Back from Eternity
Director John Farrow's Back From Eternity is a virtual scene-for-scene remake of Farrow's 1939 film Five Came Back. The earlier film is the better of the two, if only because it is 22 minutes shorter. The plot concerns a small passenger plane that crashlands in South America, square in the heart of headhunter country. Pilot Robert Ryan is able to get the plane back into flying condition; unfortunately he discovers that the plane will only be able to carry five of its eleven passengers to safety. Who will have to be left behind: condemned murderer Rod Steiger, socialite Phyllis Kirk, her weak-willed fiance Gene Barry, copilot Keith Andes, elderly married couple Beulah Bondi and Cameron Prud'homme, songstress Anita Ekberg, foul-tempered cop Fred Clark, soft-hearted crook Jesse White, or tousle-haired kid Jon Provost? Rod Steiger is just fine in the role orginally played by Joseph Calleia, but Ekberg is no match for the original's Lucille Ball.