The Flight of the Phoenix

Synopsis: A cargo plane goes down in a sandstorm in the Sahara with less than a dozen men on board. One of the passengers is an airplane designer who comes up with the idea of ripping off the undamaged wing and using it as the basis for an airplane they will build to escape before their food and water run out.
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Director(s): Robert Aldrich
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
142 min


Mr. Moran, we going to

be on time in Benghazi?

I don't see why not, Gabriele.

I'll ask Captain Towns

to make a special point of it.

1350. Radio out of service.

Voltage regulators inoperative.

Holding course for Benghazi.

Thanks, Mike.

I'll let you have them back.

- How's it going up there?

- Lousy.

Never taken off in one of Arabco's

old tubs without something being wrong.

This time we've got faulty regulators

and a duff radio.

Don't let that hold you up.

I've got two months' leave coming.

It's not the company's time

we're flying on.

Radios are no good anyway.

I got a radio.

Record players are nice, though.


Thank you, doctor.

- Cigarette?

- No, thank you.

It's good of you

to give the Army a lift.

Not at all.

That's not much good, is it, sergeant?

Stow it away with the cargo.

The number four control pulley

on the starboard side seems a bit noisy.

Perhaps binding a bit.

I couldn't see properly.

I don't feel it up here.

I'd better have a look.

Hand me the flashlight.

- Ready for another flying lesson?

- Haven't recovered from the last one.

Oh, now, I got her

all trimmed up for you.

Just hold her straight.

Straight and level, 20 degrees.

Here, I'll take that.

Straight. Now, don't over-control it.

Don't sway it.

Thank you very much.

Don't leave me holding

this thing forever, will you?


Hi, skipper.

How are you?

Hey, Mr. Bill. Here, try this.

It's real good for you. One drink, the girl

comes out of the picture and bites you.


Hey, skipper, you want some ouzo?

- Make you fly real good.

- No thanks, son. I'm driving.

I reckon I deserve this. Listening to that

wog music has given me a headache.


The pulley's all right.

Squeaking a little, that's all.

- How are you getting along?

- Magnificently.

But I think someone up there

knows that I'm flying this thing.

That's quite a sandstorm

he's sending our way.

Yep, I've seen it.

So much for your weather report.

Let's have a look at that chart.

- If it closes in on us...

- This old bird will need a coat of paint.

- What alternate did you nominate?

- El Aouzzad.

Three mud huts and a poison well.

That's not a place, that's a disease.

Oh, now, Lew, don't worry. We're not

about to start turning to alternates yet.

We're bigger than

a little local sandstorm.

Old Auntie at traffic

management's gonna have kittens.

A pilot is supposed to use his own

judgment, don't you think?

Gee, if it weren't for that...

I don't know, Lew, I suppose pilots are

just as good now as they ever were...

...but they sure don't live

the way we did.

Well, I can tell you

that there were times...

...when you took real pride

in just getting there.

Flying used to be fun.

It really did, Lew.

It used to be fun.

- You don't think perhaps we should...?

- Head for the alternate?

You better take a look out the window.

We're being followed.

There goes our alternate.

That stuff up ahead

looks like it's rising.

I think we'd better find out

just how high it does go.

I must say, without the radio,

I would have expected them... turn for the alternate airport

by now.

Wouldn't you?

I don't know you, do I, boy?

Are you from the oil field?

My brother is there. Dorfmann.

I went to visit him on my holiday.

- You went to visit your brother in Jebel?

- Yes.

He's chief analytical geophysicist

for the Arabco Oil Company.

That pilot...

I would have thought he was a little

elderly to be flying without a co-pilot.

Wouldn't you?

That sand's a bastard, you know that?

A real bastard.

Hey, Standish. Not while the train's

in the station.

It's not gonna let up, Frank.


There she goes.

Are we gonna put her down?

That right engine didn't make it,

the other one probably won't either.

We're gonna have to put her down

before this one quits.

Can you get any lift out of her at all?

Well, maybe enough to hop over

a few sand dunes.

I'm gonna have to make it

on the first try.

We going in with our wheels down?!

I'd give anything not to,

but we'll never get up again if I don't.

No, I suppose not.


What's happening? What is it?

The lights are shorting out.

It's gonna start a fire.



The cargo!


It's breaking apart!





Come on, come on. Get a flashlight.

Let me out of here.

Come on, run. Run!


It's gonna blow!


Get away from the plane!




Harris, keep those guys together.

She won't burn now.

Get them under the wing

before we lose somebody.

Lew, see if you can get

the emergency lighting...

There are three trapped at the back.

Three trapped in the back!

Dr. Renaud!

Dr. Renaud!

Dr. Renaud!

Come on. Come on!


All together now. Easy.


Here it comes.

The leg is entirely crushed.

See if you can find my bag.

- What about the other two back here?

- They've had it.


They've what?





What are we gonna do now?

Do you want to say something?

Like what? "Sorry"?

There. Make it secure, will you?

Captain, don't you think it's time

we started getting things organized?

Yes, you're right.

I'll get Sergeant Watson to make up

some containers for flares.

- We'll need some of your fuel.

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Lukas Heller

Lukas Heller (21 July 1930 – 2 November 1988) was a German-born screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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