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Back from Eternity
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Eleven people crash-land in the jungle, but only five can make it out alive! John Farrow directs this tense thriller, based on his 1939 hit Five Came Back, about airline passengers downed in a South American rainforest. The survivors face hunger, fear and something even grislier: a tribe of headhunters. Their only hope of escape is the partially repaired airliner, so damaged it can only carry five people. But which five? Robert Ryan stars as the doomed plane's pilot, giving "a typically fine, tormented performance" (Geoff Andrew, Time Out Film Guide). An excellent cast portrays the other survivors, including Rod Steiger as a convicted killer flying to a date with the executioner, '50s glamour queen Anita Ekberg as a jaded call girl, and veteran character actor Jesse White as a smalltime mobster. Who will come Back from Eternity?
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As time begins running out, and with a damaged plane that can only carry 5 people out, the tension builds as the hostile natives move closer. It may come as a surprise to those who have never seen the film to find out who 'steps up' to make the very painful, but necessary decision of who goes, and who remains behind. If you like black and white films of this era, you'll like this one.
Released in 1956 as BACK FROM ETERNITY, this film was expertly directed by John Farrow, who was also at the helm of the original. Both films were released by RKO, and the remake is one of the best films from this period in the studio's troubled history. The production values are high, with well executed miniature photography of the airplane going through a violent tropical storm. The lush, black and white cinematography by William Mellor looks great on this DVD-R, and Franz Waxman's music score adds the right note of suspense.
The real draw of this film is the terrific cast, headed by Robert Ryan, Anita Ekberg, and Rod Steiger. In fine support are Phyllis Kirk, Keith Andes, Gene Barry, Fred Clark, Beulah Bondi and Jesse White. Everyone gives a top notch performance in what is essentially a character study where the gruelling circumstances they encounter bring out the best and worst in all of them. Ultimately their fates are decided by Steiger, who, as an assassin enroute to his execution, authorizes himself to make the unbiased decision of who goes on the plane and who stays to meet the headhunters.
BACK FROM ETERNITY is definitely worth picking up - it's a really nice looking transfer, it's got a good script, interesting characters, gripping suspense, and the gorgeous Anita Ekberg to top it off. It all amounts to an entertaining '50's flick that makes a great double feature with John Wayne's THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY (1954). The original theatrical trailer is included.
all supporting actors do a wonderful job, very good drama story of a plane crash,
I personally believe Rod Steiger stole the movie in the final dramatic moments,
dvd-r on demand is best quality release to date.