Last Flight of Noah’s Ark, The (film)

Last Flight of Noah’s Ark, The (film) An unemployed pilot, fleeing debt collectors, accepts the risky mission of flying an old converted B-29, loaded with farm animals, an attractive young missionary, and two young orphan stowaways, to an island in the Pacific. The plane crash-lands on a small island inhabited by two World War II Japanese naval officers who don’t know the war is over. After some confusion, they all end up friends. Converting the plane into a boat, everyone sets sail for Hawaii. After several adventures, they are rescued by the Coast Guard. The pilot and the missionary, with plans to adopt the orphans, are married by the captain. Released on June 25, 1980. Directed by Charles Jarrott. 98 min. Stars Elliott Gould (Noah Dugan), Genevieve Bujold (Bernadette), Ricky Schroder (Bobby), Tammy Lauren (Julie), Vincent Gardenia (Stoney), John Fujioka (Cleveland), Yuki Shimoda (Hiro), John P. Ryan (Coslough), Dana Elcar (Benchley). The film was based on a story by Ernest K. Gann. The movie’s song, “Half of Me” was written by Hal David and Maurice Jarre, and performed by Alexandra Brown. Location shooting took place at a dilapidated airfield in the desert near Victorville, California, and on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. For the scene in which the B-29 crashes into the sand, twenty-two artificial palms were shipped from California to protect the island’s ecology. The interior of the plane and many night scenes were filmed on Disney soundstages, and for the underwater scenes, the soundstage tank built for 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea was utilized. Five B-29’s were used in the film, but only one could fly. The others were gathered from remote areas in various dismantled and decaying forms to be rejuvenated, with two sent to the Studio and two sent to Hawaii for an excruciatingly difficult rejuvenation process. The U.S. Navy had some rigging and instrumentation on hand; additional equipment was purchased from outside sources, and the rest had to be painstakingly tooled by Disney craftsmen. Besides the human cast, 2 goats, 6 pigs, 5 sheep, 20 chickens, 4 rabbits, 2 grey geese, 4 white ducks, a mallard duck, a cow, and 2 bulls comprised the film’s animal cast. Released on video in 1983.