Quick Flick: No Highway in the Sky

No Highway in the Sky (B&W) (1951) Drama 98 min.
Dir: Henry Koster Stars: James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Glynis Johns
Blurb: An eccentric scientist (Stewart) must cope with the discovery that ideas have consequences when he learns that he is flying on a plane his theories predict may crash at any moment.

Comments: Stewart is brilliant as an abstract thinker who comes to realize the necessity to act on his ideas. This film is a wonderful dramatic portrayal of mind-body integration. Based on the novel by Nevil Shute – but beware… The novel includes such features (thankfully omitted from the movie!) as how the hero uses pyschic powers to find the wreckage of a missing airplane. This is a rare case in which the movie is better than the book! And the entire movie is available online from Amazon for $2.99. I thought I ran across it for free on Hulu, but it may have been removed.

Ironically not long after Shute wrote his tale of unsuspected metal fatigue impacting a novel passenger liner, the world’s first commercial jet liner, the de Havilland Comet suffered eerily similar problems that caused two Comets to crash, killing all aboard. National Geographic’s outstanding “Seconds from Disaster” series features the Comet accident in an episode available online.

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