EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY (aka: NO HIGHWAY) (director: Henry Koster; screenwriters: R. C. Sherriff/Oscar Millard/Alec Coppel/based on the novel No Highway by Nevil Shute; cinematographer: Georges Perinal; editor: Manuel del Campo; music: Malcolm Arnold; cast: James Stewart (Theodore Honey), Marlene Dietrich (Monica Teasdale), Glynis Johns (Marjorie Corder), Jack Hawkins (Dennis Scott), Janette Scott (Elspeth Honey), Elizabeth Allan (Shirley Scott), Ronald Squire (Sir John), Jill Clifford (Peggy Miller), Niall MacGinnis (Captain Samuelson, Pilot), Hugh Wakefield (Sir David Moon, Airline President); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Louis D. Lighton; 20th Century Fox; 1951-UK)|
military war hero pilot James
Stewart plays the eccentric Yank scientist working
for a British airline, and gives one of his better
and more pleasing performances as someone
kindhearted but a bit daffy."
by Dennis Schwartz
Dedicated airplane engineer
for the Royal
Airforce Establishment, Theodore Honey (James
Stewart), tests for structural weakness in the tail of
the new Reindeer airplanes, believing over a certain
amount of time, at the 1440 hour mark, vibrations will
cause a crash. He explains in detail to his new plant
manager boss Dennis Scott (Jack Hawkins) his theory, who believes
the scientist is sincere but doesn't understand what
he's saying--yet backs him up with his boss Sir John (Ronald Squire). When a Reindeer designed
plane with a lot of mileage crashes in Labrador,
the scientist is flown there to examine the tail
wreckage. When the timid scientist discovers he's
flying on a Reindeer designed plane and that the
mileage accumulated would indicate the tail will
fall off due to metal fatigue, he forces the pilot
to make an emergency landing in Gander to check it
out. When there appears to be nothing wrong with the
plane, it's set to take off without the scientist.
But Honey's so sure he's right, that he disables the
plane so it can't fly and is brought back to London
for psychological tests.
unconvincing cautionary romance takes place back in
London between the absent-minded widowed father of
the brainy/geeky 12-year-old Elspeth (Janette Scott)
and the passenger, the famous international sexy
actress Monica Teasdale (Marlene Dietrich),
and the sweet young widowed stewardess Marjorie Corder (Glynis Johns), who both stick by their
man when his sanity is attacked and the big boss (Hugh
ready to throw the little fish out on the tarmac. The
domesticated stewardess' love seems more sincere
because she sticks around while Honey's test is
completed to find out if he was right or not, while
Teasdale splits to Hollywood to make another film.
The one-dimensional characters add no emotional depth, especially when the awkward romance is tossed onto the airplane drama; but Stewart plays a likable character that translates into a rather genial pic with much appeal. Interesting enough, the first commercial jet airliners began to crash due to the similar metal fatigue Shute wrote about.
REVIEWED ON 8/14/2011 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