of love there is! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 July 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

William A. Wellman's The High and the Mighty See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,470,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo | Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Stack bombarded director William A. Wellman with unrelenting lobbying for the part of John Sullivan, and an interview with Wellman ultimately clinched the deal. However, John Wayne had envisioned real-life flyer Robert Cummings for the role, and Stack later reported that Wellman said he planned to override his producer and insist upon Stack for the part, warning Stack that "if you screw up, John Wayne is going to strangle the both of us." Decades after the fact, Stack would lampoon his stoic character in the classic disaster film spoof, Airplane! (1980). See more »

Goofs

The sound of the yellow flying bomb is wrong. It is audibly a jet engine, but the flying bomb is actually a German V1 which is powered by a ram jet: slats on the nacelle let in air that was mixed with fuel and ignited by a spark plug. The machine in flight sounded like a backfiring automobile. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ben Sneed: Hey fella, ain't you Dan Roman?
Dan Roman: Yeah.
Ben Sneed: I heard you whistlin' and I said to myself only one guy does that just so.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A very few prints were made for release in the Los Angeles area during December, 1954 which included a vocal version of the Main Theme from "The High and the Mighty" in the closing credits. This was done to qualify the film for eligibility in the AMPAS Best Song category for the year. However, the Best Song award went to "Three Coins in the Fountain". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: John Wayne (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

With Catlike Tread Upon Our Prey We Steal
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Sullivan
See more »

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User Reviews

I've Got it
14 September 2003 | by dtucker86See all my reviews

I was just sitting in my barrack's room watching this film today and I am so lucky to have it. It is a priceless treasure and it is what a great film is all about. It is a classic and I wish that everyone could see it. I cannot believe how selfish and wrong John Wayne's family are to keep the public from seeing this classic. SHAME ON THEM!!!!They are hiding a priceless treasure from all of us. THIS IS JOHN WAYNE"S FINEST FILM EVER!!!!He won an Academy Award for True Grit and should have won one for his portrayal of Dan Roman in this film. In 1988, they re-released The Manchurian Candidate so that a whole new generation of film goers could enjoy its greatness. They should do the same to this film. They should get the finest film technicians available to do a restoration of it and release it so that people today could see what a great film is. Look at the movies they come out with today, all the filth and violence and filty words they use. It is a disgrace. All the actors in this film do an amazing job.


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