Stars: James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch, Hardy KrÃ¼ger, 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
Gentlemen, I have been examining this aeroplane.
Yes. We've everything we need here to build a new one and fly it out. Now, if you'd like to have a look at my calculations, I don't know whether you can read my handwriting.
Are you trying to be funny?
What did you say?
I said, are you trying to be funny?
That is precisely the reaction I would have expected from a man of your obvious limitations.
I've lost five men, Lew. Gabriel in there, he's on the way, that'll be six. Are you asking me to try to kill the rest of them trying to get a deathtrap off the ground. I don't know... I don't know, Lew. It won't work... it just can't work.
All right, then, it can't. Maybe it can't and we'll all be killed. But if there's just one chance in a thousand that he's got something, boy, I'd rather take it than just sit around here waiting to die.
Maybe Frank Towns, who's flown every crate they've ever built and could fly in and out of a tennis court if he had to, maybe that great hell-for-leather trailblazer's nothing more than a back number now. And maybe men like Dorfmann can build machines that can do Frank Towns's job for him, and do it better
If you hadn't made a career out of being a drunk you might not have been a second-rate navigator in a firth-rate outfit. And if you'd not stayed in your bunk to kill that last bottle, maybe you might have checked that engineer's report on the radio and we might not be here now. All right!
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