View Full Version : The High and the Mighty

Taff Missed
3rd Nov 2012, 17:33
Just ploughed through this for the first time on Beeb 2 and can now fully understand why EK Gann chose to dis-own it. Dreadful.


3rd Nov 2012, 19:59
It was the movie version of the magnificent "Fate Is The Hunter" that was truly horrific!

3rd Nov 2012, 22:26
I agree with albatross - there's little mystery as to why EKG disassociated himself from the risible film version of his memorable book.

Viewing the film as an impressionable youngster I made a solemn mental note that in the unlikely event of achieving lofty ambitions of becoming an airline captain that I would never, ever, rest my coffee cup on the centre pedestal.

And so the seed was sown. For the best part of 30 years whenever (albeit only momentarily) the pedestal was used as a coffee table the harvest has been images of erroneous fire warnings, unnecessary shut-downs and rip-snorting high drama.

I think it was perhaps the laissez-faire whistling of the captain ( Blue moon?) as all four engines were fuel starved under IMC whilst descending into a fjord that proved the final straw for EKG.

3rd Nov 2012, 22:50
I thought TH&TM was a pretty decent film. I saw it originally in a cinema shortly after it was released.

From Wiki:
Gann wrote, or adapted from his books, the stories and screenplays for several movies and television shows. For some of these productions he also served as a consultant and technical adviser during filming. Although it received positive reviews, Gann was displeased with the film version of Fate Is the Hunter, and removed his name from the credits. (He later lamented that this decision cost him a "fortune" in royalties, as the film played repeatedly on television for years afterward.) He wrote the story for the television miniseries Masada, based on The Antagonists, and the story for the 1980 Walt Disney movie, The Last Flight of Noah's Ark

4th Nov 2012, 01:08
I thought this was a pretty dire movie. The script and dialogue was poor and anyone who could sit through over two hours of it must like aeroplanes.
Like Unchained it is mainly remembered for the theme from the soundtrack written by Dimitri Tiomkin. It is yet again hooked in my mind and if you wish to download the MP3 from Amazon it costs less than 1. beware of the original recordings by Victor Young, Les Baxter and Leroy Holmes they hiss and distort. There is a good recent recording for 69p here

4th Nov 2012, 03:57
first off, let's get the name of the film right. "the high and the mighty" was not the film EKG disowned.

"Fate is the Hunter" is the one he disowned.

Now, I've seen "fate is the hunter" and read the book of the same name. they are both amazing aeronautical stories.

But let's talk about the film version. To the average guy or pilot watching this film you first think??/there isn't a plane like that in real life...and there isn't. So, would boeing or douglas or even YAK allow a plane like that to have a crash on the silver screen? nope...too much bad publicity.

so ignore the plane.

Now...the cockpit scenes in this film are excellent, well scripted and acted. True to the way real pilots are. Calm and cool and then in command when the feces hits the rotating ventilator.

The idea that fate killed these people is the intriguing part of the equation...makes you wonder...and is almost a different way of looking at the book's situation in which EG uses more power than normal to get home to vacation...and just happens to prevent elevator unporting...lluck.

If you think the movie is dreadful, you are not in tune to flying. Perhaps you need to grow a bit more. perhaps you should watch the movie again and again and really try to understand.

There is much truth in this film, but like anything, one must look for it in the little parts.

And yes, the coffee...which turned out to be repeated a few years ago in a United airlines jet and reported on by CNN, using scenes from the movie.

Watch it...think...and then fly for twenty years...you might ''get it'' then.

4th Nov 2012, 08:37
Now, I've seen "fate is the hunter" and read the book of the same name. they are both amazing aeronautical stories.

But let's talk about the film version. To the average guy or pilot watching this film you first think??/there isn't a plane like that in real life...and there isn't. So, would boeing or douglas or even YAK allow a plane like that to have a crash on the silver screen? nope...too much bad publicity.
I am confused do your comments from above onwards refer to The High and the Mighty or Fate is the Hunter?

4th Nov 2012, 08:55
Fate is the Hunter

EKG's autobiography remains one of the best aviation-centred books ever written; it seems odd that it should share its title with one of the worst films of its type.

4th Nov 2012, 15:19

I am refering to the film, "Fate is the Hunter". The plane in "the high and the mighty" is a well known plane called the DC4 and it made it all the way to san francisco.

the plane, made up for the purpose of the film, "FATE IS THE HUNTER" is scraps of other planes made up to look like a jet.

By the way, the film, "the high and the mighty" has a memorable scene as the DC4 breaks out of the cloud and the pilots pick up the approach lights...the approach lights look like the Christian Cross, the great moment of redemption for those souls on the damaged plane.

"fate is the hunter" isn't one of the worst aviation films...I think the most modern aviation film, "FLIGHT" might get that distinction. but the film "FATE IS THE HUNTER" demands thought that a real pilot can relate to.

Taff Missed
4th Nov 2012, 15:54
Well I still think THTM was a crap movie and if EKG didn't dis-own it he bloody should've.

(Maybe if I was a 'real pilot' with only twenty years experience I'd understand).


