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The High and the Mighty (1954)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 3 July 1954 (USA)
Trailer
2:53 | Trailer
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)
Reviews
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 Sensation! The Year's Greatest Cast! 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

John Wayne's whistling in the film was masterfully dubbed by musician Muzzy Marcellino. See more »

Goofs

During the flight,when the problems appear,the pilot opens the airplane door so to let the heavy luggage fly away.This is impossible because as soon as the door was opened the pressure would have made people and all the whole interior of the plane to be expelled out of the aircraft.

The above is incorrect. The C-54 military version and the DC-4 civil version had an option for pressurization but the vast majority of delivered versions were unpressurized. Since the aircraft was unpressurized there would have been no expelling of the passengers and contents of the aircraft. 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

The song "The High and the Mighty" (with lyrics) does not appear in the original 1954 release of this film. However, the studio wanted the hugely popular, chart-topping song to be nominated for the Best Song Academy Award that year. According to AMPAS regulations, the song could not be nominated because it was no officially sung in the film, even if would be heard elsewhere. To satisfy these regulations, a version was released towards the tail-end of 1954 for a few nights only with the song inserted into an Exit Music. The Academy then decided to give the song a nomination on the basis of these screenings. The song lost to "Three Coins in a Fountain". See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Airplane! (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech
Traditional
Whistled by John Wayne
See more »

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User Reviews

The Wayne Family needs to open the vault and get this legendary film back to the public as a DVD or VHS before people forget about it.
7 September 2001 | by countryway_48864See all my reviews

I saw The High and the Mighty when I was 16 in a theater when it first came out. Every woman walked out in love with John Wayne and every man wanted to BE John Wayne. We all hummed, whistled or la-la-la'd the theme song all the way home.

I would love to add The High and the Mighty to my collection of John Wayne films, but the Wayne Family Trust has got to allow this film to be converted to either a DVD or a VHS format. I know they are waiting for the time when they can squeeze the maximum number of dollars out of it, but if they aren't careful, they will wait too long and the world will have moved so far beyond the ideas, concepts and technology of the 50's that the film will not appeal to the younger generation of purchasers of movies.

It's more than just Wayne's performance that is being withheld from the public. I am also a great admirer of the work of the great British actor, Robert Newton and he turned in a marvelous performance here. So did Jan Sterling, Claire Trevor, Paul Fix, Lorraine Day and all the rest of the cast. Their fans deserve to see these actors in this film too. The only actor I could live without is Robert Stack. He has never done a thing for me. But the film as a whole is wonderful and should be released...ASAP


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