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Five Came Back

Five Came Back(1939)


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  • Excellent Airplane Disaster Film

    • grrrrrr8
    • 1/11/19

    IMHO,so much better than Flight Of The Phoenix.Patric Knowles a real wimp,tries to force his way on plane rather than die is only loathsome character,Carradine just doing/being his job as bounty hunter.back From Eternity,remake wasn't bad either,but C Aubrey Smith * Marjorie Risdon terrific in their roles.Loved Joseph Calleia in another gangster-type role.

  • 1st Class Movie, Watch It

    • JimS
    • 1/11/19

    Strong cast, good pace and presentation. I highly recommend it. Hard to say who in the cast shines the most but Lucille Ball was a very pleasant surprise, attractive, sexy, competent and able actress.


    • Yvette
    • 1/20/18

    This is a good movie. Every time this comes on, I watch it. Lucille Ball is a great actress. I just love it.

  • 1939 Suspense

    • Trylon
    • 1/20/18

    I like this film but as I watched it the first time I knew I had seen it before but not with these actors and actresses. Back From Eternity (1956) with Robert Ryan, Jesse White Beulah Bondi, Rod Steiger, Fred Clark and other talents were in a remake. This 1939 version is quite good and I always enjoy seeing Lucy in other roles (although I kept expecting Desi Arnaz to appear from behind a tree wearing that hilarious headhunter costume he wore in the I Love Lucy episode when Little Ricky was born). And she really was a beautiful woman. This 1939 version is suspenseful and it is a great period piece. There's no way something of this quality could be made today. Instead of relying on solid acting skills to create an exciting movie, there would be too much reliance on special effects. Both versions of this movie are well worth the time.

  • They All Came To...

    • Clichae
    • 9/23/16

    The characters, as played by each actor, seemed fully realized & therefore believable- put out of their misery by death or by life.

  • This was a very good movie

    • Johnny V
    • 2/3/16

    I thought this movie was very well made. I think the actors were all good in their roles. I would like to see this story re-made today. I think it would be very interesting to see which of today's biggest actors/actresses might be involved in it. I didn't like the 1956 version, it was slow-moving & boring to me. I prefer the 1939 original. I have a pet cat & there is a scene early on in the film where a black cat crosses the path of 2 of the passengers - the Vasquez character & the Crimp character. Vasquez tells Crimp "a black cat, an ill omen Mr. Crimp." and he was right. I just always remember that scene with the cat. Do other viewers like that scene?

  • 5 came back

    • kevin sellers
    • 12/29/14

    Decent airplane disaster pic. Not as good as Flight Of The Phoenix, but then few action adventure movies are. I'd put it in the same category as William Wellman's The High And The Mighty (but below Wellman's Island In The Sky, which is more obscure, but well worth watching.). The writing, by Nathanael West, Dalton Trumbo and the legendary Jerry Cady, was fairly good. I could have done without all the speechifying by the anarchist character about the ideal, classless society and who deserves to live and why, but otherwise the dialogue was crisp and unpretentious. The direction by John Farrow (Mia's dad) was similarly fast paced and did not draw undue attention to itself. The acting was also fine, with the glaring exception of an overly cute little kid who you just knew would be saved, but that I was secretly hoping would be an appetizer for the local cannibals. And therein lies the weakness of this film. You pretty much know that John Farrow either would not or could not try to interestingly subvert the genre, as Flight Of The Phoenix did by having two huge a-holes among its six survivors. Give it a solid B. P.S. Lucille Ball underplays it, if you can believe that.

  • Films that capture the past.

    • denscul
    • 5/30/13

    I am a pilot who flew large commercial aircraft. I love stories like this because its a era that will never happen again. Twin engine passenger planes that couldn't climb over the high South American peaks, unpressurized, negating any reasonable attempt to allow passengers to breath. No radar, no good communications make the crash landing in the Jungle realistic. So were the local natives, when this film was made, countless tribes had never been discovered, and mapping of this area was primitive. I do have a problem with fixing an aircraft with no tools. That is strictly baloney.Looking at the story itself, its a little clichd. We quickly learn who are the good and bad guys. The decision on who gets to go, reminds me a little of the Titanic film played last night. No room for every one, so hard choices must be made. As someone who watched I Love Lucy the first time around, I always enjoy seeing her in one of her many low budget films. She may have played second fiddle to Hepburn, Garson, ect, but in the end, she literally had the last laugh. And ask any actor, doing drama is easy, comedy is hard.

  • What a surprize.

    • Robert Marcus
    • 12/8/12

    I had not seen this for many years and remembered it as a typical survivor movie. I remembered wrong.This is a gem with interesting characters played by a cast of first rate second tier actors. (Any film with both C. Aubrey Smith and John Carradine has to be worth watching.) Some of the plot mechanics are clunky (Could the plane really survive that landing? and Bill knowing that only five could take off seems a very difficult calculation.) but the play really works on a number of levels. Thanks for showing this - another great Saturday morning program from TCM!

  • Lucille Ball Superb

    • Adventure
    • 9/22/12

    Lucille Ball who frankly admitted she was in awe of her lady peers at RKO such as Irene Dunne,Katharine hepburn, and her best friend Ginger Rogers was assigned this film and walks away with this picture as a hard bitten woman. Ms. Ball so famous for her madcap "Lucy" characters was a great looking and indeed beautiful woman and an actress who could and did do comedy, musicals and drama. This film is one of my favorite's and shows us a Lucille Ball with great range.

