From: David Hayes
Date: Saturday, April 04, 1998 8:33 PM
Robert Kolker wrote in message <firstname.lastname@example.org>…
>I liked -Flight of the Phoenix- very much. It shows how people can rise
>to the occasion in a life threatening situation. Stars Jimmy Stewart,
>Hardy Kruger, Earnet [sic] Borginine, Dan Duryea and others
"Flight of the Phoenix" has an unsavory manner of making every character look bad at least once. The seemingly-level-headed pilot portrayed by Jimmy Stewart loses his reason in an extended moment of accusations and castigation. The model-plane designer played by Hardy Kruger has the ingenuity to determine how a flight-worthy aircraft can be built from the parts left from the crash that has left all the characters stranded on the Sahara, and Kruger rationally defends the theoretical knowledge he possesses as being equal to that used in passenger-sized airplanes, yet the film depicts him coldly, icily when unemotionally dismisses any objection over his design being unsuitable for the two injured passengers because the doctor among the survivors has assured him that those two untransportable passengers will be dead before the proposed craft can be amalgamated from the available parts.
Likewise, the military characters, who choose to march from the crash site to civilization, are shown to ignore well-reasoned advise against their plan owing to the magnetic fields that will invalidate their compass. (It would be one thing were the soldiers to march away with their compass knowing neither whether it should or shouldn't work, and for them to learn later that an unconsidered factor has led them to go astray. Instead, the film has the soldiers receiving facts from a man who knows about compasses and the terrain--the pilot encounters this information as part of his profession--yet rationality is side-stepped.)
The message of the movie seems to be that these characters all needed each other in order to survive. One man acting alone could not bring to the task every required attribute of temperament, mental discipline, and knowledge--says the film.
Return to Table of Contents
Go to next article