Five Came Back

Film, Action and adventure

Time Out says

If the plot sounds familiar, that's partly because Farrow himself remade this film in 1956 as Back from Eternity (also for RKO), partly because it's the old warhorse about air passengers crash-landed in a hostile wilderness that has left its mark on everything from Buñuel's La Mort en ce jardin and Aldrich's The Flight of the Phoenix to the Airport sagas and Alive. But despite what now seem clichés - the headhunters, the cowardly braggart, the tart with a heart, the noble revolutionary - this one still comes up fresh, thanks to a taut, economic script (by Jerry Cady, Dalton Trumbo and Nathanael West!) full of twists and vivid characters, and to Farrow's eminently civilised handling of his material. (A devout Catholic, he even manages to make the scenes of redemption and sacrifice both plausible and remarkably unsentimental.) And Nick Musuraca's photography is as atmospheric as in his later films noirs.


Release details

75 mins

Cast and crew

John Farrow
Jerry Cady, Dalton Trumbo, Nathanael West
Chester Morris
Lucille Ball
Wendy Barrie
John Carradine
Joseph Calleia
C Aubrey Smith
Patric Knowles
Allen Jenkins
Elizabeth Risdon
Kent Taylor
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