Robert Fellows

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The High And The Mighty Review


Good
In 1954, zipping off to Hawaii by plane must have been a far different experience than any of us can imagine today. The experience was so terrifying -- at least according to The High and the Mighty, a best-selling book in its era -- that the captain had to come out and talk to each passenger personally to explain that they weren't going to crash and die. And that's just after takeoff, before the plane has any problems!

Newcomers to this story may see John Wayne in a military uniform and an airplane on the cover of this DVD (with a title that evokes the air force) and assume, understandably, that they're going to be watching another military drama. Not so: Wayne's Dan Roman is a commercial pilot, and he's working the Honolulu-San Francisco route years after surviving a crash that killed everyone in his family except himself. (Also in the cockpit is Robert Stack, playing the role he would ape years later in Airplane!)

Continue reading: The High And The Mighty Review

Island In The Sky Review


Very Good
For the longest time, I didn't think anything was going to happen in Island in the Sky. In fact, the very title implies that nothing is going to happen: I figured a big bomber would be flying around during WWII, drop a few bombs on Dresden or something, maybe hit some resistance, and finally return home after a successful run over Germany.

Was I wrong: Island in the Sky takes place mostly on the ground, after a transport plane (piloted by Captain Dooley, played by John Wayne in an exemplary role) crashes in the frozen wilds of Newfoundland. The film -- after a good 40 minutes of useless exposition -- spends the bulk of its time dealing with their attempts to be rescued.

Continue reading: Island In The Sky Review

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