Cinema: Man-Made Myth

The Flight of the Phoenix crashes a shuddery old two-engine transport into the Sahara, follows its crew's effort to construct from the wreckage a spit-and-bailing-wire one-engine plane to escape in, and reaches a peak of excitement when this kite struggles to take off with five men sprawled on its wings. Measured against the ordinary run of adventure epics, Phoenix is a bonanza.

En route to Bengazi, an oil-company air bus comes down in a sandstorm with 14 men aboard. Two are dead on impact. More will die during the bitter struggle for survival that...

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