The High and The Mighty (1954)


“Yep, Dan Roman is one guy who had guts enough not to commit suicide.” – Ben Sneed

Number of Times Seen – 1 (4 Sep 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A plane en-route between Hawaii and San Francisco loses one of its engines and the crew must find a way to keep the passengers calm while figuring a way to save everyone on board.

My Take on it – This is a film that I had never heard of beforehand and watched it solely due to the fact that its director William Wellman was nominated for an Oscar for Best Director for his work.

I was quite impressed by the fact tat this was probably one of the very first films in the disaster film genre long before there was even a name for these kind of films.

John Wayne is great i the lead role and gives one of his finest performances here because of the way he portrays his characters past history and how it affects him during this situation.

The various storylines of the characters work quite well even if they sometimes feel a bit overlong and take us too far away from the suspensefulness of the impending disaster.

Many of the characters seem too generic looking and there are times when it’s harder to keep track of who is who.

That is probably the reason why most future disaster films had All-star casts since it helps us differentiate between the various characters much more easily.

There is no doubt that this film and many of the scenarios presented were used for the basis of many future disaster films and disaster film spoofs and that makes this film even more interesting to watch unfold.

Bottom Line – Great disaster movie before there was even a name for the genre. Wayne does a great job in the lead and keeps things interesting. The various storylines of the passengers are good yet there is a feeling that some of the back stories are a bit long and take away from the suspense of the film.  It’s also sometimes a bit difficult to differentiate between the various characters which makes things slightly confusing at times. There is no doubt that many of the episodes and scenes featured in this film were used for the basis of so many disaster movies or their spoofs decades later. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Long considered the granddaddy of the epic ‘disaster film,’ The High and the Mighty (1954) was envisioned more than fifteen years before the genre would truly take off with Airport (1970). While disaster films would come to be associated with all-star casts, every major star approached for The High and the Mighty (1954) turned it down, which led to the film being populated entirely with B-level actors, with the exception of John Wayne. But William Wellman’s sure-footed direction turned the material into a box office bonanza notwithstanding, garnering six Oscar nominations in the process. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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3 thoughts on “The High and The Mighty (1954)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1954 |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1954 | MovieRob

  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1954 | MovieRob

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