Sorry, just posted twice as I didn't see there was a dedicated group tfor this kind of thing. I've just joined this community for the specific purpose of requesting (no begging!) your help in tracking down two films, the titles of which have been driving me crazy for decades. I warn you, the info I have to go on is absolutely minimal as I have only the briefest of memory snippets to go on. But if anyone can help me with these head-scratchers it's you lot.
I saw both of these films on the TV way back in the mid-to-early 70s.
Okay, the first film in my non-remremembered double bill is probably a war movie and I seem to recall it as being in colour (but even that is not certain) It featured a scene in which a military aircrew are onboard a large plane (possibly a bomber though I can't even remember if it was a prop aircraft or jet propelled). There's a problem with the engine which I think was on fire. One airman volunteers to crawl out through a hatch and actually onto the wing to deal with the fire and he does so only to fall to his death. His crewmates are, understandably, horrifed. That's it! That's all I can remember I'm afraid.
The second film had a scene, possibly the climax, in which the heroes (a guy, a gal and at least one or two others) were watching on a TV monitor which showed a crazy-eyed villain with the look of a mad scientist about him (and maybe with a shock of white hair) who's hanging from the top of a tall building (something tells me it might have been the Big Ben Clocktower in London but I'm not sure) The villain delivers some kind of threat or manic speech. My memory suggests also that there was some kind of countdown going on and possibly the threat of a bomb but that's the full extent of my recollection.
Ten million points and my undying gratitude to anyone who can correctly put a name to either of those movies and release me from years of tearing out my hair!
Thanks very much for the reply. At first glance I thought this just had to be it (I mean, how many movies can this scene have taken place in?). But after investigating beyond your IMDB link which makes it clear that the airman concerned survives (incredibly based upon a real-life incident!) I managed to track down this webpage which features a screenshot from the scene:
Alas, this doesn't fit my recollection at all. And I think in my movie the poor guy definitely died. It's the whole reason the scene stayed with me because the emotional impact on my young self was profound an upsetting. I'm also leaning towards the notion that it was a colour film.
However, your suggestion ticked all the other boxes and I'm amazed anyone's been able to come up with even a close miss. Thanks again for the response :)
I'm probably way off here, but in the movie Strategic Air Command the plane (B-36) has both props and jet engines and Jimmy Stewart crashes it in the snowy wastelands early in the film. I know there were access hatches into the wings on that plane from the inside.
This is a strong possibility, eviltimes. It definitely fits the 'atmosphere' I recall. The colour's definitely ticking the boxes and a read of the IMDB synopsis suggests that there is indeed a scene featuring a fire on the engine or wing. It's possible,, I suppose, I'm misremembering the crewman's death but without seeing the actual scene I can't seem to google a definitive answer as whether that takes place in the film. I might have to get hold of the DVD to be sure. No hardship as I like this kind of stuff anyway! Many thanks!!!!!!
Hope it works.
I do, however, remember another film with a much older propeller plane that also had huge thick wings with internal hatches so the engines could be serviced, and I think the engineer did die in that one. Probably/definitely black and white. Even pre WW2. But I haven't a clue as to any other information.
Apogee, please consider Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon; in addition to the 3 main characters (a woman and two men), it features a mad professor-villain, a scientist, and the Big Ben. The mad professor falls 60 feet from a tower. He's trying to build a bombsight / secret weapon. At the end, time is a big factor.
Thanks Ethan but no. Checked out the final scenes of this on You Tube and it's not the one. Got a good lead from another forum that strongly suggests the film might be 'Seven Days Till Noon.' Will report back if I can confirm that this is the case.
Wow. That's an incredible story. I've been coming across similar stuff in my efforts to track down my movie. Funnily enough, there's a reviewer on the IMDB entry of the 'Flying Fortress' you posted a link to who says the incident in tbhe movie where the guy leaves the plane to put the fire out is so ludicrous it's laughable. He was obviously completely unaware that it was based on a true event.
I would agree that trying to wing walk even at the slowest flying speed of a B-17 would be completely impossible. Are we talking the right aircraft here? That's why I was thinking of the older film where a very old, large twin (or more) engine plane flying along at probably 50 mph and the engineer walks out holding onto all those support wires those old planes had - then he slips and falls off the wing to his doom. I remember that scene - but can't think of anything else except it was definitely a 1930's b/w style film.
Memories are a weird thing, particularly old memories. I'm beginning to believe (though I'm not absolutely convinced!) my younger self (I was very young) may have misinterpreted the bit where the guy steps through the hatch. It could be that he was just the first to bail out in which case the film might well be Strategic Air Command. I'm almost certain now that it was a 50's era bomber. I've managed to track down a copy of SAC on ebay and will report back when I've seen it.
Other than the cool pictures of jet bombers in flight with majestic, sweeping orchestral music - the film is about baseball, believe it or not.
Of course, you really had to grow up with those films to immediately get the "Try a Little Tenderness" music during the opening aerial refueling scene in Dr. Strangelove!
BTW: Jimmy Stewart was an actual USAF General and survived his full tour as a command pilot of B-17 bomber missions over Europe during WW2. Just for that I was always willing to cut him some slack on these Air Force Recruiting films he made.
Of course, this could all be a drug fueled memory distortion of the Twilight Zone episode with Shatner - and the monster tearing up the engine out on the wing. ;)
I always imagined Shatner to be drug induced memory full stop. The guy's practically Drama LSD. Or should I say LDS?