Joe Dante on

The High and the Mighty

Released 1954
Distributor Warner Bros.

William Wellman’s soap opera in the sky is the granddaddy of disaster films, in particular Airport and its many sequels. John Wayne plays the harried pilot who experiences more than his share of turbulence including jealous husbands and an airliner that is slowly dismantling itself. Claire Trevor, Wayne’s old flame from Stagecoach, is on board along with Robert Stack as The Duke’s nerve-wracked co-pilot. Dimitri Tiomkin’s haunting theme song was nominated for an Oscar. Fittingly enough, this trailer is premiering on TFH on director Wellman’s birthday, February 29, 1896.

About Joe Dante

Joe Dante is a lifelong film buff who turned his obsession into a career. He got his start cutting trailers for Roger Corman and later directed the hit movie Gremlins, as well as Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Innerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Piranha, Matinee, The ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in Action, The Hole (first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival) and the zom-com Burying the Ex. His TV directing work includes: Police Squad, Amazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, Indiana, CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0, Witches of East End, Legends of Tomorrow and Salem. His latest big screen credit is an episode of the upcoming Nightmare Cinema.