Flight of the Phoenix
Personal Lessons and Insights

August 2, 2003


Brief Plot Summary

A group of downed airplane passengers are forced to escape an Arabian desert


Interesting Character

Captain Harris (Peter Finch) struck me as being a character with interesting morals and priorities. Throughout the films he took it upon himself to devote himself to tasks that could further the position of the group, even when that involved a massive risk to his own life. He approached each obstacle with a get-to-it attitude, taking under consideration only benefit, then jumping right to work regardless of how insurmountable the task seemed. This attitude towards work is truly impressive, opening up many more possibilities to the person than one who lets their preconceptions prevent them from attempting things.


Interesting Scene

I found the scene in which Dorfmann (Hardy Krüger) was explaining his plan for constructing a new airplane to be an interesting show of his character. After mentioning that the project would take a number of days, he mentioned that the problem of the rapidly dying man would solve itself. Dorfmann had no problems with this line of thinking, cold logic and reason, but Captain Towns (James Stewart) was horrified. Dorfmann was able to look at problems with a logical view, taking into account the various factors and coming up with a sound solution. This is a very important method of problem solving, not only the distancing of emotions that could lead to less effective solutions, but also the methodical analysis of a problem. That ability is vital in structured problem solving.


Something this film made me think about.

This film made me think about how stressful situations provide for the most difficult of interactions. Dorfmann and Captain Towns both attempted to take a leadership position among the group, causing large fights over the best answer for the problem. However, it is situations like these that require the most amount of cooperation to be handled successfully. I would think in difficult situations, leadership should be openly declared, but each individual should take part in the selection of a plan. Without consent from each individual, unsatisfied people will tend to ensure that plans they disagree with are unsuccessful.

Original Web Upload August 2003
Last Update: August 2, 2003