Stars: Burt Lancaster,Dean Martin and George Kennedy
The movie is based on Arthur Hailey's novel of the same name.The movie was directed by George Seaton( Henry Hathaway assisted in the direction).
The movie is basically a drama dealing with a set of people who are caught up in a difficult situation.
D.O Guerrero(Van Heflin),a depressed man struggling with loss of job and history of mental illness,decides to commit suicide on an airplane.He buys an insurance policy which his wife could collect after he commits suicide.He boards a Boeing 707 flight headed for Rome from Chicago.When the crew finds out that he is carrying a bomb in his attache case,Co-pilot Vern Demerest(Martin) tries to persuade him to hand over the case but Guerrero runs to the lavatory and blows himself up.This leads to decompression.Demerest's girlfriend Gwen,a stewardess is injured(He is having an affair with Gwen and she is pregnant with his child).
Meanwhile,airport manager Mel Bakersfeld is tackling his personal problems(he is also having an affair with his public relatins agent Tanya Livingston,played by Jean Seberg) as well as dealing with airport related issues.He has to deal with a snow covered runway because the movie set during a snowstorm.When he finds about the plane he enlists the help of chief mechanic Joe Patroni to clear the runway(a plane of a different airline is stuck there),so that the palne could land.In the end the plane is moved and the ill-fated plane manages to land.
This movie was a huge box office success and was probably the first Hollywood movie to cross the $ 100 Million mark worldwide.In my opinion, the movie is nothing more than a grandscale soap opera.The performances are good overall but Helen Hayes runs away with the acting honors,as an aged stoaway.The role won her a best supporting actress Oscar.The movie was nominated for 10 Oscars in all.The movie is considered to be the trend setter for disaster film genre,a genre which was all the rage during the 70's.I found the movie to be entertaining,although it was a bit slow for my liking.
My Rating: 6/10