Picks and Pans Review: The Flight of the Eagle
This film is too long, but it was a deserved Oscar nominee for 1982's Best Foreign Film. It is based on a true adventure—the doomed 1897 expedition of three explorers who tried to fly from Sweden to the North Pole in a hydrogen gas balloon, then crash-landed thousands of miles from civilization. Max von Sydow plays the expedition leader, S.A. Andrée—a cold, willful man fanatically dedicated to becoming the first man to fly to the North Pole. The colors in the film are astonishing, further confirmation that director Jan (The Emigrants) Troell, who also served as cinematographer, has a masterful eye. There is one particularly poignant touch: The original explorers were found dead 33 years after they became lost—and actual photographs, found in their cameras, have been intercut with the rest of the film. But the shift of the movie's focus to a psychological drama of survival is badly handled. At times the boredom of being marooned at the North Pole is conveyed all too realistically. (In Swedish with English subtitles) (Not rated)
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