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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lets fly away !
A big mistake is to watch this film from a modern day standpoint. If it is not possible
to temporarily transport oneself back 50 years the movie will be an exceedingly tedious, boring and
without doubt a funny one, and almost certainly you will not last the flight!
For politico-business reason the High and the Mighty has been sitting on an archive shelf...
Published on 27 Mar 2008 by DoDo Fan

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Dull and The Cliched
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and certainly there's nothing like a film being unavailable for years to help build up its reputation to near-mythical status without having to worry about the film itself shattering the illusion. Case in point The High and The Mighty. The biggest hit of 1954 and one of the first major disaster movies, for a couple of...
Published on 9 Nov 2007 by Trevor Willsmer


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lets fly away !, 27 Mar 2008
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This review is from: The High And The Mighty [DVD] (DVD)
A big mistake is to watch this film from a modern day standpoint. If it is not possible
to temporarily transport oneself back 50 years the movie will be an exceedingly tedious, boring and
without doubt a funny one, and almost certainly you will not last the flight!
For politico-business reason the High and the Mighty has been sitting on an archive shelf since the 1950s - it first appeared on cinema
screens in 1954 and in cinemascope too which at the time was an innovative format. It has recently been restored - all 141 minutes of it - and a damned fine job has been done too. Excellent colour saturation, sharp focus and a 5: 1 soundtrack miraculously engineered into the movie. It looks and sounds so good it might have been shot last week. What could not be changed is the screenplay, the special effects and the acting!
A lot of familiar faces are in the cast list including a youthful John Wayne and a fresh faced Robert Stack, also a young Jan Sterling will be met.
Commercial flying in the 1950s was far removed from the stressful experience it can be today. Then there were no long queues at check-in desks; in fact one was greeted by name as one approached with smart leather luggage and a shoulder-padded suit - men as well as women! There were no close encounters with anyone suffering from travel rage and everything was most courteous and friendly. This was after all, an experience for the comfortably off and the well behaved. Furthermore, airports then, unlike today, were not shopping malls with a runway attached .
The film is full of clichés - even then - and has Airplane, which was to appear some thirty years in the future, written all over it.
Basically, the story is of an airliner short on fuel - really! It's on a flight over the Pacific and carrying the usual mix of passengers with personal problems. The frightened woman, the man carrying a gun, an angelic small boy and the about to be divorced couple. And of course the regulation must-have pilot with a problem. They are all there, the sort of folk one expects to encounter in an aeroplane, but curiously, never on a bus, tram or train or ship!
The aeroplane itself of course is strictly of the time. The cabin interior, with open racks above the exceedingly well-sized seats, looking more like a long distance coach. The flight deck is depicted as a walk -in room and inhabited by a surprising number of individuals it apparently took to fly the thing. I counted four or five square jawed, broad shouldered guys in para-military uniforms, one of whom had a strange habit of whistling the movie's theme tune from time to time as a bit of a morale booster.

It's all great fun - especially if one is a fan of this kind of hokum. Having said that, it's not a bad couple of hours and more entertainment. The film was after all nominated for half a dozen Oscars and actually won one - for the theme music. The movie also kicked into play the careers of some of the players - especially Robert Stack who would appear in a similar role many years later in Airplane.

For a Tenner of less you'll get a two-disc DVD , one containing the movie and the other, which has loads of extras, that may be found by some to be more enjoyable than the film! I'm happy to recommend this movie and give it a generous four stars.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Airplane Disater Movie, 24 Jan 2008
By 
IM35461 "IM35461" (East Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The High And The Mighty [DVD] (DVD)
From the extras with this DVD you will see John Wayne was not actually going to star in this movie produced by his company.

Granted the movie is very long and drawn out but the soundtrack / music score in 5.1 sound really helps.

Also for anyone who has seen Airplane! you will see the source character for the role Robert Stack plays in both movies.

Movie also shows how air travel has changed from the early 50's when air travel was for the privileged few.

This movie has also been showing on Sky in HD but only with stereo sound.

It is a shame they did not re-release this movie on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a movie that has been missing for a long time, 16 Jan 2011
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This review is from: The High And The Mighty [DVD] (DVD)
This is a nice two disc item of a movie that has seem to have disapeared over the years . It is a nice print of one of what must have been one of the first "disaster " movies. I have not viewed the extra disc as yet but the actual film was as enjoyable as when I first saw it on release more years ago than I care to remember . Younger viewers of it will probably be bored with it as there is no zap and blast , but older viewers will as it shows a more gentler age .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Dull and The Cliched, 9 Nov 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The High And The Mighty [DVD] (DVD)
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and certainly there's nothing like a film being unavailable for years to help build up its reputation to near-mythical status without having to worry about the film itself shattering the illusion. Case in point The High and The Mighty. The biggest hit of 1954 and one of the first major disaster movies, for a couple of decades or more rights issues and a lengthy restoration process kept the film out of circulation and alive only in the fond memory of those who saw it in their youth. It's not just less impressive than director William Wellman, co-star John Wayne and novelist/screenwriter Ernest K. Gann's previous collaboration Island in the Sky, it's not very good at all. Now that the novelty has gone with six decades of airplane-in-jeopardy movies, much of what's left is clumsily executed hokum with a low-octane cast playing a planeload of annoying and extraordinarily badly written stereotypes facing a swim home when an engine catches fire and their plane loses the extra fuel it needs to make it to dry land. While Leonard Maltin warns in his DVD introduction that it's "a film very much of it's time," even in 1954 this was remarkably unsubtle stuff and it really should be a lot better than it is: money has been spent and there's a lot of talent in the credits, with Wellman and Gann's own aviation experience promising much more than an overlong soap opera in the sky with dialogue and characterisation so risible that even Irwin Allen would have rejected it..

