Outstanding movie. The kind you’ll only see after your wife is propped up in her brace in the media room and you try to find something to put you to sleep late night on the back cable channels in the lonely bedroom. The High and the Mighty. Relic of a terrible, awful Tea Party type time when men wore ties everywhere and women cared what men thought of them.
The kind of airline disaster movie we couldn’t make today. No crash, no death, no outright heroics. Because emergencies (gasp) don’t always result in catastrophe. John Wayne, Robert Stack, Robert Newton, Claire Trevor, Jan Sterling, Sidney Blackmer, Laraine Day, Phil Harris, and multiple other character actors who make the Airport movies look like the expensive clunkers they were.
Not all the endings are happy. Everyone lives, but some will never be the same. I used to think only John Ford ever got a real acting performance out of John Wayne. This movie is an exception. Yeah, he slaps the pilot, but his best moments are when he’s calming the passengers. And if you’ve ever been in a bad moment on a plane, you wish he’d been there to allay your fears.
Great music too.