Screen Capture Theatre: Zero Hour!, or Plane Crazy

On Screen Capture Theatre we condense a movie into a concise, but thrilling, handful of images. Today we feature the first airplane disaster movie, "Zero Hour," from 1957. A great film tells its story solely through visuals. And I guess "Zero Hour!" does, too.

Herewith we present the film in a unique pictorial form utilizing pictures of a visual nature designed to tell the story through images in a visual, pictorial manner that includes the use of pictorial images that are visual.

Our story begins on a beautiful day during World War II.

Dana Andrews plays Ted Stryker, a World War II squadron leader who
caused all of his men to crash. A lot. Now he is haunted and stuff.

Stryker's wife (Linda Darnell) is tired of having a haunted husband,
so she has taken son Bobby and left Stryker. Little does she know that the plane they have boarded is on a flight to disaster, with a quick connection at Kansas City.

In pursuit of his wife and son, Stryker boards the same plane and ends
up sitting 
next to Rob Petrie's neighbor, Dr. Jerry Helper.

Bobby visits the cockpit, where co-pilot Clutch Cargo gives him a toy plane.

Jerry Helper has a neurotic condition where he can talk only through his
puppet, Dr. Yarnfinger. When asked whether he wants halibut or lamb chops for dinner, Dr. Yarnfinger chooses lamb chops. Well played, Dr. Yarnfinger.

The special effects could be better.

Turns out most of the passengers and both of the pilots have eaten
bad halibut and have food poisoning. To save his family,
Ted Stryker must fly a plane again!

Unfortunately, it's been so long since Stryker flew that he's forgotten
where his ears are -- and that, for best results, a pilot's eyes must be open.

And yet Stryker's wife bravely supports him every step of the way.

Stryker gets off to a rough start, and knows that only one man can help him ...

... Gen. Jack D. Ripper. He knows Stryker's history, and even gave him an
affectionate nickname -- "cowardly pilot-killing incompetent sissy who
 crashes a lot." He is the ideal man to instill confidence in Stryker.

A doctor on board tries to distract the passengers with a singalong:
"Who knows 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald'?"

The passengers seem calm ...

"Dr. Yarnfinger ate halibut off of someone's plate and he
has food poisoning, too. He's doing weird things down my sleeve."

Ripper tells Stryker that thanks to the potency of his bodily fluids, he's doing a great job, and pay no attention to the hundreds of emergency vehicles lining the runway. They're just curious because they've never seen a disastrous crash before.

Finally the plane makes a smooth, relaxed landing.

And who knew this was one of those experimental planes
that used fire instead of landing gear?

Somebody's gettin' a little somepin-somepin tonight, oh yeah.

"Wait till Dr. Yarnfinger tells Millie about this!"


  1. Laugh out loud funny. I had no idea!

  2. Great concept. When I think of the thousands of hours of film viewing I could devote to sleeping...Thanks, friend!