Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama
When a commercial airliner develops engine problems on a trans-Pacific flight and the pilot loses his nerve, it is up to the washed-up co-pilot Dan Roman to bring the plane in safely.
At the time of its release, much of the film's success was attributed to Dimitri Tiomkin's masterful, Oscar-winning musical score. However, the haunting title song was heard only twice, at the beginning and the end. As was his shameless custom, the ever-self promoting Tiomkin commissioned lyrics for his theme in hopes of winning twin Academy Awards for Best Song and Best Score. While this scheme achieved its desired effect previously with a double win for High Noon (1952), his title song for The High and the Mighty (1954) lost that year's award to another title song - from Three Coins in the Fountain (1954).
Hey fella, ain't you Dan Roman?
Dan Roman: Yeah.
Ben Sneed: I heard you whistlin' and I said to myself only one guy does that just so.
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".
The song "The High and the Mighty" (with lyrics) does not appear in the original 1954 release of this film. However, the studio wanted the hugely popular, chart-topping song to be nominated for the Best Song Academy Award that year. According to AMPAS regulations, the song could not be nominated because it was no officially sung in the film, even if would be heard elsewhere. To satisfy these regulations, a version was released towards the tail-end of 1954 for a few nights only with the song inserted into an Exit Music. The Academy then decided to give the song a nomination on the basis of these screenings. The song lost to "Three Coins in a Fountain".