This is one of the best soap opera/airplane disaster movies that I at least have ever seen. They set up very well as far as what the crew and passengers are about and why they’re on the plane and what they’re trying to accomplish. You have a couple that wants to get married, trying to get to South America. You have men simply trying to get there to open and be at a new casino there. You have a Nordic goddess, played by the great Anita Ekberg, whose former boyfriend a mobster, is simply trying to get rid of her. And sends her to South America with a lot of money. She essentially has to go, or risk being killed by this mobster. You have a hotshot pilot played by Robert Ryan, who is probably a bit too cocky and doesn’t take all the precautions that he should. And is a reason why the plane crashes.
You have a condemned convicted murderer, who is being extradited to some South American country to be executed, played by the great Rod Steiger. Whose character gets to decide who leaves the jungle and goes back home on the plane once it is fixed and who stays and has to take their chances. Simply because he has the gun and the power. But he knows he’s rotten, or garbage, perhaps you have another word you prefer. And decided the people who are the most unselfish and the people who are the best in the group will leave on the plane. And people who are closest to him as far as goodness, I guess and character, will stay with him.
Anita Ekberg, is a goddess and was a goddess in this movie. And she was hot, sexy and really adorable in this movie. But she also plays a big important role as the person who essentially takes over as the parent or guardian of the lone kid on the plane. Whose mobster father has sent him away. She also serves as inspiration for the Captain and Co-Pilot, who aren’t sure they can pull this off and get the back and running. The first seventy-minutes or so of this plane, are really good and interesting. The last twenty other than the killer deciding who gets to stay and go, slows down somewhat. But this is still a very exciting and interesting movie.