Cheap The High and the Mighty (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) (DVD) (John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Laraine Day) (William A. Wellman) Price
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John Wayne personally produced many of his '50s films, which is why some of them have languished in corporate limbo following his death. The High and the Mighty was one of his most popular vehicles (no pun intended). This long, necessarily sedentary drama aboard an endangered airliner is a CinemaScope bridge between 1932's Grand Hotel and 1970s disaster movies. Despite Wayne's iconic presence as a pilot--now copilot--who survived the plane crash that wiped out his family, it's an ensemble movie with an impressive cast: Robert Stack sharing the cockpit, Oscar® nominees Claire Trevor and Jan Sterling, Laraine Day, Robert Newton, Paul Kelly, John Qualen, Regis Toomey, the ubiquitous Paul Fix, and director William A. Wellman's good-luck character actor Douglas Fowley. Dimitri Tiomkin's score won the Oscar, though the fondly remembered theme song isn't as prominent as you'd expect. Wings veteran William H. Clothier shot the aerial footage. --Richard T. Jameson
| ACTORS: || John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Laraine Day |
| CATEGORY: || DVD |
| DIRECTOR: || William A. Wellman |
| THEATRICAL RELEASE DATE: || 03 July, 1954 |
| MANUFACTURER: || Paramount Home Video |
| MPAA RATING: || NR (Not Rated) |
| FEATURES: || Color |
| TYPE: || Feature Film-action/Adventure |
| MEDIA: || DVD |
| # OF MEDIA: || 1 |
| UPC: || 097368876347 |
Customer Review of The High and the Mighty (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
the fabulous fifties
"The High and the Mighty" is melodramatic, exaggerated, overblown and just a tad over-acted. And it is nothing short of marvelous, a film that today's younger generation should be exposed to, just to get a clue about the strengths of '50s filmmaking. A favorite from my childhood, I (like everyone else) hadn't seen the thing in decades, and I was most curious about how it would hold up after all these years. It has aged well, and I was amazed at how many scenes -- even lines of dialogue -- were instantly familiar. In short, they don't make 'em like this anymore (just check out the SMOKING, even while the wing is gushing fuel!). I would rate this among the very best of John Wayne movies, and among the top movies of that decade. What a cast, especially Phil Harris! (Note to "Airplane!" fans: much will be recognized here, and not just Robert Stack.)
Finally, a 2nd Disc worth watching...
No doubt, this was the inspiration for the disaster films to follow, though there was little or no violence and no deaths. I'd seen the film years ago on TV and remember enjoying it a lot. I jumped at the chance to get the 2-disc DVD, and I'm not disappointed. The Ultra-Wide Cinemascope transfer is definitely a credit to those people who labor insanely to preserve America's film heritage, especially after the collapse of the studio system. "The High and the Mighty" is soap opera with suspense, just like every other disaster film, though it was the first. My interest was held, solidly, and the course of events entertained me. The ensemble cast was uniformly fine, with Oscar nods going to Claire Trevor & Jan Sterling, though I thought Paul Fix was deserving as well. Ralph Dawson's brilliant editing was also nominated. Keeping all this stuff coherent is the sure and confident hand of veteran William A. Wellman, juggling scenes and events that might otherwise come off as silly and incongruous. Maybe it's not the greatest film, but considering the talents involved, and the period in which it was made, I am still impressed. And, yes, John Wayne was a good actor who's not been given proper credit.
The AIRPORT Prototype
This was a film I had heard of but had never seen. Now I have it seems as if I have seen it before. I had not but I have seen all of the AIRPORT series, from the first very good one through the latter, horrible ones. They were all inspired by the HIGH and the Mighty.
>The story is of an airliner on passage from Hawaii to California when it has engine problems. It is doubtful whether she will make it to land. John Wayne plays the co-pilot running from a terrible accident in the past and Robert Stack plays the pilot. The film is not about them, however, or even about their efforts to save their passengers. Instead, it is about the different ways in which people react to the stresses of the situation. It is a series of short vignettes. They are very well done and the movie is inspiring in a way that the AIRPORT franchise rarely was able to achieve.
>These stories could have taken place in the midst of any emergency. They just happen to take place on an airliner.
>Well done drama.
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