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(aka "Lion in the Sky" or "A Game Called Love" or "Wild and Wonderful")

 

directed by Jack Arnold
USA 1958

 

Crash-landing in Burbank delivering a plane to a wealthy buyer (Nestor Paiva, TARANTULA), Mike Dandridge (Jeff Chandler, THE JAYHAWKERS) - a former airline pilot who makes his living delivering planes to buyers around the world - reconnects with army navigator buddy Al (Richard Denning, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON) who now runs a failing flight school with business partner Maggie Colby (Lana Turner, MADAME X). After Mike regales the two with his adventures and the profitability of his business, Maggie takes him aside and tries to dissuade him from selling Al on a partnership since she is looking for stability both in business and in a relationship, but Al has already decided while they were away. The business booms almost overnight with Mike and Maggie constantly away and crossing the globe while Al coordinates the jobs and hires on more pilots (among them THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW's Jerry Paris and a pre-RIFLEMAN Chuck Connors). Maggie rebuffs Mike's advances out of loyalty to Al, but her resistance starts to wane when Mike tells her he wants to marry her ("You won't do any better and you're not getting any younger!"), and their nuptials start with a job delivering a plane to Madrid followed by a four-and-a-half-month honeymoon in Rome.

The honeymoon is over when Mike an Maggie receive word that Al has gone back into the air force and they must return to run the business. Although Maggie believes that the business of being a married couple will take precedence over the company at home, especially when she announces that she is pregnant, Mike is soon back in the air and across the world with other co-pilots including UP PERISCOPE!'s Andra Martin as the company's new lady flyer. Things come to a head after the baby is born and Mike misses their first Christmas as a family, with Maggie accusing him of resenting the baby and Mike resenting her change from fun-loving wife to "sainted mother, a Joan of Arc roasting on a pile of diapers." When the business takes on the lucrative job of transporting one-hundred-and-twenty-four NATO planes to London, an incensed Maggie decides it is time she had the fun and takes one of the plans, leaving Mike to take care of the baby he barely knows and worry about his wife up in the air without him. Mike takes the baby with him on a flight to beat Maggie to London and confront her, but both of their planes are on a collision course with a dangerous no-visibility fog bank. A lesser known Turner film - possibly because it only played theatrically for a month before being reissued in a double bill with Robert Gordon's DAMN CITIZEN - from Jack Arnold (THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN), THE LADY TAKES A FLYER (not to be confused with the earlier Columbia outing THE WIFE TAKES A FLYER) does not really engage the viewer early on despite the charming trio of Turner, Chandler, and Denning, but it really comes to life in terms of both drama and comedy once the honeymoon really is over. Despite the over-familiar brush-with-mortality-solving-all-ills ending, the predictable climax does engender some suspense. The cast also features a pre-GILLIGAN'S ISLAND Alan Hale Jr. as a rich Texan and PICNIC's Reta Shaw as a nurse who knows Judo.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 30 January 1958 (USA)

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DVD Review: Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:30:54 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.84 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Simply Media

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
� none

DVD Release Date: June 5th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Although obviously mastered from a standard definition source, Simply Media's anamorphic single-layer DVD of this fifties Cinemascope/Technicolor production looks pleasant enough and the Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio without fault. There are no extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

 

 



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