Written by / 8/26/2016 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SOARING MELODRAMA OF 'THE CROWDED SKY' W/ DANA ANDREWS

Efem Zimbalist Jr and Karen Green YEAR: 1960
Now this is an "entirely different kind of flying, altogether..." A classic line, not only from the 1980 comedy AIRPLANE but its low-budget predecessor, ZERO HOUR...

Dana Andrews as Dick
And you'd think Dana Andrews, the original Ted Stryker taken over more famously by Robert Hays but spelled Striker, had learned to stay clear of THE CROWDED SKY – but it's ingrained, from returning from Korea in THE FEARMAKERS; heading to England in CURSE OF THE DEMON; and suffering memories in the Post-War drama THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (or dying on a runway plane in MY FOOLISH HEART), he had a cinematic penchant for taking to the skies...

The Crowded Score: ***1/2
And now Dana's commercial pilot is headed towards jet fighter Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Troy Donahue.

And by the 11th hour, both big and small plane will meet (which would be opposite in AIRPORT 1975 where Dana flies the unpredictable, totally unexpected small plane and Efrem the commercial passenger plane). But this is much different than most aerial disaster flicks that began with THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, that this movie purposefully compared itself to. Before the inevitable, nail-biting finale, THE CROWDED SKY plays out not only like miles-high melodrama/soap opera, it spends around 75% of its time in each of the central character's (passengers and crew members) narrating, reflecting, reposeful minds while basking upon their troubles, romances, and even a little happiness (AIRPLANE too had many flashbacks)...

Efrem Zimbalist Jr and Dana Andrews converge
Beginning with an awkward close-up on child starlet Karen Green as Efrem's daughter: she much prefers her tall military dad to narcissistic mom, Rhonda Fleming...

"He's Dick to everyone"
Other flashbacks include a "He Thinks, She Thinks" of our two young buried leads: grouchy "jerk boyfriend" co-pilot played by John Kerr and blond-haired, optimistic, "she deserves better" stewardess Anne Francis (her and Dana Andrews would return five years later in William Conrad's BRAINSTORM! and the same year he's her dad in THE SATAN BUG)...

Book cover looks like Dana Andrews
The most annoying stories don't include a visual aid, punctuating their overall insignificance — those being: a shunned, slightly-older gal seated beside a suave (not handsome) Hollywood player, letting him woo her and, as we do hear her thoughts, learning they once had a one night stand while he doesn't recognize her at all...

Anne Francis as Kitty Foster
Also on board is an awkward businessman finding the right amount of guts to address a middle-aged plump woman; and a nervous method acting James Dean type attempting to persuade a Yenta agent to represent him. "I can't feel fear... I've never been afraid in my life," he whines...

