A down-on-his-luck pilot accepts a mission so that he can flee some thugs who are out to collect on his gambling debts, soon finds himself flying a missionary woman and a large collection of animals in an old dilapidated B-29 bomber. All seems well until it is learned they got off course and there isn't enough gas to make it to civilization.
To make this fellow's day worse, two stowaway orphans soon reveal themselves, the tykes having hopped aboard because they were concerned about the animals' welfare. After crash landing on a small island, the often-bickering "family" learns they have some company: two marooned Japanese soldiers who are unaware World War II is over.
I had previously written to the IMDB about this film and I wanted to add a few more comments about it because it is one of my favorites of all time. I think it is Disney's best film and I only wish that more people could see it because it has never been shown on TV.
Ernest K. Gann who wrote the story for the film also wrote the classic John Wayne film The High And The Mighty. He also wrote another fine film about an airplane disaster called Fate Is the Hunter with Glenn Ford. Elliott Gould gives his finest performance in this film. This man is probably best known as Barbara Striesands husband and I feel that is a great dishonor to him. They gave her the American Film Institute's Lifetime Ahcievement Award and he has been in almost four times as many films as her. Is that justice? Genevieve Bujold is wonderful in this film and the chemistry between her and Gould is wonderful as well.
She is an actress who has never been given her just due as well. She made a film a couple years later with Chris Reeve called Monsignor that was such a devastating bomb that it blacklisted her for life basically. Rick Schroder is one of the few child actors who made a successful transition to adult roles. This was his first film after he made The Champ with Jon Voight (people said that he was one of the most appealling child actors to come along) he proves in this film that he can act and I think it is his best performance.
There was a biography of Walt Disney called Walt Disney Hollywood's Dark Prince that mentioned that TLFONA was one of the biggest bombs in the history of the studio and I still cannot understand why. This is family film at its very best. This movie is a classic and one of the fondest memories of my childhood is watching it.
Nothing special, but for those who are interested...
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