4th Nov 2012, 17:07
I don't think I've ever seen THATM, but is "Fate is the hunter" the film where the aircraft was called a "Consolidator," it was operating "Flight 22," it looked like a DC-7C fitted with jet engines (really weird!), the coffee spilt over the centre pedestal and jinxed some instruments or maybe the engine fuel controls, causing engine failure, followed by an emergency landing on a beach, which went well until a jetty/pier got in the way, resulting in the deaths of all on board?

And I seem to recall some dumb reporter telling someone from the airline or FAA that he had found out that the jetty/pier had been due to be demolished in about a week's time, so wasn't the disastrous collision of the aircraft with it "fate?"

A pretty poor film I thought. Oh and by the way, I once tried a book by EKG (I think it was Fate is the hunter), because so many of my fellow propliner enthusiasts had raved about them. Sad to say, I found it-and I have to say this-both tedious and pretentious and I abandoned it after two chapters.

4th Nov 2012, 17:11
Inevitably, I've found an excerpt from the film on You Tube:

"Doughavilland DC-6 Comet"-1964 - YouTube

I think the poster's description of the aircraft is pretty accurate!

4th Nov 2012, 17:28
close...the airline was called : Consolidated Airlines.

The plane may have been many pieces including what you said, but it was basically a prop airliner without the props/engines and two jets stuck under the horizontal fin.

the actors were Glen Ford, Suzanne Pleshette (who was the ONLY survivor, a flight attendant who witnessed what happened in the cockpit) and Rod Taylor as the captain. It was filmed in Black and White. I saw it in the theatre when it first came out and whenver there is a major crash I watch it on tape as it reminds me of how many things can add up to make a disaster.

"THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY" a different film, in color starred john wayne, and the most memorable moment to anyone who has ever been a copilot had JOHN WAYNE slap the Captain's face (Robert Stack, AKA elliot ness) and convinced him not to ditch. The music, the theme from the high and the mighty was a big hit...great words too.

bob newhart, the great comedian, had a great routine about the pilot of a normal airliner coming back through the cabin and whistling, the theme from the high and the mighty.

I would also highly reccomend another john wayne movie from an EKG book called, "island in the sky". just great, especially if you like DC3's.

I get a kick out of seeing what people like and don't like in the world of movies and planes...and any pilot who could dismiss the book "Fate is the Hunter" hasn't ever been scared in flying.

and if you haven't been scared at least once, maybe you have never flown much.

5th Nov 2012, 14:59
Aaaaah, Suzanne Pleshette.....

5th Nov 2012, 16:09
Fate is the Hunter not really his autobiography. A Hostage to Fortune

It is a valid point that quite a number of grey-beard pilots found Fate is the Hunter somewhat tendentious with the author assuming a kind of oracle role, almost intoning platitudes about the great mystique of flying, a sort of pseudo Hemingway. You could almost say that an aversion to 'the American way of life' coloured their thinking.

Of course critics of this ilk are hugely outnumbered by those who find inspiration, nobility, humility on nearly every page. His account of his apprenticeship with men such as McCabe and Ross has become the stuff of legend, for those days and those methods are so much a thing of the distant past.

Anybody who says he was not a hugely gifted story teller, may the fickle finger of fate strike down.

6th Nov 2012, 20:51
When I joined BEA woe betide anyone who so much as passed a coffee mug across the centre pedestal. The result was that the stewardesses had to lean on the pilot and hand the mug to him over his outside shoulder which could easily result in a face buried in the unfortunate woman's chest - if you played your cards right!

10th Nov 2012, 20:46
"fate is the hunter" isn't one of the worst aviation films...I think the most modern aviation film, "FLIGHT" might get that distinction.

why is that so sevenstrokeroll ? Have you even seen it ? From the trailers it seems like a fairly decent movie, and i for one am looking forward to seeing it.

Flight - Official Trailer 2 [HD] - YouTube

10th Nov 2012, 21:37
hi cyflyer

"FLIGHT"...let's see, a guy using drugs and booze is an airline captain something goes wrong with the plane while he is sleeping the cockpit while the plane is on autopilot.

he has to fly the airliner inverted in order to stop the descent and salvage a landing.

yeah, right.

you don't think he would have been found out before this?
you think he is a heroic flyer because he is stoned? (maybe all that drug use as a college student made obama a good president?)

IF you want to a see a movie about a pilot with a substance problem, try to see a film called, "THE PILOT" starring Cliff robertson...(and he was a pilot in real life) IT is very hard to find on tape/dvd etc. But it is worth seeing if you ever can.

Oh, and the above film uses real planes, not CGI.

"flight''...yup...drugs, screwing flight attendants, and this guy is a hero...right.

11th Nov 2012, 07:46
Seven, I know the subject matter is highly 'unlikely', but its a Hollywood movie, its entertainment, lets just enjoy it as that. The cockpits look real, the airplanes look real, which is more than can be said for the same in 'Fate is the Hunter' when I saw the clip shown further up the thread. The planes and cockpits are cringeworthy to say the least, like something out of legoland.

11th Nov 2012, 08:03
yes, image is everything and story is nothing.

maybe all pilots should be hopped up on drugs

12th Nov 2012, 05:15
Speed and Angels was pretty crap...