Flight of the Phoenix [2004]

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch, Hardy Krüger, Ernest Borgnine
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 142 minutes

Robert Aldrich's tense, 1965 drama about a plane crash in the Sahara is a unique psychological study of men in desperate circumstances. In this somewhat revisionist view of classic heroism, every character within the mixed lot is stretched to his limit, and individual efforts to brave the elements and hostile nomads are duly punished. What is left is collective will and ingenuity. One could call this an allegory for transcending Cold War madness, perhaps, but Aldrich (Kiss Me Deadly) makes this such a gritty, immediate experience that you can feel the desert sand in your teeth. Superb performances by James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Hardy Krüger, Peter Finch, and the rest. --Tom Keogh

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