glenawalker

Movie - WW2 plane crash and crew were ghosts

52 posts in this topic

I was so excited when I found this thread by chance, and so disappointed when I couldn't find a satisfactory answer to this mystery of what the correct film/tv program is. I too have been looking for years for this piece of work, and have been frustrated because there are so many programs that exist with similar plots, but none that are exactly what I'm looking for.  I just watched Soul Survivor and this is definitely not the right movie.  What I'm looking for was a black and white movie.  To give context, I was born in the 80s and have never owned a black and white TV set.  What I saw was on the Syfy channel in perhaps early 2000s (although I could be wrong about this date).  This program stood out because it was in black and white.  Since I always owned a color TV, a program that is not in color stands out.  In fact, since the Syfy channel plays reruns of Twilight Zone episodes, I assumed it was a Twilight Zone production given the lack of color in the production.  I was also discouraged when I looked through Twilight Zone episodes and found similar plots like King 9 Will Not Return, but had a different twist ending.  For a while I thought I was confused, or had imagined a different ending or details than what I saw.  However, after looking at the responses I am convinced that the other people in this thread are describing exactly what I'm looking for.  What I remember matches what people are describing perfectly.  Everyone who has this production in mind are thinking of a black and white TV show or film in which a group of pilots are trapped in the desert and do not realize they are dead until the end of film. It is not Soul Survivor or Twilight Zone's King 9 Will Not Return.  Also, I recall this production had an all male cast so any movie with actresses would not apply either.  I have tried numerous searches and have only found similar TV programs and movies, but not the exact piece I'm looking for.  Anyone who has knowledge of this specific program and can identify it would be greatly appreciated. 

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If it's a B&W TV show that was shown on SyFy, but is not The Twilight Zone, then it could be an episode of One Step Beyond or Lights Out, both of which used to air on SyFy (back when it was SciFi). I would suggest looking through an episode guide for each series (either on IMDb or Wikipedia) and see if one of those matches.

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Ok, I think we have it now and can say with a great deal of confidence that is isn't Sole Survivor (1970), but:

 

  • Haha 2

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Oh I've been looking on and off.  This is one I have been wondering about too.  To the OP: any more clues would help.  I've looked into about 15 movies or so.  This one intrigues me too.  Once it is figured out, I want a copy!

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@LawrenceA: Thank you so much for your help.  After viewing these suggestions, I decided to check out the episode descriptions of the TV programs you mentioned.  I found a website that gives brief explanations of television episodes.  The closest I found was from Lights Out an episode called Rendezvous.  It is the only program I found with an episode involving a plane that sounds close enough to what I was describing.  Unfortunately, all I can find is a vague description of the episode, and have been unable to find a way to obtain a copy so I can view it.  Whenever I try to access this TV series, I keep coming across a newer television program called Lights Out, or have found other episodes from this series but not the episode that I'm searching for.  Does anyone happen to know how I can find a copy of this program so that I can watch it?

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I too am one of those people who saw a movie / TV episode of a WW2 bomber crew that crashed in a desert.

- It was Black & White

- The crew actually did play baseball.

- The crew did not know they were dead.

- The crew disappeared one or two at a time, not all at once as in the movie "Sole Survivor" with  Vince Edwards, Richard Basehart, and William Shatner.

- It was not the "King Nine Will Not Return" of The Twilight Zone, Season 2 Episode 1

I have been wanting to watch the movie I remember ever since I first saw it.

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Perhaps another person in the Twilight Zone, with the rest of us. At least if Rod shows up..we'll know to stop looking for an answer. But..No Rod..and the search goes on and on..........and on..........

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I myself was still stuck watching tv in black and white back in 1970 - and for a couple more years after.

The thing about watching a movie 40 or 50 years ago is that one's memory does a little altering of what one saw and understood at the time. Certain points and images engrain themselves in the memory banks and then turn out to be a little different from the actual movie when viewed many years later. It's a phenomenon I've experienced several times.

When something has only been seen once, it's often the case that alterations to it occur in our minds. It's a product of having thought different things about what we're watching over the course of 90-100 minutes. What we've theorized and what we've actually seen become mixed. Only by re-watching a movie - and the more times, the closer to perfectly - do we recall with accuracy. Added to this factor is that there are other items that may be read or viewed that have similarities to - both before and since - the film in question, thus effecting the clarity of memory even further.