A forced harbinger of what's to come, and Dana Andrews goes right back to his ZERO HOUR dead-serious mode, keeping his edge and prowess this time around: At which point the near-catastrophe is an existential break following all those memories and reveries — some intriguing, others draining, taking more than half the movie from the present time — all an intricate piece of a bizarre cinematic puzzle that, despite the abundance of camp value, is an original spin on the plane-in-peril subdivision of the overall disaster film genre, and one that Dana Andrews is a patron saint of — and very few realize it.
A scene that's not in the movie of Zimbalist and Fleming's wedding party The Crowded Sky Lobby Card
Troy Donahue and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in THE CROWDED SKY
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Rhonda Fleming in THE CROWDED SKY
Cute as a button Karen Green in THE CROWDED SKY
Never Say Die with Troy Donahue and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in THE CROWDED SKY
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Rhonda Fleming in THE CROWDED SKY
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Rhonda Fleming in THE CROWDED SKY
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Rhonda Fleming in THE CROWDED SKY
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Rhonda Fleming in THE CROWDED SKY
Jean Willes and Keenan Wynn in THE CROWDED SKY
Anne Francis as the "ex tramp of tramps" in THE CROWDED SKY
Louis Quinn and Hollis Irving in THE CROWDED SKY
Tom Gilson and Patsy Kelly in THE CROWDED SKY
Anne Francis and John Kerr in THE CROWDED SKY
Anne Francis and John Kerr in THE CROWDED SKY
Some of the quick flashbacks are pretty great... looking, like Rhonda Fleming in THE CROWDED SKY
Nothing cooler than a late 50's early 60's fighter jet, no matter what the stinkin' hippies think
Anne Francis and Dana Andrews in THE CROWDED SKY
Dana Andrews propels greatness in THE CROWDED SKY
Dana Andrews in THE CROWDED SKY with Joe Mantell and John Kerr
Dana Andrews slips into reverie in THE CROWDED SKY
Dana Andrews in THE CROWDED SKY
Dana Andrews in THE CROWDED SKY with Joe Mantell and John Kerr
Dana Andrews in THE CROWDED SKY with Joe Mantell
Tory Donahuw sealing his fate stubbornly in THE CROWDED SKY
Rhonda Fleming lures her divorced husband to bed in THE CROWDED SKY
Karen Green looks up to father Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in The Crowded Sky
Karen Green looks up to father Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in The Crowded Sky
The Third Man actor Warren Parker and Dana Andrews in The Crowded Sky
Keenan Wynn as a "phony Britishness" screenplay writer in THE CROWDED SKY
Dana Andrews and future Hot Rods to Hell traffic cop Paul Genge in THE CROWDED SKY
Dana Andrews as Captain Dick Barnett in THE CROWDED SKY
Tom Gilson as wannabe actor and Patsy Kelly as real agent in THE CROWDED SKY
Shot of a shooting shot of Washington DC from THE CROWDED SKY
1) Movie viewpoint of John Kerr punching Dana Andrews in The Crowded Sky compared with...
2) The Lobby Card Viewpoint of the same moment but probably from the Still Photographer
Troy Donahue gets the rules by Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in The Crowded Sky
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Dale Heath in THE CROWDED SKY
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. with cute daughter Karen Green in THE CROWDED SKY
Lobby card featuring Troy Donahue signing up for his fate in THE CROWDED SKY
Like GIANT but the pilot forces his son on an amusement park airplane THE CROWDED SKY
Nan Leslie and Dana Andrews husband and wife in THE CROWDED SKY
Dana Andrews and Nan Leslie step on each others lives but is saved in The Crowded Sky
The Empty Ground Efrem Zimbalist Jr. walks on in THE CROWDED SKY

Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Featured Post

PEGGY CUMMINS & JOHN DALL IN THE NOIR CLASSIC 'GUN CRAZY'

Poster with John Dall and Peggy Cummins dead in love for GUN CRAZY Year: 1950 The Femme Fatale, you know, the bad girl with the great fa...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Most Popular Last Year

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

FOR TELEVISION REVIEWS

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "That's what happens when you let a cop go to college: he gets too smart." Dick Powell, Murder My Sweet

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)THE FEARMAKERS 2)JAWS 3)THE CROWDED SKY 4)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 5)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 6)ASH WEDNESDAY 7)SHARKS' TREASURE 8)CANYON PASSAGE 9)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 10)HOT CARS 11)CURSE OF THE DEMON 12)HARDCORE 13)VIOLENT SATURDAY 14)ROYAL FLASH 15)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 16)SWEENEY TWO 17)THE PARTY 18)THE ROARING TWENTIES 19)AIR PATROL 20)THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN 21)THE SERGEANT 22)OTLEY 23)AL CAPONE 24)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 25)FALLEN ANGEL 26)THE DEFECTOR 27)COMPULSION 28)RIDE THE PINK HORSE 29)EASY LIVING 30)WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS 31)ATLANTIC CITY 32)JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG 33)CANYON RIVER 34)MADISON AVENUE 35)THE SHARKFIGHTERS 36)DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS 37)QUANTRILL'S RAIDERS 38)KILLER FISH 39)THUNDER ISLAND 40)THE DAY THEY ROBBED THE BANK OF ENGLAND

ACTORS 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)MARLON BRANDO 4)JACK NICHOLSON 5)ORSON WELLES 6)PETER O'TOOLE 7)TOM COURTENAY 8)CHARLES BRONSON 9)GENE HACKMAN 10)VICTOR MATURE ACTRESSES 1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN CARPENTER 7)MAURY DEXTER 8)JOHN LANDIS 9)MICHAEL WINNER 10)SAM PECKINPAH

RARITIES & EXPLOITATION

Popular This Month

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

TRIP THROUGH THE SIXTIES

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

All Time Popular

TARGETING THE SEVENTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE