Flight Of The Phoenix Review

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When a cargo plane crashes in the Sahara desert, a ragtag group of survivors believe one man's claim that he can rebuild another plane from the wreckage before they run out of food, and more importantly, water...


The failure of 2005's tired remake — inert pacing and a weedy script that did not elicit enough narrative tension — only serves to highlight the success of this sterling original. It’s a tight, suspenseful drama that eschews the thriller aspects of the crash and the bid to rebuild the plane, instead focusing on the relationship between the survivors, a marooned bunch of motley degenerates led by the inimitable Jimmy Stewart as the grouchy pilot, Frank Towns, who is haunted by demons from World War II. He and Attenborough are the pick of an attractive ensemble cast, that also includes such dependable stalwarts as Ernest Borgnine, Peter Finch, Ian Bannen and George Kennedy.

Before anyone had the idea of making it an hig-blown semi-spectacular, this impressive character drama showed them how it was done. Good, old fashioned entertainment.