What was the WWII movie about a bomber crew being shot down or crashing in the desert, all being killed.?
Topic: Survivor case stand
June 26, 2019 / By Amabel Question:
They did not know they were dead, and their ghosts played baseball while waiting for rescue. Later, a recovery mission found them, and as the bodies were found the ghosts disappeared one by one. At the end, one was left, as his body was under the wing of the plane.
Best Answers: What was the WWII movie about a bomber crew being shot down or crashing in the desert, all being killed.?
Vortigern | 3 days ago
Sole Survivor (1970 TV movie)
starring Vince Edwards, Richard Basehart, William Shatner, Lou Antonio, Lawrence P. Casey, Brad David, Patrick Wayne
It's the story of a lost airplane after a crashlanding out in the Libyan Desert in World War II. The crew are discussing their situation, but, as the story unfolds, you realize this is much more than just a war story or a survival drama. The fate of these men is only the first of several twists. The wreckage of the airplane is discovered years later, and a team of investigators journey to the scene to uncover the mystery of what caused it to crashland and to learn the fate of the crew. With them is an Air Force general who was on the plane on its fateful flight~the sole survivor.
Here's Part 1 on YouTube:
This story is loosely based on the discovery of the B-24 Liberator bomber the "Lady Be Good" that was found in the Libyan Desert after the crew got lost on their first bombing mission to Italy.
Here's information about the episode someone refers to, which is based on the same case:
"King Nine Will Not Return"
U.S. Army Air Force Captain James Embry (Robert Cummings) has regained consciousness in the Sahara Desert, next to the wreckage of his crashed B-25 bomber, "King 9". He is alone, and he remembers crashing with his crew, but after that nothing. Embry starts looking for the rest of his crew and finds the grave of one. After stumbling around the desert, he returns to the plane and believes he sees his co-pilot laughing and waving to him from the cockpit. As he approaches the plane, the crewman vanishes. As he nears collapse, he hears a roar of planes flying overhead. Embry passes out and awakens in a hospital bed. It is actually 1960, 17 years after the crash. It seems that he fell ill in 1943 and missed the final flight.
Here's Part 1 on YouTube in case anyone is curious about comparing the two, which do stand on their own:
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Hotly debated on forums across the web. Many people believe it's not Sole Survivor, but an earlier black and white film. One of the main argued differences is that the crew disappear one by one (as you describe in your question). This doesn't happen in Sole Survivor, where they all disappear simultaneously and off camera, except the tragic crew member whose body is lost beneath the tail.
I think there are two possibilities. 1) Sole Survivor is a remake of a lesser known earlier film, now lost. A slightly bleaker, black and white film where we see each man vanish, and the final man has no hope of (his body) being found. Sole Survivor, by contrast, offers some hope in it's finale with an officer determinedly returning to the crash site hoping to find the final body. And isn't this typical of American studio remakes, often concerned that bleak is not marketable? 2) Masses of people have conflated memories of Sole Survivor and another film, perhaps even fed by the online discussion which has "added to peoples' memories" of what they believe they remember. If there was some other film out there where men disappear one by one as their bodies are recovered, this would be more plausible.
Just to be thorough, the 'missing film' is not: King Nine Will Not Return (Twilight Zone), The Flight Of The Phoenix, The Armstrong Circle Theatre (documentary), Bomber's Moon, or A Matter of Life and Death. And not Sole Survivor according to many people.
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Thank you! I'm certain (you say possible) that "Sole Survivor" is a 1970 remake of a film I KNOW I saw on TV in B&W in the late '50s. I know the room I was in. We moved from that house in 1962 and thereafter had color TV.
I distinctly recall the men vanishing one by one as remains were found; that's why the rest were desperately trying to keep the baseball game going.
The actual plane was found in 1958 when I was eight, the bodies in 1960. "Eight of the nine crew members were eventually located...Staff Sgt. Vernon L. Moore's remains still await discovery." http://www.ladybegood.net/index.htm So the part about the deserter who survived has no historical basis.
I have PTSD flashbacks about the ghosts condemned to play baseball into Eternity, especially one shot from the standpoint of a body in the ground.
We feel what he "felt" as we look up to see sand brushed off our face -- until we can see a living person holding a box, into which he's going to put our remains and our dog tags. I still have nightmares about this shot. I can still hear the dead man screaming "They're gonna put me in a box!"
This is the only explanation why as you say that "masses of people have conflated memories of Sole Survivor and another film... where men disappear one by one." The B&W film I saw was enough to traumatize the heck out of all the "masses" of Boomers who were 5-10 years old in 1958-60. We sure didn't see this in 1970; I was a college jr. by then.
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I don't know the name of this film, but it sounds really interesting and I would like to see it too. I hope someone can give you the title. Thanks for posting the question, and take care.
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