The Flight of the Phoenix Blu Ray Review

fotp2When a plane filled with the oil men and various workers runs into trouble and crashes while navigating the Sahara Desert, the men on board are tested to the limit. They are waiting for rescue but that might be months aware. With food running low, the survivors have to try anything to escape. Many ideas are studies in futility and failed chances cause tensions to boil over. People begin to commit foolish and risky things to be free. The heat of the sun searing into those on the ground, even under the shade might end everyone’s chances of success.

fotp3Flight of the Phoenix is a study not only in male camaraderie but also any people in extreme and emotionally destructive situations. Robert Aldrich made some amazing films in his career. Films that take stars to the edge of themselves and films that left uncomfortable realms of difficult subjects open to view. Flight forces the audience and the cast to be pressured into a void like setting that is as hostile and as unforgiving as outer space and doesn’t pull away but places us in it and then plays out the events.

fotp1I love the film for its hard edge realism. It takes us through a journey, not around it. Men are pitted against a hostile terrain and the complexity of emotional, sexual and political tension are writ large. The film often plays with our expectations of what combustible relationships can create. Triggers of words and male aggression are bent and things boil and simmer with captivating relish. The cast are exceptional. Hey if you had three of the greatest actors of their generation, plus three amazing character actors, you might hope for something good.

fotpheadSo the Blu ray is astonishing. Literally astounding in that its transfer is great. Crisp and smooth like a beer in the desert. Sheldon Hall interview is good enough but the stand out work on the film is in the booklet and what a booklet it is. Looks good and reads like a dream for film fans.


  • New high-definition 1080p presentation
  • Uncompressed mono soundtrack
  • Isolated music and effects track
  • New video interview with film historian Sheldon Hall
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Neil Sinyard and archival imagery

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