Most of the more prominent names in the cast - Claire Trevor's beaten up broad who "never quite managed to make it legal" and Robert Newton's Broadway producer and nervous flier who finds himself an unlikely voice of calm in particular - have little to do and not much screen time to do it in. Wayne's veteran co-pilot still traumatised by the crash that killed his wife and child ("The only man I know with the courage not to kill himself") doesn't have a great deal to do either for most of the film, and it's all too easy to see why first choice Spencer Tracey (among other big stars sought for the passengers) turned the picture down. The presence of a sweating Robert Stack as the pilot at the controls "whose nerves of steel are starting to rust" brings up unhelpful memories of Airplane! for modern audiences, with only Doe Avedon (rather misleadingly billed in the trailer as "a right gal who had to be nice to a lot of wrong people!") making much of a positive impression as the plane's stewardess. Most of the rest of the cast are so annoying that it's the kind of film where you're rooting for the engine failure. It's hard not to agree with Lenny Bruce, who mercilessly lampooned the film in his 'Non-Skeddo Airlines' routine, that if they really wanted to lighten the plane they should have ditched the irritating 'cute' kid while he was asleep.

Very obviously shot almost entirely on the studio lot, the film only briefly kicks into life when Wellman gets to go on location to shoot the various rescue services preparing for the worst, but even these scenes are let down by the distinctly underwhelming big finale. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the film today is the amount of lightweight smut which, though tame today, does push the envelope of what was acceptable within the confines of the all-too easily offended Breen Office's censorship demands of the day - Phil Harris and his wife find themselves the target of a wife-swapping couple at their Hawaiian hotel while nauseating young newlyweds John Smith and Karen Sharpe decide that if they're going to die they may as well go out with a bang.

Aside from the grotty looking title sequence, the DVD transfer is quite superb, working wonders on the usually highly variable WarnerColor system and the lack of detail that was such a problem with the early 2.55:1 CinemaScope lenses. There's an excellent extras package too that's worth the price of the disc on its own, including a decent featurette on Dimtri Tiomkin, whose memorable score is one of the best things about the picture and was played at the Duke's funeral. It's just a shame that the film itself is so hokey.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Passable viewing, 19 Oct 2005
By 
S. Doyle (Dublin 6, Ireland Ireland) - See all my reviews
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I was expecting alot more from this DVD,yes the quality/sound/cinemaphotography are excellent,but the story gets bogged down from too much star treatment. It could have been trimmed down to 2 hours to enhance some excitement which was lacking throughout. Anyhow,fans of the Duke wont be disappointed and the highlight for me and many others is the wonderful film score
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3.0 out of 5 stars John Wayne and Robert Newton, 19 Jun 2014
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The special features are far more interesting than the film itself as it is too long and tedious. Dimitri Tiomkin won an Oscar for Best Score in this film, and there's no doubt that he is a good composer. He deserved the Oscar, but this wasn't his best score. 'Dial M For Murder' was a better score which came out in the same year. I can see why this film was out of circulation for years because despite the cinemascope and beautiful shots, it still drags its feet and feels much longer than the 141 minutes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The High and the Mighty John Wayne, 21 April 2014
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Ms. C. B. Mclaglen "beatrice allen" (Huddersfield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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If you are a John Wayne fan, this as a film for you, with character clashes, heroics and good summings up in an adventure story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the high and the mighty, 21 April 2014
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Mr. Barry Ratcliffe (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
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great john wayne classic with a great cast the film and sound are excellent and it came in perfect condition
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5.0 out of 5 stars For Lovers of John Wayne, 11 Dec 2013
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Great DVD's that were hard to find mainly becasue I didn't think of Amazon as the first port of call - lesson learnt. Packaging and delivery excellent. Great quality DVD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars John Wayne doesnt come much better, 21 Feb 2013
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Rankin Cattan "rankin_cattan" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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An unusual part for John Wayne this but he carries it of well ,you could argue about the drama side of it but considering the age of the movie its a good offering ,for all Wayne fans its a must !
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The High And The Mighty [DVD]
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