Island in the Sky (1953) - Rotten Tomatoes

Island in the Sky (1953)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Island in the Sky Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

During WWII, an American civilian transport plane is forced into an emergency landing in the frozen wastes of Greenland. Captain John Wayne is faced not only with his own survival but that of his four crew members, none of whom are truly prepared for this crisis.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Ernest K. Gann
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 2, 2005
Paramount Pictures


John Wayne
as Capt. Dooley
James Arness
as McMullen
Walter Abel
as Col. Fuller
Allyn Joslyn
as J.H. Handy
Jimmy Lydon
as Murray, the navigat...
Hal Baylor
as Stankowski
Sean McClory
as Frank Lovatt
Wally Cassell
as D'Annunzia
Frank Fenton
as Capt. Turner
Robert Keys
as Maj. Ditson
Regis Toomey
as Sgt. Harper
Paul Fix
as Miller
Jim Dugan
as Gidley
Bob Steele
as Wilson
Cass Gidley
as Stannish
Ann Doran
as Moon's wife
Dawn Bender
as Murray's wife
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Island in the Sky

Critic Reviews for Island in the Sky

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | October 7, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Though not as good as The High and The Mighty, this similarly themed action-adventure of an aircraft crash, survival, and rescue is decently exceuted by the same team, helmer William Wellman and star John Wayne, who also produced through his company.

Full Review… | August 22, 2009

An easy to take 'boys out in the wilderness' tale.

Full Review… | July 19, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

an admirable film, particularly when you consider the technical challenges of making a film like this in 1953

Full Review… | July 19, 2005

Audience Reviews for Island in the Sky


Tale of my third favourite idol, John Wayne as the pilot and his crew are forced to land his C-47 on the frozen, uncharted tundra of Labrador, is so talky and slow-moving drama.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

A slightly above average flight desaster film, which is mainly carried by John Wayne's stoic acting and strong lead. The movie depicts an airline crew's fight for survival following a plane crash and the related rescue misions. The movie features many classic Hollywood B and C actors, although their ability to shine is limited by the very focussed, almost minimal scope of the movie. And while the story offers as good as no twists, instead opting for a traditional Wayne vehicle hero rundown, the film still offers solid acting and thrill, especially towards the last 30 Minutes. Unfortunately, the movie does not dare to make the 'catastrophe' catastrophical enough, so that true suspense never comes up. Worth its while for Wayne for sure though.


Henrik Schunk

Super Reviewer


I've been flying for over 20 years. The first few minutes of this film are some of the most accurate aviation imagery I have ever seen. They really capture the intensity of an in-air emergency.

Chris H.
Chris Hawley

Island in the Sky Quotes

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