Mayday at 40,000 Feet!

Watch Mayday at 40,000 Feet!

  • TV-PG
  • 1976
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 5.5  (347)

Mayday at 40,000 Feet! is a classic disaster movie released in 1976, directed by Robert Butler and starring David Janssen, Don Meredith, and Christopher George. The movie takes place entirely on a commercial Boeing 747 flight from Los Angeles to New York City. The passengers and crew are on board a red-eye flight that suddenly faces a life-threatening situation when the plane's hydraulic systems fail at 40,000 feet. What ensues is a tense and thrilling story of survival.

The story begins when Captain Pete Douglass (David Janssen), a seasoned pilot, begins his journey from LAX to JFK with his crew and passengers. Among the passengers are a businessman with a heart condition, a pregnant woman with contractions, an undercover marshal, an ex-football player, and other everyday people. The initial part of the flight is uneventful, with passengers sleeping or watching movies.

However, the situation quickly changes when a small fire breaks out in the cargo hold due to a malfunctioning boiler. The fire spreads, and the resulting heat causes a hydraulic system malfunction. The hydraulic failure affects everything from the landing gear to the brakes, making it impossible for the pilot to land the plane. Pete informs the passengers of the situation and determines the plane's fate. He decides to fly to Kennedy Airport, hoping that the Aviation Safety Board would make arrangements and clear the runway.

Pete and his team begin to explore all available options to land the plane. They try to use a backup hydraulic system, but it fails as well. Then they try to reach the control tower to find out what their options are, but the radio system isn't functioning. To make things worse, they are running low on fuel, and the weather conditions worsen, adding to the danger.

As the flight crew scrambles to find a way to land the plane safely, the passengers start to panic. Amid the chaos and fear, the passengers elect retired football star Mike Fuller (Don Meredith) as their representative to help communicate with the pilot and coordinate any assistance they might need. They pull together, attempting to stay calm and help each other.

The tension and anxiety build as the plane flies in circles around the Tri-State area. Pete Douglass and his co-pilot, Leo Pazzin (Broderick Crawford), face immense pressure to find a way to land the plane safely. The situation becomes dire as fuel levels get dangerously low, and it becomes clear they need to land the plane somehow.

The movie conveys a sense of tension and danger throughout its entire runtime. The claustrophobic setting and cramped quarters of the plane amplify the movie's atmosphere of tension and drama. We get a sense of just how terrifying it must be to be in a situation where everything that can go wrong does, leaving the characters helpless in the face of disaster.

Mayday at 40,000 Feet! is a gripping and thrilling tale of a struggle for survival. The cast gives excellent performances, with David Janssen, Don Meredith, and Christopher George delivering strong portrayals of the characters navigating the crisis. The story is well-paced and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, never losing its momentum. The movie is both entertaining and suspenseful, with real emotional stakes driving the plot forward.

In conclusion, Mayday at 40,000 Feet! is a classic disaster movie that effectively captures the tension and fear of being on a commercial airliner in distress. It is a must-see film for fans of the genre and a compelling drama that will engage viewers from start to finish. With an excellent script, strong direction, and an outstanding cast, Mayday at 40,000 Feet! is a riveting cinematic experience that leaves a lasting impact.

Mayday at 40,000 Feet! is a 1976 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.5.

Mayday at 40,000 Feet!
Where to Watch Mayday at 40,000 Feet!
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • IMDB Rating
    5.5  (347)