Phoenix is the story of an old, beat-up airplane that crashes deep inside the Sahara Desert with an assortment of 14 passengers aboard. The passengers are mostly oil field personnel, but there are a handful of others aboard, including some military personnel, and one man who has come to the desert simply to visit his oil-worker brother.
As their water begins to run out, the survivors have two choices: they can sit around in the shade of the wreckage and wait to die from dehydration, or they can try to build a smaller plane from the remains of the larger one they crash-landed in. They go for it.
|Cover of the 2004 Re-release|
Bonus bit of movie trivia for you:
A test pilot was killed simulating take-off the the "rebuilt" airplane and the plane was destroyed in the crash. A completely different airplane was borrowed and used in all the close-ups that still had to be shot after the tragic accident.
The 1965 movie was successful and popular. It was re-made in 2004 in a version starring Dennis Quaid that did not fare nearly so well.
Trailer for the 1965 movie:
Trailer for the 2004 movie (in which glaring changes to the 1965 film were made). It's easy to see why it flopped in comparison to the original film.
Footage of the terrible crash that killed stuntman Paul Mantz who was simulating takeoff of the reconstructed airplane. Right up to the actual crash, this footage was used in the 1965 move (in color).