No Highway in the Sky (1951)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Drama  |   Release Date - Jun 28, 1951 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

No Highway in the Sky is a more-than-decent drama about dangerous aviation design flaws that in some ways presaged later real life air disasters suffered by a British-designed jet. While parts of the Highway screenplay are a bit structurally creaky themselves, under Henry Koster's expert and focused direction, they're more than acceptable. As we watch, we know that we're being manipulated, but we're having a good enough time along the way that we don't really mind. Besides, the creators have done a fine job of giving us an engaging hero, an engineer who's socially awkward and not prone to heroics but who finds the ability to rise to heroic heights. Again, we've seen this kind of thing before, but Highway gives the character just enough quirks to make him fresh. More importantly, the character is played by Jimmy Stewart, whose appeal and everyday personality make us like him, and whose considerable skill adds corners and angles to the character that we otherwise wouldn't see. Glynis Johns is also a great addition, but it's Marlene Dietrich who gets the most attention. It may be Stewart's picture, but her glamorous "I'm just being Dietrich" performance is irresistible.