THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY
DIRECTED BY WILLIAM A. WELLMAN
PRODUCED BY JOHN WAYNE/ ROBERT FELLOWS
MUSIC BY DIMITRI TIOMKIN
Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas
INFORMATION FROM IMDb
John Wayne .... Dan Roman
Claire Trevor .... May Holst
Laraine Day .... Lydia Rice
Robert Stack .... John Sullivan
Jan Sterling .... Sally McKee
Phil Harris .... Ed Joseph
Robert Newton .... Gustave Pardee
David Brian .... Ken Childs
Paul Kelly .... Donald Flaherty
Sidney Blackmer .... Humphrey Agnew
Julie Bishop .... Lillian Pardee
Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales .... Gonzales (as Gonzales Gonzales)
John Howard .... Howard Rice
Wally Brown .... Lenny Wilby, navigator
William Campbell .... Hobie Wheeler
John Qualen .... Jose Locota
Ann Doran .... Clara Joseph
Paul Fix .... Frank Briscoe
Joy Kim .... Dorothy Chen
George Chandler .... Ben Sneed
Michael Wellman .... Toby Field
Douglas Fowley .... Alsop
Regis Toomey .... Tim Garfield
Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer .... Ensign Keim (as Carl Switzer)
Robert Keys .... Lieutenant Mowbray
William Hopper .... Roy (as William DeWolf Hopper)
William Schallert .... Dispatcher
Julie Mitchum .... Susie Wilby
Doe Avedon .... Miss Spalding
Karen Sharpe .... Nell Buck
John Smith .... Milo Buck
John Close .... Mechanic (uncredited)
James Conaty .... Mrs. Joseph's Doctor (uncredited)
Robert Easton .... Cargo Clerk (uncredited)
Dorothy Ford .... Mrs. Wilson (uncredited)
Al Hill .... San Francisco Ground Crewman (uncredited)
William Hudson .... Reporter (uncredited)
John Indrisano .... Radar Operator (uncredited)
Douglas Kennedy .... Boyd, Reporter (uncredited)
David Leonard .... Scientist (uncredited)
Al Murphy .... Lighthouse Dispatcher (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien .... Restaurant Cook (uncredited)
Walter Reed .... Mr. Field (uncredited)
Philip Van Zandt .... Mr. Wilson (uncredited)
Tom Hennesy .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Keating .... DC-4 stunt pilot (uncredited)
Ernest K. Gann also novel
Capt. Francis S. Van Boskerck (song "Semper Paratus" ['Always Ready'])
John Qualen (cues) (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Andrew V. McLaglen
William H. Clothier .... aerial photographer
Muzzy Marcellino .... whistler: dubbing for John Wayne
Dimitri Tiomkin .... conductor
Ned Washington .... lyricist
The lyrics to the famed title song are only heard at the very end, are sung by a large choral group, and are different than the familiar lyrics heard in the popular-song record releases of the time.
Jan Sterling reportedly shaved her eyebrows for her role in the film and they never grew back.
John Wayne's first film in CinemaScope.
Producer John Wayne chose Robert Cummings as his co-star for the role of Captain Sullivan. Director William A. Wellman, however, overrode his producer and chose Robert Stack for the part.
Joan Crawford, Ida Lupino, Barbara Stanwyck, Ginger Rogers, and Dorothy McGuire all turned down roles in this film.
Spencer Tracy was originally cast as Dan Roman. He backed out of the film, however, after hearing several negative comments about how strict a disciplinarian director William A. Wellman was.
Average Shot Length (ASL) = 11 seconds
The actual DC-4 aircraft used to film the passenger boarding and flying sequences was a former military surplus Douglas C-54A-10-DC built in 1944. When filmed, the aircraft (then registered as N4726V) was being operated by Transocean Airlines for whom the film's author, Ernest K. Gann, had flown these planes over the Hawaii-California routes. Known as the "The Argentine Queen," before being acquired by Transocean in 1953 it had been the personal aircraft of Argentine dictator Juan Domingo Perón. Ironically, a little more than a decade after appearing in the film this aircraft and the nine persons on board were lost on March 28, 1964, when the plane was forced to ditch in the Pacific Ocean about 700 miles west of San Francisco. The plane was about eight hours into a charter flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles when the pilot reported a serious fire in engine #2. The Coast Guard searched for the aircraft for five days but no trace of it was ever found.
Towards the end of the movie, when Robert Stack tells John Wayne to whistle something (because he works better with music), the tune that John Wayne whistles is, "I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech".
John Wayne's role was first offered to Spencer Tracy. However, Tracy, a Democrat who opposed blacklisting, wanted nothing to do with Wayne's Batjac production company and turned the part down.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At the missile testing site, the word "missile" is misspelled "missle" on the sign.
* Continuity: When Dan Roman stumbles from the burning wreckage of an airliner in a flashback sequence, he sees and reaches for a burning teddy bear. When he picks it up, it's no longer burning.
* Revealing mistakes: In the flashback story her husband tells, Clara Joseph falls down some stairs and kicks a waiter's tray in the process. However, when they cut from the closeup of her feet, she is obviously sitting on the bottom step. She then leans back, takes aim, and kicks the tray. She then lies back like it was all one continuous motion.
* Factual errors: The sound of the yellow flying bomb is wrong. It is audibly a jet engine, but the flying bomb is actually a German V1 which is powered by a ram jet: slats on the nacelle let in air that was mixed with fuel and ignited by a spark plug. The machine in flight sounded like a backfiring automobile.
* Factual errors: Near the end of the film, Air Traffic Control clears the aircraft to land on "runway 39" This is impossible. Runways are numbered are within 10 degrees of their actual magnetic heading, and since there are only 360 degrees on the compass, the highest runway number possible is "runway 36".
* Revealing mistakes: When co-pilot Dan Roman was walking down the isle to explain to the passengers what was wrong with the engines, you could see the whole right wall of the plane was missing as the camera tracked him.
* Revealing mistakes: When stewardess Spalding was preparing the liquor drinks, a problem with the plane caused a severe vibration. The table and the drinks shook, jumped and nearly fell, yet she did not shake, nor did the walls, or the curtain right behind her.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Jan Sterling showed a newspaper article to Robert Stack, it was dated 1948. Jan commented that the article was "8 years old". The movie was released in 1954, only 6 years after the article was written.
* Miscellaneous: In the Columbia crash sequence the tail of a burning DC-3 is clearly visible. However, among the wreckage was the front flashing of a B-29 nacelle, having one large circular opening with a crescent shaped opening on either side. The DC-3 has a simple circular opening.
Samuel Goldwyn/Warner Hollywood Studios - 1041 N. Formosa Ave., Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA. Now known as The Lot
Watch the Trailer
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