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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by William A. Wellman
USA 1954


Soar into the skies on a thrilling airborne adventure in this meticulously restored John Wayne film classic. In one of his most memorable roles, Wayne plays Dan Roman, a veteran pilot haunted by a tragic past. Now relegated to second-in-command cockpit assignments, he finds himself scheduled on a routine Honolulu-to-San Francisco flight - one that takes a terrifying, suspense-building turn when disaster strikes high above the Pacific Ocean at the point of no return. A "Who's Who" of Hollywood greats - Claire Trevor, Laraine Day, Robert Stack, Jan Sterling, Phil Harris and Robert Newton, among others - are aboard for this celebrated drama bursting with conflict and excitement. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Director (William W. Wellman) and two Best Supporting Actress nods (Trevor and Sterling), the film nabbed the Oscar for Dimitri Tiomkin's unforgettable musical score.

Gary W. Tooze


Theatrical Release: July 3rd, 1954

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DVD Review: Paramount (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:27:10 
Video 2.55:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.92 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)  
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.55:1

Edition Details:

• Disc One:
Introduction by Leonard Maltin
Commentary by Leonard Maltin, William Wellman, Jr., Karen Sharpe, Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales and aviation expert Vincent Longo

• Disc Two:
Introduction by Leonard Maltin
The Batjac Story
Stories from the Set
On Director William A. Wellman
The Music and World of Dimitri Tiomkin
Restoring a Classic
A Place in Film History
Ernest K. Gann: Adventurer, Author, Artist
Flying in the Fifties
Theatrical Trailer
TV Trailer
Batjac Montage
The High and the Mighty Premiere Footage
Photo Gallery

DVD Release Date: August 2nd, 2005

Double Slim Keep Case
Chapters: 22



Extensive DVD package from Paramount who appear to be raising their efforts to compete with the more prominent studios releases (ie. Warner). Like the film, this DVD is stacked. Almost overkill in the featurettes department it allows one to be picky on their post viewing choices. I found some filler and some of value. The commentary is a Wayne-love fest with some key points on the film production and Wellman himself. The image is good but a little thick and skin tones tend to look very red at times. Overall quite acceptable and I love the 2.35 widescreen scope. Sharpness is there but colors can look a bit washed at times. Hopefully, along with Island in the Sky, this marks Paramount's new commitment to DVD. Let's hope.   out of      

NOTE This DVD offers a 5.1 audio bump but I prefer the original track and listening only briefly . It sounded quite full.

NOTE: One thing I didn't like was that even if you skipped the Maltin intro, you still see it if you press 'play'. You can bypass with a chapter stop, but pretty sneaky regardless. 

Gary W. Tooze

DVD Menus


DVD Menus (Disc 2)

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Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC


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