This suspenseful air-borne adventure can rightfully lay claim to being the Mother of All subsequent in-flight disaster films of the '70s. The trouble begins when the pilot and crew of a Canadian passenger plane suddenly find themselves doubled over from accidental ptomaine poisoning and unable to continue flying the plane. The only other person on board who can save the terrified crew is a former WW II flying ace who is petrified of flying again. Fortunately, a courageous steel-nerved ground controller is there to offer full-radio support. Later the film became the basis of a TV movie Terror in the Sky and the hilarious parody Airplane (1980). Arthur Hailey, who wrote the teleplay on which this was based, went on to write the novel and the screenplay for 1970's Airport. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
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A strong cast keeps this film flying. Both Sterling Hayden and Dana Andrews are fabulous in their roles. One issue in the film that challenges my belief is how anyone could question Dana Andrews' strength of character. Despite some stilted dialogue, however, the film keeps the audience in suspense.
This is the original! If you've ever seen a disaster movie or the spoof of them like Airplane you have to this the movie that started them all. You'll love this. It's appropriately dated for the time period and the set up continues to last in movies like Cloverleaf, etc. now. A must see.