The High and the Mighty

Theatrical Release: July 3, 1954
DVD Release: August 2, 2005
The High and the Mighty
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faith
integrity
sex
language
violence
drugs
nudity
other

Synopsis

John Wayne personally produced many of his ’50s films, which is why some of them have languished in corporate limbo following his death. The High and the Mighty was one of his most popular vehicles (no pun intended). This long, necessarily sedentary drama aboard an endangered airliner is a CinemaScope bridge between 1932’s Grand Hotel and 1970s disaster movies. Despite Wayne’s iconic presence as a pilot–now copilot–who survived the plane crash that wiped out his family, it’s an ensemble movie with an impressive cast: Robert Stack sharing the cockpit, Oscar® nominees Claire Trevor and Jan Sterling, Laraine Day, Robert Newton, Paul Kelly, John Qualen, Regis Toomey, the ubiquitous Paul Fix, and director William A. Wellman’s good-luck character actor Douglas Fowley. Dimitri Tiomkin’s score won the Oscar, though the fondly remembered theme song isn’t as prominent as you’d expect. Wings veteran William H. Clothier shot the aerial footage.

Dove Review

John Wayne plays “Whispering Dan” Roman in this film, an airplane pilot who lost his wife and child in a plane crash some years before. When he travels as a co-pilot on a long flight, his experience will be needed when the plane runs into some serious problems. The crew has to decide if they have enough fuel to make it to San Francisco or if they should attempt to land in the water, hoping the plane won’t sink until they are met by rescue workers.

The story examines the psyche of several passengers, and how they react when they realize they could be confronted with death. The story is interesting and none of the content crosses Dove’s level of acceptability so we are pleased to award this movie with our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.

Content Description

Faith: None
Violence: A character recollects a plane he was in catching fire; the plane in the film catches on fire; a man has a gun but doesn't shoot anyone; propeller goes out on plane.
Sex: Newlyweds kiss passionately; a married woman flirts with a married man and although he briefly kisses her on the neck nothing further happens; it's suggested another married man had an affair in the past.
Language: None
Violence: A character recollects a plane he was in catching fire; the plane in the film catches on fire; a man has a gun but doesn't shoot anyone; propeller goes out on plane.
Drugs: Smoking; drinks served on plane; talk of woman being drunk.
Nudity: Shirtless man; cleavage; man in shorts; man in boxers; bathing suits on people but nothing is graphic.
Other: Couple argue on plane and discuss divorce; a woman holds a rosary on plane and a man makes the sign of the cross; the topic of death.

Info

Company: Paramount Home Entertainment
Producer: Robert Fellows
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 147 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter