Flight to Fury

Flight to Fury is a 1964 film starring Jack Nicholson, Fay Spain and Dewey Martin. The film was directed by Monte Hellman and filmed back to back with Back Door to Hell in the Philippines in 1964.[2]

Flight to Fury
Directed byMonte Hellman
Produced byEddie Romero
Fred Roos
Written byMonte Hellman
Jack Nicholson
Fred Roos
StarringJack Nicholson
Dewey Martin
Fay Spain
Vic Diaz
CinematographyMike Accion
Edited byMonte Hellman (uncredited)
Filipinas Productions
Lippert, Inc.
Distributed byFeature Film Corp. of America
Release date
  • November 5, 1964 (1964-11-05)
Running time
74 minutes (original)
62 minis (release)
CountryUnited States

Nicholson was one of the writers of the screenplay. The film is about a battle over stolen jewels after a plane crash in the Philippines. A version in Tagalog was also released called Cordillera, directed by Eddie Romero[3] .


An American man identifying himself as a tourist, Jay Wickham, introduces himself to Joe Gaines in an Asian casino. After accompanying Lei Ling to her room, Wickham begins searching for a cache of diamonds believed to be in her possession, but is unable to find them.

On the only available plane leaving for the Philippines, the passengers include Gaines, Wickham and Ling, along with a man named Ross who is Ling's associate and carrying the diamonds, Lorgren (the rightful owner of the gems) and the latter's mistress, Destiny Cooper. A crash landing results in the death of some and serious injury to Ross, who hands Joe the gems before he dies.

Natives begin approaching the plane, ready to kill any survivors and take their possessions. Wickham finds the jewels, kills Lorgren, shoots Destiny and flees, but is wounded by Joe. Before he dies, Wickham tosses the diamonds into a river, as Joe awaits the dangerous natives and his fate.



The film was based on an outline by Hellman and Fred Roos. Jack Nicholson adapted it into a script over a three-week period on a boat from the US to the Philippines. They did it as a homage to Beat the Devil and the film was originally entitled The Devils Game.[3]

Hellman directed the film while editing Back Door to Hell at the same time. He fell ill in between directing the two films.[4]

Lino Brocka worked as Hellman's assistant.[5]


Lippert was unhappy with the comedic tone of the film and had it re-edited for its theatrical release losing 11 minutes. Hellman was able to re-insert the footage for the video release.[3]


Eddie Romero directed a Tagalog language version of the film titled Cordillera for release in the Philippines. According to Romero, he added some scenes and slightly changed the story.[3]

See also


  1. McGilligan, Patrick (2015). Jack's Life: A Biography of Jack Nicholson (Updated and Expanded). W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393350975.
  2. Back from orient. (1965, Feb 12). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/155116391
  3. Stevens, Brad (2003). Monte Hellman: His Life and Films. McFarland. pp. 44–52. ISBN 9780786481880.
  4. By, A. H. (1971, May 16). Monte's turn for the big time? New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/119284395
  5. Stein, E. (1983). Manila's angels. Film Comment, 19(5), 48-55. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/210242478
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