The Night My Number Came Up
Forget Final Destination, this is the original fateful flight film. Produced by Ealing Studios in 1955, it’s based on a supposedly true story via an article by Victor Goddard as adapted by RC Sherriff (who also wrote that same year’s bomber plane classic The Dam Busters, also just re-issued) and directed by first-timer Leslie Norman (the father of critic Barry who would go on to make Dunkirk). The film opens at a dinner party in Hong Kong, where a pilot recounts a dream he had the night before in which a Dakota cargo plane carrying eight people from Bangkok to Tokyo crashes into Japanese mountains. The next day Michael Redgrave’s dinner guest and fellow pilot is on a DC3 flying out of the Siamese capital and bound for the land of the rising sun with seven people onboard … The supernatural overtones, the film’s flashback structure and Redgrave’s presence put one in mind of Ealing’s earlier creepy suspenser Dead of Night. No extras.