I know a woman who, in a conversation with me back in 1983,  insisted that she saw the hunters in 'Bambi' when she was little and that the images of them had been removed from current prints. She was absolutely positive of this.

I expect that this baseball/ghost-plane will be a case where the searched-for movie that some insist they saw will never be found.

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darkblue,  I understand that much of what you are saying can be true, because it has happened to me..where a movie turns out to be different than I remember it.  However, I have been searching for this movie since I was a child and first saw it in the 60s. This movie had such a profound effect on me that I searched the old TV Guides for it week after week, since I was a kid..hoping it would play again. We only got 3 TV channels back then..so the search itself was quite simple.  But, the movie never aired on TV again..at least I could not find it in the listings.  When video stores first opened, I began asking them if they could find the movie for me..with no luck.  And, when I got a computer, I began searching the internet for this movie..with still no luck. The storyline of this movie affected me to the point where it essentially became a lifelong obsession for me. I am 63 years old now, and have been searching since I was 9. My mother watched it with me, and we have been talking about this fantastic movie for 54 years now because that movie had a profound effect on my mother as well. And, you are right about another point you made too. This baseball/ghost plane movie may never be found..but not because it didn't exist. It existed alright..but.. it has been buried in the obscurity of the sands of time. 

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1 hour ago, Sandyjeanie said:

darkblue,  I understand that much of what you are saying can be true, because it has happened to me..where a movie turns out to be different than I remember it.  However, I have been searching for this movie since I was a child and first saw it in the 60s. This movie had such a profound effect on me that I searched the old TV Guides for it week after week, since I was a kid..hoping it would play again. We only got 3 TV channels back then..so the search itself was quite simple.  But, the movie never aired on TV again..at least I could not find it in the listings.  When video stores first opened, I began asking them if they could find the movie for me..with no luck.  And, when I got a computer, I began searching the internet for this movie..with still no luck. The storyline of this movie affected me to the point where it essentially became a lifelong obsession for me. I am 63 years old now, and have been searching since I was 9. My mother watched it with me, and we have been talking about this fantastic movie for 54 years now because that movie had a profound effect on my mother as well. And, you are right about another point you made too. This baseball/ghost plane movie may never be found..but not because it didn't exist. It existed alright..but.. it has been buried in the obscurity of the sands of time. 

Ok, so no newer than 1964-ish, maybe 1965?  That could help those searching to focus on the right years.

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I don't know what the show is but I saw it too. I don't think it's soul survivor because when I watch it I didn't recognize any of the actors I'm a huge Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea fan and think I would of remembered Richard  Basehart. I  don't think Rod Serling would have stolen  somebody  else's story . It's very frustrating because I looked up Rod on IMDB. He did do a lot of T.V Nothing match up but I couldn't  find a synopsis of a Armchair Theatre ep. he wrote Calling Red Razor (1960) and has the actors and roles all military but  I can't find the synopsis anywhere it was a British T.V. show 

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Posted (edited)

slaytonf  Hmm..Nope..LOL..Not Sole Survivor (1970).  Had much more of a 50s-esque feel to it, even though I watched it in the 60s. I would love to get my hands on the old Lights Out episode called Rendezvous..even if just to rule it out as a possibility.  And, I also keep thinking about another site where a woman claimed that the name of the movie we are looking for is Catch 22, which was a phrase supposedly coined by Joseph Heller for his 1961 novel by the same name. Now..if it is true that the phrase "Catch 22" was coined in 1961..that would mean that this black & white Catch 22 movie or show (that so many are looking for)..would have obviously aired perhaps mid 60s..which matches up to when I saw it in 1964. The problem is..in addition to the 1970 Sole Survivor..we have yet another 1970 movie called Catch 22..also involving aircraft and military.  But, like Soul Survivor, this 1970 Catch 22 film also has a different plot from the film we are seeking. The woman on the other site said that the black and white older film..possibly from the 60s, and also called Catch 22..has been swallowed up on the internet and everywhere else..by the 1970 Catch 22 film..making it nearly impossible to find it. Does anyone else recall the movie we are looking for as possibly being called Catch 22..but with a different plot from the 1961 novel and the 1970 movie by the same name?? I'm interested to know if anyone else recalls this film as possibly being called Catch 22??  And, one other person suggested that the name of the movie was Home Run..but it is important to point out that Home Run was the name of the downed plane in the 1970 Sole Survivor..so I'm a bit skeptic of the film being called Home Run. Oh, and someone else suggested that this 1960s (possibly named)..Catch 22 black & white film..may have been a made for TV British movie..which could be another reason why the film has vanished into obscurity. If I had to choose one of the aforementioned possibilities..I would probably go with Catch 22.  But..if anyone decides to search along these lines..remember it is not the plot of the 1961 Catch 22 novel or the 1970 Catch 22 film. And..as for the 1970 Sole Survivor film....bury that movie..with the crew of the crashed plane..in the sands of the desert.  AND DON'T MENTION IT AGAIN!!

