No Highway in the Sky

Watch No Highway in the Sky

"EXCITEMENT and SUSPENSE 18,000 Feet Over the Atlantic!"
  • NR
  • 1951
  • 1 hr 38 min
  • 7.1  (4,312)

No Highway in the Sky is a 1951 British drama film, directed by Henry Koster and starring James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, and Glynis Johns. The film is based on the novel "No Highway" by Nevil Shute and tells the story of Theodore Honey, a scientist who predicts that a new type of tail design on a particular aircraft could lead to a catastrophic failure after a certain number of flying hours. However, his boss and the airline company do not believe him, and he is sent to investigate a previous crash instead.

James Stewart delivers a remarkable performance as Theodore Honey, a brilliant but absent-minded scientist who is devoted to his work. Honey's character is modeled on the author of the novel, Nevil Shute, who was himself an aeronautical engineer, and Stewart portrays him with a mix of vulnerability, determination, and eccentricity. Despite his intelligence, Honey is often clumsy and socially awkward, making him an endearing and relatable protagonist.

Marlene Dietrich plays Monica Teasdale, a glamorous and enigmatic actress who meets Honey on a flight to New York. The chemistry between Stewart and Dietrich is palpable, and their scenes together are some of the most memorable in the film. Dietrich's character is initially skeptical of Honey's theories, but she is drawn to his passion and intelligence. Her performance is subtle and nuanced, adding depth to a character that could have been one-dimensional in the hands of a lesser actress.

Glynis Johns portrays the role of Honey's secretary, Marjorie Corder, who becomes his ally and confidante. Johns brings warmth and humor to the role, and her banter with Stewart is delightful. She is a calming presence for Honey, who tends to get lost in his work and forget the world around him. Johns also has a touching subplot involving her romantic relationship with a fellow engineer, which adds a layer of emotional resonance to the film.

The movie's central premise is the conflict between science and commerce, as Honey's predictions put him at odds with the airline industry. He is a man of principle, determined to prevent a disaster that could cost countless lives, even if it means going against his superiors. The tension builds up as Honey races against time to prove his theory while dealing with skepticism and bureaucratic obstacles. The film's climax is both thrilling and poignant, showing the potential consequences of ignoring scientific expertise.

No Highway in the Sky is also a beautifully shot film, featuring stunning aerial footage of planes and landscapes. The use of color is particularly striking, with the film switching from a bright and sunny palette to a darker and more somber one as the story progresses. The score by Malcolm Arnold is another highlight, adding tension and emotion to the scenes.

In conclusion, No Highway in the Sky is a captivating drama that combines suspense, romance, and social commentary. The film's strong performances, smart script, and gorgeous cinematography make it a must-see for classic movie fans. It is a timeless story of human fallibility and heroism, which still resonates today.

No Highway in the Sky is a 1951 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1.

No Highway in the Sky
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 38 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (4,312)