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The High and the Mighty Photos

Movie Info

On a flight from Hawaii to California, the engine dies on the plane Dan is flying. As he prepares for a crash landing, the passengers reassess their lives. The template for disaster movies with an Oscar-winning score and a cast list that reads like a who's who of 50s film.

Cast & Crew

John Wayne
Dan Roman
Laraine Day
Lydia Rice
Jan Sterling
Sally McKee
Robert Stack
John Sullivan
Robert Newton
Gustave Pardee
David Brian
Ken Childs
Ernest K. Gann
Screenwriter
Dimitri Tiomkin
Original Music
Archie Stout
Cinematographer
Ralph Dawson
Film Editor
Alfred Ybarra
Art Director
Ralph S. Hurst
Set Decoration
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Critic Reviews for The High and the Mighty

All Critics (9) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for The High and the Mighty

  • Oct 16, 2013
    Silly bit of John Wayne foolery. It was a standard to put Wayne in non westerns to continue his interpretation of the perfect American frontiersmen in plots outside of the Old West. In most cases, it doesn't work.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 21, 2009
    A good "Danger in the Skies" movie, which features Wayne in a non-western role, playing an "ancient Pelican" that is, an airline Pilot with a grim past. Yet, when something goes wrong on an transcontinental flight, he might redeem himself. The film mixes both what is going on within the faltering plane as well as discusses the passengers lives, through flashbacks, conversations on the plane and voiceovers. While it works superficially, it makes the movie feel episodic sometimes (like an episode of LOST), and flashbacks and voiceovers have never been my most appreciated tools of narration. Especially in an aviation disaster scenario, where density and continuity should be in focus. Still, the cast is solid and Wayne plays as great as ever. And the movie is shot in lushly coloured Cinemascope.
    Henrik S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 16, 2007
    Fanastic little disaster film classic of the airborne with John Wayne where it strikes high above the Pacific Ocean at the point of no return. This film has more than enough fine moments generated by a cast of familiar faces to keep me interest. I didn't know this adventure film has six Academy Awards nominated that I was surprised to find out.
    Dean M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2007
    Long before "Airport" (1970) ushered in a long line of airline disaster movies, there was "The High and the Mighty". This 1954 film features Robert Stack as a pilot trying to make San Francisco with a disabled plane and forty frightened passengers. John Wayne is the veteran co-pilot and the voice of reason on what may be their last flight. According to the DVD commentary, Spencer Tracey was originally signed to play Wayne's role but bowed out at the last minute. Lucky for us Duke fans that he did because John Wayne turned in what may be his most understated and under appreciated performance ever.
    Kevin S Super Reviewer

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