James Stewart stars as the captain of a plane that has crashed in the desert and must be fixed on the double before all crew members die.
Robert Aldrich's tense, 1965 drama about a plane crash in the Sahara is a unique psychological study of men in desperate circumstances. In this somewhat revisionist view of classic heroism, every character within the mixed lot is stretched to his limit, and individual efforts to brave the elements and hostile nomads are duly punished. What is left is collective will and ingenuity. One could call this an allegory for transcending Cold War madness, perhaps, but Aldrich (Kiss Me Deadly) makes this such a gritty, immediate experience that you can feel the desert sand in your teeth. Superb performances by James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Hardy KrÃ¼ger, Peter Finch, and the rest. --Tom Keogh
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