Five Came Back (1939) - Rotten Tomatoes

Five Came Back (1939)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A plane carrying twelve passengers crashes in a South American jungle. While working to repair the plane, they discover that it will only carry five back to safety. As the war drums of headhunters move closer, the passengers fight and deceive to be one of those who survive.


Lucille Ball
as Peggy Nolan
Wendy Barrie
as Alice Melhorne
C. Aubrey Smith
as Prof. Henry Spengler
Kent Taylor
as Joe Brooks
Patric Knowles
as Judson Ellis
Elisabeth Risdon
as Martha Spengler
Elizabeth Risdon
as Martha Spengler
Casey Johnson
as Tommy Mulvaney
Frank Faylen
as Press Photographer
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Critic Reviews for Five Came Back

All Critics (2)

In many ways, the film can be seen as a precursor to the modern disaster flicks that had their heyday in the 1970s, and then another one in the '90s.

Full Review… | September 6, 2010
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Snappily paced.

Full Review… | April 26, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Five Came Back


Five Came Back was a highly successful B-grade film that helped launch Lucille Ball's career. The title describes the plot and you can pretty much guess who is coming back long before the actual decision is made. Dalton Trumbo wrote the screenplay and some of it does seem political, but it's a politics that is strangely quaint by today's standards. The film is worth seeing on a rainy day, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get a copy.

Bruce Rheinstein
Bruce Rheinstein

What seem a rather predictable B-flick comes up with some good twists in the final 30 minutes. First impressions aren't always accurate. A joy to see the venerable C. Aubrey sharing the screen with a young & serious Lucy. Solid cast and editing.

Christopher Bergan
Christopher Bergan

Five Came Back (1939) -- [7.0] -- Lucille Ball and John Carradine are among the 12-passenger crew of a small passenger plane that crashes in South America. The motley crew, which includes a child, a socialite, and a prisoner sentenced to death, must work together to repair the plane's engines before deadly natives attack. "Five Came Back" is a well-paced ensemble that packs a couple of memorable shocks and surprises, including an impressive ending where the group must decide who will live and who will die.

Scott Schirmer
Scott Schirmer

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