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The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

Action & Adventure and Classics movie directed by Robert Aldrich

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GREAT CAST...great adventure

  • Dec 19, 2003
One of the great adventure movies of all time. I'm kinda surprised it hasn't been's a perfect little movie. Basically, we see the trevails of the survivors of a plane crash into the dunes of the Sahara. Their quest to find a way out is only part of the adventure...the human quarrels and intersecting interests are just as fascinating.

The movie has a slightly dated "manly" feel...there are no women, but it isn't a "tough guy" movie, a la, THE DIRTY DOZEN, let's say. These are military men, mostly, each with his own idea of how to escape. How all these efforts play out is at the heart of the movie.

Everyone is very good. Richard Attenborough is very good, and Peter Finch even better. What a underrated actor he was. He is certainly someone who should have had more work. Hardy Kruger is very fine...and his character holds the key to possible escape (and a VERY BIG humdinger of a surprise too!!). And James Stewart is at the top of his game. We so often remember him in romantic comedies like PHILADELPHIA STORY, and impersonators have done him no favors with their stammering, slightly dim-witted approach. When he was a mature actor (not an older, more feeble man)he could be very strong, and very unlikeable if need be. This is one of those roles. He is a convincing tough guy...not just a bland hero, but a hard-headed, sometimes wrong, leader. I put this right near the top of my Jimmy Stewart list.

If you haven't seen this movie, and you are an adult viewer who doesn't require lots and lots of noise and special-effects to have a good MUST see this film. It is a nearly forgotten classic, in my estimation, and one that bears up very well with repeated viewings.

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I've got my own site,, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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About this movie


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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Director: Robert Aldrich
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
Runtime: 142 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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