Crash Landing

Overview

Captain Steve Williams (Gary Merrill) is piloting a commercial airliner across the Atlantic when he loses two engines in mid-ocean. With the real prospect of ditching at sea, we see his dedication and perfectionism at work, as he tries to safeguard his plane and passengers -- those attributes have made him one of the best men in his field, but have also alienated most of the people around him, including his wife (Nancy Davis) and young son (Kim Charney). As Williams faces the life-and-death decisions in front of ...
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Overview

Captain Steve Williams (Gary Merrill) is piloting a commercial airliner across the Atlantic when he loses two engines in mid-ocean. With the real prospect of ditching at sea, we see his dedication and perfectionism at work, as he tries to safeguard his plane and passengers -- those attributes have made him one of the best men in his field, but have also alienated most of the people around him, including his wife (Nancy Davis) and young son (Kim Charney). As Williams faces the life-and-death decisions in front of him, he, the crew and passengers try to come to peace with their consciences and their respective pasts.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Could William Wellman have ever dreamt of what he was starting when he made The High And The Mighty in 1954? Aerial disaster films, all populated by characters with enough back-stories to fill any number of literary pot-boilers, started turning up from other studios and lots of lesser filmmakers. Crash Landing was one of the latter, from Columbia Pictures by way of Sam Katzman's Clover Productions -- and while the low-budget shows through everywhere, from the black-and-white non-anamorphic photography to the near television-level cast (all except for Gary Merrill, Nancy Davis, and Irene Hervey), and the short running time, the results aren't bad. Gary Merrill, now a long way from his days at 20th Century-Fox as the husband of Bette Davis, but still a good actor, is convincing in his portrayal of the perfectionist airline pilot whose professional and people skills are pressed hard by an emergency over the ocean. And rest of the B-level (or lower) cast follows along solidly, but without any real inspiration, till the crisis hits. Director Fred Sears, one of producer Katzman's most oft-used hands behind the camera, does his best with the script and the actors. Unfortunately, this isn't The High And The Mighty -- the total budget was probably a fifth (if that) of that movie's -- and the movie isn't one-tenth as engrossing, just an hour and change that would be wasted on modern audiences, except as an artifact of what air-travel was like in the 1950s, and for a sincere and affecting performance by future first-lady Nancy Davis as Merrill's compassionate wife. But to get there, one also has to get past the near-laughable special effects depicting the plane.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/16/2010
  • UPC: 043396359819
  • Original Release: 1958
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures Home
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 52,802

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gary Merrill Steve Williams
Nancy Reagan Helen Williams
Irene Hervey Bernice Willouby
Roger Smith John Smithback
Bek Nelson Nancy Arthur
Jewell Lain Ann Thatcher
Sheridan Comerate Howard Whitney
Richard Newton Jed Sutton
Richard Keith Arthur White
Celia Lovsky Mrs. Ortega
Lewis Martin Maurice Stanley
Hal Torey Calvin Havelick
John McNamara Phil Burton
Kim Charney Barrie Williams
Robert Whiteside Red
Ronald Green Mel
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. Carlos Ortego
Robin Warga Teddy Burton
Technical Credits
Fred Sears Director
Mischa Bakaleinikoff Score Composer
Fred Freiberger Screenwriter
Sam Katzman Producer
Ben Kline Cinematographer
Jerome Thoms Editor
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