Making Movies
Transocean Air Lines             1946 - 1960
In 1953, Transocean Air Lines assisted
Hollywood in making two movies, both
based on novels written by Ernest K. Gann
who was a pilot for TAL at the time. Gann's
own experience with TAL provided much of
the background used in the books.
Late in 1952, Transocean was
commissioned by Director Bill
Wellman to lease three DC-3s for the
Island in the Sky  from Trans
World Airlines (TWA).
In November 1953, The High and The
Mighty was filmed with Transocean
providing technical advice, pilots to fly
the airplanes, and mechanics to
accomplish the job of installing the
drooping engine called for in the script.
Yet another movie, Julie,
which starred Doris Day
and Louis Jourdan, was
filmed at The Taloa
Academy of Aeronautics,
and the San Francisco
Fate Is the Hunter was a 1961 bestseller by aviation author & Transocean Capt. Ernest K. Gann that was later
made into a movie staring Glen Ford.
Suspense builds around the investigation of a plane crash that caused 53 deaths in this dramatic adaption of  
Gann's novel. Authorities systematically eliminate probable causes, finally placing blame on the pilot, who was
seen drinking before the flight. The airline's director of flight operations, Sam McBane (Glen Ford), knowing the
pilot's excellent WW II record, refuses to accept the authorities' conclusions and begins his own investigation.
With the help of the only survivor, a stewardess (Suzanne Pleshette), McBane re-creates the events leading to
the crash in an attempt to discover the true cause. The character of the incriminated pilot, Captain Jack Savage
(Rod Taylor), is revealed through a series of flashbacks, from a wartime army camp (with a cameo by Jane
Russell) to the climactic moment of the thrilling crash.
Eventually a test flight re-creating the actual flight shows that the pilot was innocent and that the crash was
caused by a cup of coffee spilling and shorting out critical wiring.