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Zero Hour! (1957)

Dana Andrews , Linda Darnell , Hall Bartlett  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell, Sterling Hayden, Elroy 'Crazylegs' Hirsch, Geoffrey Toone
  • Directors: Hall Bartlett
  • Writers: Hall Bartlett, John C. Champion, Arthur Hailey
  • Producers: Hall Bartlett, John C. Champion
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 26, 2007
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,153 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Zero Hour!" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Passengers on an airplane become food-poisoned causing a major emergency. This film is what Airplane! is based upon.Runtime: 81 minFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA UPC: 085391145127 Manufacturer No: 114512

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Zero Hour! is a rather well done thriller movie starring Dana Andrews and Linda Darnell. The acting is very convincing and the plot moves along at a very good pace. The cinematography and the choreography both work well in the scenes on the airplane when some of the passengers are ill.

The action begins when shell-shocked war veteran Lt. Ted Stryker (Dana Andrews) just gets his first real job; he hurries home to tell his wife who's been upset over Ted's failure to bounce back emotionally after a war incident when Ted's decision cost the lives of six of his men. Unfortunately, Ted's wife Ellen (Linda Darnell) has just left him, taking with her their son Joey (Raymond Ferrell). Ted rushes to the airport and he makes it there just in time to get onboard the same plane as Ellen and Joey are on; Ted hopes he can persuade Ellen to return to him.

Things worsen, as you may well already know. The passengers who ate fish for dinner become ill with some type of life threatening food poisoning; and that includes the two pilots flying the plane! There is a doctor on board (Geoffrey Toone) but it doesn't look like he can do much for the ill passengers unless someone can land that plane in time to get the ill people to a hospital.

After the crew and the doctor find out that Ted is the only one with any flying experience, they ask him to get that plane down safely. This poses a huge emotional challenge for Ted as all the nasty memories of the war incident come back and threaten to ruin Ted's slim chances for landing the plane. The tension heightens with Ted's wife Ellen is asked to sit in the co-pilot's seat to help Ted communicate by radio with ground crew below.

Where does the plot go from here? You may know; but I'm not including plot spoilers in my review.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Transcendence September 3, 2009
You've got to love "Zero Hour!," the 1957 thriller that most likely played drive-ins before heading straight to the blue glow of late-night TV. It's been mimicked so many times you can recite the dialog.

Airplane! (Don't Call Me Shirley! Edition), the 1980 comedy classic, was the most famous spoof, and you see variations in Airport 1975, a few made-for-TV films with Peter Graves or William Shatner, and even Executive Decision (1996). One could argue "Zero Hour!" was the first disaster film, though John Wayne's windy opus The High and the Mighty (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) came out a few years before. The irony is "Zero Hour!," possessing a fraction of that film's glorious budget, is far more exciting. Arthur Hailey wrote "Zero Hour's" screenplay, a precursor to his bestselling novel Airport, which in turn led to the famous 1970 film Airport (Full Screen Edition).

"Zero Hour!" is a time capsule, representing a more innocent time in cinema entertainment. Today, the film would be loaded with CGI effects and include a few deaths, perhaps unlucky passengers sucked out of an emergency exit. Amazingly, everyone survives the day in "Zero Hour," though the bad fish will certainly test their intestinal fortitude.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked "Airplane!" you must own this film! May 19, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I caught some of this movie on Turner Classic Movies one evening, during a day of tributes to movies and their remakes. This film was the inspiration (and the source for many lines) for the 1980 comedy spoof "Airplane!". Just like "Airplane!" "Zero Hour" is about a former war pilot who is forced to take over an airliner when half the passengers get sick from eating bad fish! (Yes, the choice for dinner was 'chicken or fish' just like "Airplane!"). My wife and I were practically in tears, because so many classic lines from "Airplane!" were lifted directly from this film, only the punchlines never came, which somehow made it funnier.

I'll be pre-ordering this one for purchase when it comes out!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would you like fish or meat? May 28, 2007
Zero Hour! was the basis for the comedy favorite Airplane!, which is the reason why it is considered a cult classic. In fact, many of the lines and scenerios from Airplane! are lifted straight from this movie. Zero Hour! is the story of an ex-fighter pilot Ted Stryker (Dana Andrews) who finds himself chasing his discontented wife (Linda Darnell) and child Joey (Raymond Ferrell) onto a commercial airplane. Once on the plane, he discovers that there are worse problems than just his failing marriage. There is a problem with the fish (thankfully, he chose meat) and the passengers are falling ill rather rapidly. It soon becomes a matter of seriousness when both pilots take ill and Ted is the only one with any flying experience.

The problem with this movie is the fact that it is supposed to be serious. There are so many ludicrous things in it that it is impossible to take seriously, but since it was not supposed to be funny, there are many long stretches where an audience can find itself bored. One of the best examples of this is the long "suspenseful" ending. Still, it is worth watching at least once for fans of Airplane!, just don't expect it to become your favorite.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The father of Airplane!
Published 1 month ago by John Hyle, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see if you are a fan of Airplane!
Always thought Airplane was just a satire on disaster movies and anything else it could make fun of. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Canes Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Airplane movie.
This is the movie that Airplane made fun of. You'll see lots of the same lines in this movie used in Airplane.
Published 8 months ago by Kimberly P. Hall
4.0 out of 5 stars Review
I had seen it before on TV but want a copy so I could watch it before watching "Airplane". Copy was in good condition.
Published 9 months ago by Bruce L. Radtke
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for fans of Airplane!
This is basically a totally forgettable 50s suspense movie with a fairly improbable premise, but it's fun to hear some of the great lines from actors who are trying to be serious... Read more
Published 10 months ago by john H
4.0 out of 5 stars The Real Airplane Movie
If you are a fan of Airplane this movie is a hoot. I sent it to my son after catching it on TCM and knew he would enjoy seeing the "real airplane" crisis movie. Read more
Published 14 months ago by L. Glesing
5.0 out of 5 stars Zero Hour!
What a great movie, recieved it really fast. Excellent Movie, fantastic acting loved the story line and the suppense in it.

I would recommend this Movie to all.
Published 15 months ago by BM
5.0 out of 5 stars What a scream!
This was never meant to be a funny movie BUT if you are a fan of Airplane you will have a very difficult time retaining any kind of composure.
Published 15 months ago by Greg Cross
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie, watched it multiple times.
I kept waiting for the " Airplane" punch lines, with that being said it is a great story.Wife loved it too.
Published 15 months ago by Doug Mecklenburg
1.0 out of 5 stars ZERO POWER
I watched the preview of ZERO HOUR, which premieres on ABC on Valentines Day. It is terrible! Poorly acted, poorly directed and poorly written. Read more
Published 20 months ago by kenkonkol
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