Fate Is the Hunter

1964

Action / Drama / Mystery / Thriller / War

4
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 1051

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Mary Wickes as Mrs. Llewlyn
Glenn Ford as Sam McBane
Suzanne Pleshette as Martha Webster
Rod Taylor as Capt. Jack Savage

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 7 / 10

105 minutes is too long for this scenario. Some deft cutting was needed!

Copyright 30 September 1964 by Arcola Pictures. An Aaron Rosenberg Production, released through 20th Century-Fox. New York opening at the Palace and local cinemas: 9 December 1964. U.S. release: 30 September 1964. U.K. release: November 1964. Sydney opening at the Regent. 9,506 feet. 105 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: One night on a lonely beach near the Los Angeles Airport, Consolidated Airlines flight 22 piloted by Captain Jack Savage (Rod Taylor) crashes and burns. All passengers and crew are killed, with the exception of a stewardess, Martha Webster (played by Suzanne Pleshette).

Sam McBane (Glenn Ford) Director of Flight Operations for the Airline, rushes to the scene of the accident. He is told by airport personnel that Savage reported his right engine on fire shortly after takeoff and requested permission to land. Savage was told to maintain altitude on his left engine until a flight path was cleared. Minutes later, the plane crashed. McBane is baffled by the accident. It is his assignment to determine the accident's cause, but he can find no logical reason. Surely the plane could have maintained altitude on one engine. What else could have gone wrong?

COMMENT: Flashbacks, that's the problem. Much as I enjoyed Jane Russell's guest spot, all the re-enactments really do is to flesh out the part played by Rod Taylor. As Mr. Taylor is not an actor over-loaded with charisma, I can do without these unnecessary scenes.

Otherwise it's not a bad little film, with some good suspense — even if the solution is somewhat too pat and thus unsatisfying. Glenn Ford is his usual reliable self, and the support cast is loaded with interest.

Reviewed by fyrpilot 4 / 10

Not remotely connected to the book

"Fate is the Hunter" is my favorite book (I'm an avid reader who has read thousands). It is a compilation of the events that Ernest Gann experienced throughout his career as a Commercial Airline Pilot. The studio and or the Producer bought the title and had Harold Medford write the screenplay. Mr. Gann considered suing the production company because the film doesn't even resemble the story in the book.

Being both a pilot and a film buff, I was extremely disappointed with this movie. The people who made it had zero knowledge of aircraft or aviation making that part of the film difficult to watch. However, Glenn Ford turns in his usual good performance. Nancy Kwan and Suzanne Pleshette are stunning, and Rod Taylor turned in a believable characterization of a flawed yet admirable man.

Gann was not just a good aviation author, he was a great one along with Stephen Coonts and Richard Bach. He wrote "The High and the Mighty" which was a very good film that closely resembled the book. My advice is to read the book and enjoy Gann's extraordinary ability to relate an interesting story. Then, if you have two hours when there is not anything else that interests you on TV, watch the film with a jaundiced eye and enjoy some good performances by a venerable cast.

Reviewed by grantss 8 / 10

Interesting, engaging and original drama

Sam McBane is an executive at Consolidated Airlines. One of Consolidated's passenger planes crashes shortly after takeoff, killing 53 people on board. There is only one survivor, a stewardess. The pilot of the plane was Captain Jack Savage, a long- time friend of Sam's. Sam and Jack flew transport planes together in WW2. Jack was a playboy, and the press are painting him as as irresponsible and undisciplined...and the cause of the crash. Consolidated's CEO and other executives are quite happy to go along with this view, as it makes Jack Savage the sole cause of the crash and absolves them from blame. However, Sam knows better and sets out to find the truth, and hopefully clear his friend.

Quite original, in background and ultimate plot. The idea of fate/luck being the cause, rather than anyone's fault, isn't something that gets explored often. In fact, nowadays it is quite a radical notion as in our litigious, blame-finding society people always want to find something or someone, other than themselves, to blame for their misfortunes.

Very engaging too, as we see the Sam and Jack's history in WW2 and get to know Jack (especially) and Sam's characters.

Was set up for a very profound ending but, while it was practical and satisfying, it really could have done with something more philosophical. The end result felt a bit clumsy and devalued the bigger point to an extent.

Overall, a very good movie but could have been brilliant.

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