…and The High and The Mighty have always been my favorites of all his films.
I have always considered Islands a very surreal work which showed Wayne in a very human and fragile light. Not as crack-sure of himself and very close to “breaking”.
Both have finally been (I suspect) released by the Wayne Trust and can now be seen on AMC.
If you’ll pay attention, you’ll recognize the spoof movie Airplane 's gags on The High and The Mighty
One thing which bothers me (and what I would like y’all to comment on), is that Matthew Modine is introducing and commenting on both films, and a closeup of Matthew is featured right alongside a picture of the Duke.
Does anyone know if Modine is going to play John Wayne in a bio-pic?
Anyone remember his impression of Wayne in the Kubrick pic Fulll Metal Jacket ?
I’d heard about the reputation of Island in the Sky but was unaware it had been out of public view for so long. Glad it’s been restored and AMC ran it; pretty good film, making allowances for its for its age and the usual cloying sentimentality of films from that era. I particularly liked Lloyd Nolan’s and Andy Devine’s turns as two of the pilots searching for Wayne and company, the various in-flight shots of the C-47s, and the gorgeous location shooting.
I’m giving The High and the Mighty a miss for now; the promos didn’t look too promising and I fear Airplane may have ruined this one for me.
Watched 'em both, wunnerful, wunnerful … no movie prominently featuring airplanes can really be bad, eh? But the more Ernie Gann scripts I’m exposed to, the lower my opinion of his fiction-writing ability. The characters and dialogue, especially in H&M, were as stilted as in anything Irwin Allen ever did.
Both plots, btw, are taken almost directly from his autobiography, Fate Is The Hunter, which is completely unrelated to his script for the later movie of the same name. Gann really did participate in a long SAR mission in northern Quebec, and really did barely make it to the mainland from Hawaii after an engine loss on a DC-4. Aw, just read the thing, it’s great.
I do have a bone to pick with the SFX crew - the No. 1 engine on the airliner didn’t look twisted in its mounts in the inflight shots, even with the model, but on the ground suddenly it was hanging almost 45 degrees down. The landing at SFO wasn’t shown as being unusually hard, either. Also, the panel shots showed the landing by VOR/ILS, but Wayne was still babbling on about coming in the San Francisco northwest range. Four-course ranges were already almost gone in 1959, and nobody with a VOR receiver would use one anyway. Nitpick over.
Yeah, Airplane has spoiled me. I kept waiting for Robert Stack to say “Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue!”. Even Wayne slapping some sense back into him when he freaked didn’t make up for it.
It’s too bad that scene became so cliched before I even got a chance to see its origin. Stack’s reply to getting slapped, “Thanks, I needed that”, simply reminded me of the old Skin Bracer aftershave commercials when it should have been a key dramatic moment.