Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981)

PG   |    |  Action, Adventure, Drama

Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981) Poster

In a lake high in the mountains of New Zealand hunter Gibbie Gibson discovers a plane wreck from ww-ii. When he tells it around, a gang of crooks follows and threatens him and his daughter,... See full summary »



  • Lesley Ann Warren in Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981)
  • Donald Pleasence in Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981)
  • Ken Wahl in Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981)
  • Ken Wahl in Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981)
  • Donald Pleasence in Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981)
  • Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr (1981)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review

User Reviews

21 November 1998 | grift
| Lively, refreshing adventure forced under by Spielberg.
On the one hand, it is possible to view this film only as an attempt to make a star out of Ken Wahl, whose "The Soldier" had some box-office success. However, the film is infinitely more intresting if taken as an action-adventure in the mold that Spielberg would adopt for "Raiders of the Lost Ark", a film which when released around the same time, served to bury "Race" for all but the dilligent. Certainly the film is similar in certain respects, and may be seen as the first of the imitators, its plot and characters anticipating Robert Zemeckis' hit adventure, "Romancing the Stone". But it is individual enough to warrant some attention.

It was a US/Australia/New Zealand co-production, made by English actor/director David Hemmings on marvellous New Zealand locations. The story focuses on two helicopter pilots and hunters who search for the wreckage of an American plane reported missing during World War II, and carrying a large amount of gold and money. Naturally as the villains appear (led by dapper George Peppard), the film becomes a chase scenario in an agreeably old-fashioned mode, populated by eccentrics.

Donald Pleasance effortlessly steals his scenes, with a characterization resembling that in John Sturges' western epic comedy, "The Hallelujah Trail" some fifteen years earlier. And tpical of the movie's allusive nature, the music score by Brian May ("Mad Max") pays tribute to the theme from John Sturges' "The Great Escape", in which Pleasance also starred.

With sundrenched visuals, and a Europeanized use of open-frame compositions, this adventure is used by Hemmings to explore the lengths to which people are prepared to go to to justify their self-image and self-indulgence. It is less about obsession than about pride. Spielberg would also examine this theme in his later films, as would Hemmings, but to vastly different results.

In many respects, it is a minor film, and unlikely to come under any retrospective scrutiny. But for what it sets out to be, it is lean, charming and entertaining in a way that many film's strive for, but rarely achieve. A curiosity, for completists.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

13 April 1984



Country of Origin

Australia, New Zealand, USA

Filming Locations

New Zealand

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Around The Web


Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on