Saturday, June 06, 2009

6/1/09: Family Flight (1972)

As of this writing, I am planning to devote the entirety of June to movies made for TV during the 1970s. Growing up in that decade, I loved so many of the "Movies of the Week" that aired in that decade, from critically acclaimed broadcasts (Sybil, Duel) to low-budget thrillers (Trilogy of Terror) and well-written but now-forgotten dramas (A Cry for Help). Over the years, I have built up quite a collection of these Seventies flicks that I missed—enough for two months' worth of viewings at least. They include family dramas (the critically lauded That Certain Summer), horror schlock (Satan's School for Girls), mysteries (Snatched), and assorted romances, dramas, comedies, shockers and sci-fi claptrap. Since none of them were shown in theaters, I obviously won't be able to display a poster to accompany each blog entry; I'll show a VHS or DVD cover if the movie was officially released.

We kick off, for no reason whatsoever, with Family Fight, a 1972 suspenser directed by Marvin Chomsky (who lensed a few of the original Star Trek episodes) and produced by Harve Bennett, who, coincidentally enough, would go on to produce several of the Star Trek feature films. Rod Taylor stars as the head of a dysfunctional family (including an alcoholic wife and a withdrawn son) who pilots a small aircraft over Baja California when the plane is forced down in the desert. The party of four must work together to get out of a very tense and dangerous situation. The film is extremely representative of its type from this era; it reminded me a bit of Ordeal, another survival-themed TV movie (from 1973) that stranded Arthur Hill in the desert. Like most movies from this genre, what it lacks in production values, it makes up for in decent acting and an interesting story. This was one of the first movie roles for Ed Begley Jr., who has a couple of lines as a hitchhiker at the beginning of the film. Rating: 4/5.

1 comment:

Joan said...

When I first glanced at the image accompanying this review, I swear, I thought it was Robert Redford. Now that I look at it more carefully, I don't know how I thought that.