Edited by Sandyjeanie
incorrect punctuation

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From dictionary.com:

catch-22

[kach-twen-tee-too]
ExamplesWord Origin
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com noun,  plural Catch-22's, Catch-22s.
  1. a frustrating situation in which one is trapped by contradictory regulations or conditions.
  2. any illogical or paradoxical problem or situation; dilemma.
  3. a condition, regulation, etc., preventing the resolution of a problem or situation; catch.

Origin of Catch-22

from a military regulation in a novel of the same name (1961) by U.S. novelist Joseph Heller (born 1923)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
 

 

I think out of desperation, you are grabbing at anything to assuage the ache for resolution.  There was no adaptation of Joseph Heller's novel before 1970.  Any use of the phrase would have run into immediate copyright enforcement.  I don't see why a movie, or TV movie made in Britain would be any more likely to disappear under the sands of time than one made anywhere else.  I am sure your last comment was shouted in jest, as the humor of one person after another posting that it is definitely not that movie must be equally obvious to you.

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I watched whatever it was in the 80's.I'm a average person and not on Facebook but Rod's daughters is. She's a writer, who wrote about her father. I don't know how Facebook works but could somebody ask her about Come in Razor Red( a Armchair Theatre ep.) her father wrote I can't find a synopsis on IMDB and was hoping somebody could at least put a synopsis on IMDB. It was shown on Feb. 14.1960. If you go to IMDB  it gives the actors . Maybe that could help eliminate it. Even though now it's a vague memory, I think somebody would of noticed if his Twilight Zone ep. was copied from somebody else at the time.

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Posted (edited)

slaytonf  The reason why I kept mentioning that it is said that Joseph Heller coined the phrase "Catch 22"....is that perhaps he didn't..and people only thought he had because the phrase became so huge after the novel and the 1970 movie by the same name. Perhaps the phrase "Catch 22" had been around before Joseph Heller supposedly coined it. And besides..there are lots of movies that have the same name with no copyright infringement suits. For example Independence Day (1983), Independence Day (1996), Independence Day:Resurgence (2016), etc. And..I only meant that a British made for TV movie might be harder to find in the U.S.  Also..the film that I saw was definitely NOT an adaptation of Joseph Heller's novel or the movie later on..nothing like it at all..would never be called an adaptation. I'm not grabbing at anything out of desperation; I'm just trying to stir memories by mentioning some of the ideas that others have had. The "Search For" saga continues..........

Edited by Sandyjeanie
mistake

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Marysara1  Are you possibly referring to a Westinghouse production called "The Strike" by Rod Serling??  You can look it up under Rod Serling-Studio One Drama-The Strike. In the film The Strike you will hear the lines "Come in Razor Red".  You can also find a synopsis on this site. The Strike is a military-airplane drama as well..but not the one we are looking for. I have gone through as many old films and TV shows as I can..looking for the ghost/plane film we all remember..and I can now recall most of them. Look up The Strike and see if that is the "Come in Razor Red" that you are looking for, and let me know please. Thanks. 

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Thank you. I guess it can be eliminated. It has the same characters as the strike, so it's probably a remake of it . I think we're looking for something early 60's  when the real story was fresh. I saw it in the 80's ,so it survived until them. I knew I was watching something old but didn't recognize any actors , so I don't think any of them became famous that's how I know it isn't sole survivor because I'm familiar with several of the actors in that .Rendezvous(according to IMDB has a actress in it) I was born in 1966, so if a saw what you did , which is what I remember .

