Island In The Sky (1953)

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    There are 151 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.



      Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas

      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      A transport plane crash-lands in the frozen wastes of Labrador, and the plane's pilot, Dooley, must keep his men alive in deadly conditions while waiting for rescue.
      Summary written by Jim Beaver

      Full Cast
      John Wayne .... Capt. Dooley
      Lloyd Nolan .... Captain Stutz
      Walter Abel .... Col. Fuller
      James Arness .... Mac McMullen, pilot
      Andy Devine .... Willie Moon, pilot
      Allyn Joslyn .... J.H. Handy, pilot
      Jimmy Lydon .... Murray, Dooley's navigator (as James Lydon)
      Harry Carey Jr. .... Ralph Hunt, Moon's co-pilot
      Hal Baylor .... Stankowski, Dooley's engineer
      Sean McClory .... Frank Lovatt, Dooley's co-pilot
      Wally Cassell .... D'Annunzia, Dooley's radioman
      Gordon Jones .... Walrus
      Frank Fenton .... Capt. Turner
      Robert Keys .... Maj. Ditson
      Sumner Getchell .... Lt. Cord
      Regis Toomey .... Sgt. Harper
      Paul Fix .... Wally Miller
      Jim Dugan .... Gidley
      George Chandler .... Rene
      Louis Jean Heydt .... Fitch, pilot (as Louis Heydt)
      Bob Steele .... Wilson, Moon's radioman
      Darryl Hickman .... Swanson, McMullen's radioman
      Mike Connors .... Gainer (as Touch Connors)
      Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer .... Sonny Hopper, Stutz' co-pilot (as Carl Switzer)
      Cass Gidley .... Stannish, pilot
      Herbert Anderson .... Breezy, Stannish's co-pilot (as Guy Anderson)
      Tony De Mario .... Ogden
      Dawn Bender .... Murray's wife (uncredited)
      Gene Coogan .... Stutz's Navigator (uncredited)
      Ann Doran .... Moon's wife (uncredited)
      John Indrisano .... Mechanic (uncredited)
      Tom Irish .... Dusty, McMullen's co-pilot (uncredited)
      Fess Parker .... Fitch's co-pilot (uncredited)
      Richard Walsh .... (uncredited)
      Michael Wellman .... Mike Moon (uncredited)
      Tim Wellman .... Jim Moon (uncredited)
      Phyllis Winger .... Margaret, Girl in flashback (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Ernest K. Gann also novel

      Original Music
      Emil Newman
      Hugo Friedhofer (uncredited)

      Archie Stout

      Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
      Andrew V. McLaglen

      The little yellow radio shown in the movie was a actual radio. Its design is based on a WWII German emergency transmitter. It is a BC-778/SCR-578/AN-CRT3 emergency transmitter (it could not receive) affectionately called 'Gibson Girl', a name taken from the narrow-waisted female drawings of 1890s fashion artist Charles Gibson. Its shape allowed the operator to hold it between the legs while cranking it the necessary 80 RPM to produce enough electricity to operate. It could be set to automatically send an SOS signal or switched to send Morse Code signals. Early models transmitted only on 500kHz, later models also could transmit on 8280kHz (later modified to 8364kHz). It was notorious for being tough to crank.

      The general plot is based on a true story that the author, Ernest Gann related in his 1961 autobiographical book about his flying career, "Fate is the Hunter". He and other pilots searched successfully for a lost fellow pilot in the wilds of northern Canada during World War II.

      * Continuity: The stranded crew had arranged branches in the snow into the shape of a cross so the planes could spot it. Then they rearrange the branches to spell out a message when they fly over. The planes fly over one more time, and the branches are back in the shape of a cross.

      * Revealing mistakes: When the crewman is lost in the blizzard, you can see some white fabric in the "snowbank" behind him flapping in the wind.

      * Factual errors: As the plane begins its crash landing on the lake three crew members - not the pilots - are standing up behind the pilots looking out the windows. Under no circumstances would the non pilots be there. They would be in crash position in the rear area, not standing in the cockpit.

      * Miscellaneous: Just before their plane goes down, when Wayne and the co-pilot look out the windows, the wings are covered in ice, and the fuselage and windows are covered in snow - the camera then pans to a full view of the plane and there is no snow or ice anywhere. After the plane lands there is only a small amount of snow on it.

      * Factual errors: Hearing an incorrect latitude reading, Dooley says it could put them in Paris, Vladivostok, or Bangor ME, "all on the same latitude". The last two cities are at latitudes 43.1° and 44.8° north, which might be considered roundly the same, but Paris is significantly farther north at 48.8°. As a pilot with experience on Atlantic flights, Dooley would certainly know this.

      * Continuity: When Lovatt died, he had curled up into a fetal position. He would have frozen in that position. When the crew buried him, he was straightened out.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Location
      Donner Lake, Truckee, California, USA

      Watch the Trailer:-

      Island In The Sky

      Previous Discussion:-
      Island In The Sky
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 14 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Island in the Sky is a 1953 American aviation adventure drama film
      written by Ernest K. Gann based on his 1944 novel of the same name,
      directed by William A. Wellman, and starring and co-produced by John Wayne.
      It was released by Warner Bros.
      Due to its realism depicting the events
      surrounding an actual aircraft crash,
      it is considered one of the "classic" aviation films.

      Great realistic movie with Duke outstanding.
      Well supported by strong performances of
      Lloyd Nolan, Walter Abel
      James Arness
      and Andy Devine

      Also look out for a young Fess Parker
      and Duke 'Pals'
      Harry Carey Jr. as Ralph Hunt, Moon's co-pilot
      Paul Fix as Wally Miller
      Bob Steele as Wilson, Moon's radioman

      User Review
      Can't Forget It
      27 June 2004 | by Bruce Gilliland (Birmingham, AL)

      I saw Island in the Sky in 1953 as a 6-year-old. I've never seen it again, but I still remember scenes from the movie. Like The Searchers, which I saw when it first came out in 1956, some of John Wayne's work stays with us. His movies had an impact that carries over generations.
      I think The High and the Mighty, which came out a year later, overshadowed Island in the Sky. It was a bigger production and it has been shown on TV.
      When AMC and other cable networks do their John Wayne retrospectives, they ought to include some of his earlier, lesser-known films such as Island in the Sky. All they ever show are his 1960s westerns and an occasional war film (I saw In Harm's Way last night).
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • We did a search for Island in the Sky through this message board's search engine, and came up with 551 references. Many of them are in the threads about The High and the Mighty.

      Anybody who wants to go back and sift through this "ancient history" can check HERE.

      Because of last year's much anticipated release of this film, it is very available, from all the "usual" internet sources, as well as every store that sells DVDs. :lol:

      Chester :newyear:

      The post was edited 2 times, last by chester7777: Update link, number of references ().

    • Originally posted by chester7777@Feb 17 2006, 08:04 AM
      We did a search for [b]Island in the Sky through this message board's search engine, and came up with 434 references.  Many of them are in the threads about The High and the Mighty.

      Anybody who wants to go back and sift through this "ancient history" can check HERE.

      Chester :newyear:


      Hi Jim and Sue,
      Thanks for your post, and it underlines, once again,
      that all this fragmentation, was not helpful.
      Now at least, we can now have all this, in one forum.
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Hi all,
      I watched Island in the Sky several times and with audio commentary too, but still have some technical questions. For the firse about this ice. Why it was so dengerous and why they didn't take nessesery precoutions? I remember when I flew at December aierfield crew put something at the winds I think it was against freesing.
      And I was also surprised that this area was uncharted. I thought that in 20 century almost everything was put on maps.
      It is interesting that in this movie there is strong religios theme. Duke two times is reading the pray our Father, once from the beginning to end and he didn't stop it even when radioman came with importaint news.
      And I absolutly love this final line of him about the 6 kids. He at the time of filming had 3 I guess.
      Senta :rolleyes:
    • Vera;

      You ask about Ice and the Aircraft in the Film? In the days before Jet Aircraft most Aircraft of that time could not go much above 20,000 Feet unless they were Turbo Super Charged. The B-29s that I flew in the early 1950s were Turbo Super Charged and we could go up to about 35,000 Feet but the Aircraft that was in the Film could Not go High enough to get above the bad Icing Weather. :stunned:

      In The Film "Island in the Sky" they did a good job on making the Film and showing how Ice on the Wings Effects the Wing of the Aircraft . :) If you watch the Film again You will see when the Plane is Icing Up you can see Duke breaking up the Ice on the front of the Wing with what are called Deicing Boots that are Black in color. They are made of Rubber and expand with Compressed Air and Break some of the Ice off of the Front part of the Wing. :fear:

      If the Ice builds up to much on the Wing you loose the Lift on the Wing, and there is no other place to Go But Down! :fear2:

      After the Jet Age Began, they had all the Heat from the Jet Engines that they needed to Heat the Front of the Wing with Hot Air and this is called a "Hot Wing." :jump:

      And in Very Bad Weather sometime they Spray Anti-Icing Liquid on the Wings and the Tail of the Aircraft.

      In 1978 I got myself into a Bad Icing Condition coming back from Oregon up by where Chester is Going when He retires. :wacko:

      If you would like to Read the Story that was in the "Flying Magazine" you can go to


      Bill :cowboy:

    • Hi Bill,
      thank you very much for the post and fashinating story. What experience you have! Excuse me that I don't know much about planes and flying but I'm sure like to watch movies about that and hear stories.
      If I finally came to the 26 Bar ranch will it be possible to fly with you at your plane. Or if don't seat a little at the cokpit of it?
      I remember that at our airport they put some kind of anti-icing spray on wings. Interesting why? You write that modern jet planes are flying higher then freezing.
      In Island in the Sky there is real great cinematograpty of planes. It is hard to imagine that it is all real planes and big ones flying so beautifully.
      You remember Andy Devine talking to Harry Carey Jr. about knife, that he had to go out and clear up. Is he joking or means that he really must go through the window?
      Regards and thanks,
      Vera :rolleyes:
    • Hi Tabitha,

      First of all a big

      WELCOME to the JWMB

      I am sure you will meet many friendly and knowledgeable
      folk here, on this great Board.

      What you posted is very interesting, and I feel
      sure, lots of our members would be interested.

      Is it possible you could copy and paste, your
      fathers accounts, here in this thread?
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Tabitha,

      We, too, welcome you to the John Wayne Message Board!

      I can't imagine there would be anyone here who wouldn't be interested in your father's account, and think Keith's suggestion of perhaps cutting and pasting into this thread is a good one.

      Welcome, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

      Chester :newyear: and the Mrs. :angel1:

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