  • Lucy Shows Us What A Great Actress She Was

    • DEDE
    • 12/4/11

    Always look forward to this excellent movie.No lack of action and susoense.

  • Thanks TCM

    • tom
    • 12/3/11

    ...wonderful little B film I'd never known about If not for've turned me on to so many little gems over the years....thank you so much.

  • "A" quality "B" Picture

    • Ron Kerrigan
    • 12/3/11

    A great programmer that zips along, with nice characterizations and a great cast. No fat and, although the outcome is fairly predictable, it's a satisfying example of good movie-making.

  • Perfect

    • Dawn
    • 7/17/10

    This is a perfect 1939 adventure drama movie you like all the people your suppose to and hate all the people your suppose to very perfect, everyone in the movie all the actors are good in their roles. Even the remake in the 1950's Back from Eternity is good but I like this one Five came back just a little bit better. Very good movie!!! And it should be on DVD,VHS!!! Actually both movies should be on DVD, VHS!!!

  • A Classic Year '39

    • Ruben
    • 5/14/10

    Along w/so many others classics that were released that year, "Five Came Back" is a classic for Lucille Ball lovers. I prefer her dramatic roles...provides me w/an opportunity to see how expansive she actually was an actor. The 1950's remake is great and does a good job of holding your suspense, but the original version, set the mark and tone for the remake. I would have loved to have seen Lucille Ball's character expanded in this film, however she does serve enough time throughout this flick to capture the quality and range of her skills. Not only was she a good character actress, she really was a beauty.

  • My Favorite Lucille Ball movie

    • spunkylubbock
    • 5/1/10

    I love Lucy & Chester Morris in this film. After reading some of the other reviews, I am so glad Jarrod M. was NOT around to tell the filmmakers how to make this movie. I don't agree with him at all. I prefer this version to the 50's remake by the same director. John Farrow got it right the first time!

  • Five Came Back (1939)

    • James Higgins
    • 2/25/10

    Often the smaller "B" pictures were better than the expensive "A"pictures that they frequently were shown with. "Five Came Back" is aperfect example of that. This film has excellent pacing, fineperformances from everyone, especially C. Aubrey Smith and LucilleBall. It is one of her best film performances. The story is solid andalways interesting, it's well photographed and the characterdevelopment is outstanding. Finely written with crisp dialog. Thefilm is very memorable as well, with an ending you won't easily forget.John Farrow's direction is definitely a plus, and it is a good exampleof his flair for direction toward the beginning of his career.

  • Five didn't come back

    • Jarrod McDonald
    • 1/31/10

    I love how the film sort of ends on the non-survivors. This is just a really interesting film and makes you think. Lucille Ball's performance reminded me of something Jean Harlow would've done. The others are good, too, especially C. Aubrey Smith. Of course, we know that the women and children will be saved, and the screenwriters have made sure the much-less valuable characters die off (the boy's uncle, the playboy, the man facing prosecution, and the elderly couple). So it's morally correct on all levels. Also, the writers stay clear of cannibalism (something I bet modern filmmakers would include). Still, I think there are ways the film could've been improved. We should've seen more with the pilots trying to fix the plane and the frustration of it taking so long to fix the wrecked plane. We should've seen the rescue team attempt to find them. And we should've seen the natives. (I thought it was too convenient that the natives did not become a problem till after day 18.) Allso, there should've been discussion that once the other five returned safely that they could help the rescue team go back for the others.

  • Would love a DVD of this

    • Jean
    • 1/31/10

    This is a very good movie from 1939 - one of the best of that great yeqr!

  • Please put it on DVD!

    • Cree
    • 7/23/09

    This is a great movie, but I never get to watch it. It would be great to be able to buy it on DVD so I can watch it whenever. Please put this wonderful movie on DVD.

  • PLEASE release on dvd

    • Graci
    • 12/29/08

    My husband and I have great memories of seeing this movie as children. One of the scariest, most tearful movies ever. When those drums stopped.... Please release on dvd.


    • Sally Wilson
    • 5/11/08

    I saw this movie yesterday on TCM, it is the first time I have seen it. It was excellent, the acting first-class, kept my interest. I would like to be able to buy the movie not only for me, but for my brother-in-law who recommended I watch it. I hope that it will be put on DVD soon. Thank you for your consideration.

  • Put it on DVD ... Now!

    • Jose Velazquez-Ramos
    • 3/20/08

    One of the best written B-Films ever! In my humble opinion: better than Lifeboat! A magnificent film with a rich texture of social, economic and sexual morality themes.

  • Great Movie, deserving of being on DVD.

    • Ruben
    • 7/10/07

    It's very rare that I get to see this movie. Whenever I find its showing, which is usually late at night, I make plans to stay awake to view it. Its full of suspense and human drama. If you're a Chester Morris fan, you'll love this movie. If you're a fan of Lucille Ball, you'll be pleasantly surprised at her range of acting. The movie's cast of actors are fantastic. For it, its considered one of the finest movies out there. I have only one concern regarding this movie. Why isn't it available on DVD? Its a true classic and very deserving of being preserved on DVD.


    • 4/16/07


  • Nail-biting

    • Linda
    • 11/17/06

    Taut, suspenseful little gem. One of the best B-movies I've seen. All of the characters roles are well written and fully developed. It's a shame Lucille Ball didn't do more dramatic roles.

  • Five came back

    • Derek
    • 11/16/06

    one of the best movies ive seen. the way john farrow ended the movie still has me in disbelief! a definate must see in all its black and white splender. a true example to the phrase "they dont makem' like they used to"!

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