Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Jet Storm, 1959
AIRPORT is of course the grand-daddy of bomb-on-airplane movies, but JET STORM a proficient little British thriller (all wrapped up in 84 minutes) from 1959 is a neat entry in these "doomed flight" movies popular in the '50s and is one I had wanted to re-see for a long time. Nearly every one of the 32 people on the plane is a well-known face from the time, and director Cy Endfield (he also co-scripted and wrote the theme song, sung by Marty Wilde) keeps it moving nicely, like he did with HELL DRIVERS, his tough thriller in 1957 also headlining Stanley Baker (with the likes of Patrick McGoohan and Sean Connery in support).
Richard Attenborough plays Ernest Tilley, a man who lost his daughter in a hit-and-run accident. He tracks down the man responsible for the accident and boards the same plane, threatening to blow up himself and everyone on board as an act of vengeance. What follows is an Airport-type movie with all the passengers having their own little subplots and fears.
, before going on to HELL IS A CITY and GUNS OF NAVARONE in 1960. Again, it shows how different flying was back then, the roomy seats and space the passengers have ... like in PHONE CALL FROM A STRANGER, a Bette Davis drama from 1952.
1959 remains one of the best movie years as far as I am concerned, as good as 1939 certainly - in fact every year from 1957 through to 1964 is, and nicely coincided with my teenage movie-going years. JET STORM should have a proper dvd release, its a popular British film of that year, up there with ROOM AT THE TOP, I'M ALL RIGHT JACK, EXPRESSO BONGO, Losey's BLIND DATE, Dirk's THE WIND CANNOT READ, LIBEL and THE DOCTOR'S DILEMMA and interesting dramas like THE JOURNEY, SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL etc, and all those 1959 hits from BEN HUR to SOME LIKE IT HOT plus euro-titles like EYES WITHOUT A FACE, THE 400 BLOWS, LES DRAGUEURS etc, as per 1959 label, while also that year the likes of Antonioni, Hitchcock, Fellini & Visconti were preparing their 1960 masterpieces ...