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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS:   109 minutes, audio commentary, featurettes, trailer, Gunsmoke introduction, photo gallery, Leonard Maltin introduction, Batjac Montage, and Newsreel footage.

STUDIO: Paramount/ Batjac

RELEASE DATE: 8-2-2005

ANALYSIS: ISLAND IN THE SKY is touted as one of the lost classics starring John Wayne. It isn't a classic, but ISLAND IN THE SKY is a drama with flaws. It is miles above one of the worst John Wayne movies (JET PILOT). Wayne plays Dooley, the leader of a five man flight crew. They are flying in rough weather when Dooley has to take his plane into the uncharted Artic territory. He safely lands the plane and thus begins the search for his crew while Dooley and his crew must survive with limited food in 70 degrees below zero.

ISLAND IN THE SKY does have it's moments, but sometimes it gets rather silly with light moments from the pilots searching for Dooley's crew. Dooley hopes rescue will come, but he knows they have limited time until they all freeze. Little goofs do show up like long shots of planes with no ice only to show ice on them in close ups. If you're a fan of the Duke, you may want to watch ISLAND IN THE SKY for a pilot movie of Wayne's you may have never seen.

VIDEO: 1.33 Full Screen

ISLAND IN THE SKY has been masterfully restored and remastered. The blacks and greys are nice. Image detail is sharp.

AUDIO: English 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English

Dialogue and all sound elements are easy to hear.   ISLAND IN THE SKY's audio doesn't sound bad at all.


The audio commentary for ISLAND IN TEH SKY is with Leonard Maltin, William Wellman, Jr., Darryl Hickman, James Lydon, and Vincent Longo.  It is free flowing track as Maltin asks questions of the other people and makes comments on the movie.   Hickman says he never saw this movie until doing the commentary track.

DOOLEY'S DOWN: THE MAKING OF ISLAND IN THE SKY features stories about the production of the movie. ERNEST K. GANN- ADVENTURER, AUTHOR, & ARTIST focuses on Ernest from directing a film at 16 years old to researching, experiencing, and writing the novels to being a pilot to his life as a painter after he quit writing. FLIGHT SCHOOL- THE ART OF AERIAL CINEMATOGRAPHY tells how William Cloither acheived the aerial cinematography for ISLAND IN THE SKY. Leonard Maltin intorduces the three above featurettes and interviews Harry Carey, Jr. in THE JOHN WAYNE STOCK COMPANY: HARRY CAREY, JR.  FLYING FOR UNCLE SAM is the history of civillian pilots flying for the military in World War II.

Also included in the extras are the theatrical trailer, Newsreel Footage from the premiere, John Wayne Introducing Gunsmoke TV Promo, a photo gallery of Behind The Scene photos and production art, and the Batjac Montage of films that Batjac produced and many you will expect to see released to DVD in the future.

FINAL ANALYSIS:  ISLAND IN THE SKY is a suspenseful tale of survival. The extras are icing on the cake compared to the restored film itself.

this DVD Review is (c)7-22-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia