Time to look at James Stewart film, this one’s been released on Blu-ray courtesy of Eureka Entertainment and has a very strong supporting cast. So without further ado here’s my The Flight of the Phoenix Blu-ray review.
- The Flight of the Phoenix Blu-ray Review (1965)
- Genre: Drama
- Directed by Robert Aldrich
- Written by Lukas Heller
- Music by Frank De Vol
- Cinematography by Joseph Biroc
- Running Time: 142 Mins
- UK Rating PG
- Discs: 1
- Released By Eureka Entertainment
- Starring James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Hardy Krüger, Peter Finch, Ernest Borgnine, Ian Bannen, Ronald Fraser, George Kennedy
A cargo plane crashes in the desert over Libya having encountered a sand storm. With the plane well off course chances of rescue look slim. Should they wait for help, try to walk out or is there another way.
Tension builds as the days go by and the water supply begins to run short.
How will they survive? Maybe they can build a new plane from the wreckage? If only they had an aircraft designer among them…
Style / Direction
Set in the desert in Libya all that can be seen is sand other the crashed plane, it looks pretty spectacular but with a lack of alternative locations the films main emphasis switches to that of the many interesting characters that survived the crash.
The problem with films like this, and by that I mean disaster films, is maintaining interest. The film lasts over two hours and at times it can feel like it’s beginning to drag on a little too much.
Music / Audio Effects
The music does an exceptionally good job of heightening moments of tension. In fact with a lesser film score the film could really become a bit of a slog.
Acting / Characters
The Flight of the Phoenix is in essence a disaster film and that generally means plenty of tense situations that require exceptionally good actors. Thankfully that is one of the films strengths, coming with an all-star cast.
James Stewart is the main star and plays pilot Captain Frank Towns. He feels responsible for the death of some of passengers following the crash. Frank Towns seems to have accepted the fact they aren’t going to be rescued. Surprisingly as this after all played by James Stewart you are left feeling rather unsympathetic to his character and that doesn’t happen very often. That said Stewart plays the role very well bouncing off Richard Attenborough and Hardy Krüger.
Richard Attenborough plays Lew Moran and is the friend of Captain Frank Towns and is the linchpin between Frank Towns and his rival Heinrich Dorfmann (Hardy Krüger)
Dorfmann is an aircraft designer and tension soon builds between him and Captain Frank Towns. This is where the real interest lies with The Flight of the Phoenix.
The acting is first class with great supporting roles coming from Ronald Fraser, Ian Bannen and Peter Finch in particular.
Conclusion – The Flight of the Phoenix Film Review
In the end The Flight of the Phoenix is a decent film with an outstanding cast and for that reason alone its worth watching.
The Flight of the Phoenix Blu-ray Review
First things first, the Blu-ray box claims it’s a “New High Definition 1080p Presentation” What that doesn’t mean is that the film has been restored and boy oh boy does it show. To be fair the general picture quality is decent, sharper and cleaner looking, although in several scenes the quality drops substantially. Now it’s time to talk about the marks and speckles of dirt that occur throughout proceedings. There are quite a few fairly large black marks plus many annoying white flickers.
So whilst this may well be a new high definition 1080p presentation don’t let this fool you that the film has had any clean-up work applied to it.
Now to the most important question, should you buy the Blu-ray version? Well I would go with yes due to the increased resolution and overall decent picture quality.
Sadly this looks to be another film which only needs a minimal clean-up to really have the wow factor we have come to expect and deserve. Let’s not forget film fans probably own films like The Flight of the Phoenix on VHS and then DVD, so the reason to purchase on Blu-ray is clear, better picture quality.
Overall decent picture quality let down by a lack of restoration.
- Interview with film historian Sheldon Hall
- Original Theatrical Trailer
A reasonably interesting 25 minute documentary looking into the reasons why the film may have failed at the box office.
On to my movie rating for The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
- Movie Rating: WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray: DECENT
- Extras: GOOD
The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) is available now on Blu-ray priced £8.58 from Amazon (as of date of review)
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster with the trailer…
Clip not be representative of the Blu-ray version
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The Flight of the Phoenix Blu-ray Review (1965)
Director(s): Robert Aldrich
Actor(s): James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Hardy Krüger, Peter Finch, Ernest Borgnine, Ian Bannen, Ronald Fraser, George Kennedy
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Rating
An outstanding cast make for a tense but enjoyable film, let down only be a lack of restoration on Blu-ray.