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Marysara1  Thank you for your quick response. And yes, we have eliminated a couple of more films now. Thank you for letting me know that Rendezvous has an actress in it, because as we know..the film we are seeking has an all male cast. And..I just now found the episode of Rendezvous on Youtube, and there is definitely an actress in the episode. And, you are also right about the actors in the film we seek. I cannot remember any of them..so they couldn't have become too famous. And, Sole Survivor does have some famous actors in it, that were not in the elusive film we are seeking. Of late, I've been calling it a film instead of a movie..because it could have been a one hour TV show as well..making it appear like it was a full length movie. I was born in 1955 and saw it in the 60s..probably around the time that it may have first aired. But, others....just like you have said that they definitely saw the film in the 80s..remembering that they watched it after school. And, a couple of others said they saw it in the 70s. I hope the fact that this film was seen by people in the 60s, 70s and 80s..will help us in our quest. At least it aired more than once as far as we can tell, and probably at least 3 times in a 20 yr. span. If you have any other ideas..let me know. And, thanks again.

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On June 26, 2018 at 8:54 AM, Sandyjeanie said:

slaytonf  The reason why I kept mentioning that it is said that Joseph Heller coined the phrase "Catch 22"....is that perhaps he didn't..and people only thought he had because the phrase became so huge after the novel and the 1970 movie by the same name. Perhaps the phrase "Catch 22" had been around before Joseph Heller supposedly coined it. And besides..there are lots of movies that have the same name with no copyright infringement suits. For example Independence Day (1983), Independence Day (1996), Independence Day:Resurgence (2016), etc. And..I only meant that a British made for TV movie might be harder to find in the U.S.  Also..the film that I saw was definitely NOT an adaptation of Joseph Heller's novel or the movie later on..nothing like it at all..would never be called an adaptation. I'm not grabbing at anything out of desperation; I'm just trying to stir memories by mentioning some of the ideas that others have had. The "Search For" saga continues..........

Joseph Heller came up with the concept and coined the phrase.  I say this to save people from wasting time and effort in a fruitless pursuit.

I see no reason why information available in Britain would not be accessible here.  I say this so that people will not be wrongly discouraged from a potentially productive investigation.

No adaptation of Catch-22, and no movie or anything else of that name was made before 1970.  Any speculation otherwise is wishful thinking.

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Here's one I came across.  I don't think I saw this mentioned yet.  It has a slightly different theme, but also retains some of the elements.  So I'm not going to try to suggest this is your movie, but it does seem to fit into that group.  Maybe this can lead to something else, maybe not.  I'll look into it in different ways as they occur to me.

Fortress of the Dead (1965)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059195/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

  • reminds others of Rod Serling or Twilight Zone material
  • sole survivor theme, before Sole Survivor (I just had to throw that one in there LOL)
  • takes place in / around a damaged bunker, which had become a national monument or tourist attraction (but no crashed plane as far as I can tell)
  • has ghosts, central character revisits camp where 37 in his camp were killed in a single incident years earlier
  • a small cast of actors I am unfamiliar with
  • directed by Ferde Grofe, Jr.  (Possibly the son of the Grand Canyon Suite composer??)

This is said to be a PD title, I have confirmed it to be available from Sinister Cinema
No Youtube
No archive.org

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Posted (edited)

MovieCollector OH  Thanks..Even though it isn't the movie we are looking for..it does sound VERY interesting..and I hope to check it out. Even in the synopsis they do mention the words "sole survivor"..LOL. Maybe it could lead to that which we ARE looking for. Thank you! These are my favorite kind of movies!! Also..I just remembered a couple of other creepy movies that are a bit along these lines. I think slayton referred to the first one in one of his earlier posts. That movie is Between Two Worlds (1944) which mostly takes place aboard a cruise ship during WWII. And, the other begins on a plane heading to an island, and the name of that movie is Haunts of the Very Rich (1972) that has an all-star cast with names such as: Lloyd Bridges, Cloris Leachman, Anne Francis, Ed Asner, Robert Reed, Moses Gunn, Donna Mills and More....Both are intriguing films..that can be found on youtube. 

Edited by Sandyjeanie
Forgot a few items.

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