Five Came Back is a 1939 American black-and-white melodrama from RKO Radio Pictures, produced by Robert Sisk, directed by John Farrow, and starring Chester Morris and Lucille Ball. The film was photographed by renowned film noir cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca, and written by Jerry Cady, Dalton Trumbo, and Nathanael West. Although considered a B movie, the positive notices received by Ball helped launch her as an A-list actress. Five Came Back is considered a precursor of the disaster film genre.
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Twelve people are aboard Coast Air Line's flagship the Silver Queen enroute to South America when the airplane encounters a storm and is blown off course. Crashing into jungles known to be inhabited by head hunters, pilots Bill and Joe race against time to fix the engines and attempt a take off. The situation brings out the best and worst in the stranded dozen as they create a makeshift runway and prepare to escape before the natives attack. But damage to the plane and low fuel reserves means that only 5 people can be carried to safety. Do both Bill and Joe make the flight out? And what about the rest: Peggy, a woman with a slightly tarnished past; Pete, a racketeer who is escorting his boss's young son Tommy; Alice and Judson, eloping lovers who seem to have less in common as their plight changes one of them in the other's eyes; Crimp, who is bringing criminal Vasquez to justice; Prof. and Mrs. Spengler, an elderly couple whom become closer due to their predicament; and finally, is ...
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