Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr


Action / Adventure / Drama

IMDb Rating 5.7 10 923


Downloaded times
September 5, 2021



Donald Pleasence as Minister Eretz
George Peppard as Theo Brown
Ken Wahl as Chas McClain
1010.31 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
91 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by grift 7 / 10 / 10

Lively, refreshing adventure forced under by Spielberg.

On the one hand, it is possible to view this film only as an attempt to make a star out of Ken Wahl, whose "The Soldier" had some box-office success. However, the film is infinitely more intresting if taken as an action-adventure in the mold that Spielberg would adopt for "Raiders of the Lost Ark", a film which when released around the same time, served to bury "Race" for all but the dilligent. Certainly the film is similar in certain respects, and may be seen as the first of the imitators, its plot and characters anticipating Robert Zemeckis' hit adventure, "Romancing the Stone". But it is individual enough to warrant some attention. It was a US/Australia/New Zealand co-production, made by English actor/director David Hemmings on marvellous New Zealand locations. The story focuses on two helicopter pilots and hunters who search for the wreckage of an American plane reported missing during World War II, and carrying a large amount of gold and money. Naturally as the villains appear (led by dapper George Peppard), the film becomes a chase scenario in an agreeably old-fashioned mode, populated by eccentrics. Donald Pleasance effortlessly steals his scenes, with a characterization resembling that in John Sturges' western epic comedy, "The Hallelujah Trail" some fifteen years earlier. And tpical of the movie's allusive nature, the music score by Brian May ("Mad Max") pays tribute to the theme from John Sturges' "The Great Escape", in which Pleasance also starred. With sundrenched visuals, and a Europeanized use of open-frame compositions, this adventure is used by Hemmings to explore the lengths to which people are prepared to go to to justify their self-image and self-indulgence. It is less about obsession than about pride. Spielberg would also examine this theme in his later films, as would Hemmings, but to vastly different results. In many respects, it is a minor film, and unlikely to come under any retrospective scrutiny. But for what it sets out to be, it is lean, charming and entertaining in a way that many film's strive for, but rarely achieve. A curiosity, for completists.

Reviewed by rmax304823 6 / 10 / 10


If you've ever wondered what the high country of New Zealand's south island looks like, this will provide decent introduction. It looks a little like the video clips we've seen of the Falkland Island, only with mountains, rocky snow-veined crags. The story features Ken Wahl as an adventurous helicopter pilot, his bibulous side kick Donald Pleasance, and the requisite young lady who gets swept up in the race to find the Yankee Zephyr, an American C47 that crashed during WWII, carrying a cargo of Purple Hearts, whiskey, cash, and gold bars. I don't know why everyone in the movies finds wrecks filled with treasure. All the old crashed airplanes I''ve found contained nothing. The wrecked ships were worse. In any case the three good guys are doing their best to find the wreck, the drunken Donald Pleasance not being too sure of its location. In hot pursuit are the bad guys, led by George Peppard, one of those suave villains who sounds like he graduated from college and is dead set on demonstrating it. I can't locate his accent. I won't tell you who wins. It's all fast paced with obvious direction by David Hemmings. The editing is a bit clumsy and the film is overscore. The music is mostly generic adventure but shoehorns in a little Sibelius. Leslie An Warren looks pretty good. It's harmless entertainment, along the lines of "High Road to China."

Reviewed by ma-cortes 6 / 10 / 10

Adventure movie filled with chases , emotion , sympathetic performances and marvelous outdoors

In a lake high in the mountains of New Zealand hunter Gibbie Gibson (Donald Pleasence) discovers a plane wreck , the contents of the stash in the cargo aircraft comprised a shipment of gold war medals, Christmas mail correspondence, a crate of 100 bottles of Kentucky-made Old Crow bourbon whiskey, 1000 gold-bars in gold bullion and the entire payroll in cash for the American South Pacific Fleet. The value of the cargo in the film's story-line was said to be US $50 million . Finding it after four decades is quite a challenge , but holding onto it is really an adventure . It puts moody Gibson , her daughter (Lesley Ann Warren) and an adventurer , a helicopter pilot (Ken Wahl), chasing the treasure hidden since 1944 in the plane wreck of the Yankee Zephyr and risking their lives thereby. Meanwhile , a nasty gang boss (George Peppard) and his hoodlums on their tails . As a group of crooks follow and threaten them . This exciting film packs thrills , non-stop action , humor , helicopter pursuits , motorboat chases and wonderful landscapes . The picture was originally conceived as being a comic-adventure caper in the style of 1963's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and the film was "New Zealand's first big budget ($6 million) co-production". There's denying the energy in the frenetically paced flick but it remains flawed and sometimes unfocused. One of the big early creative decisions about the picture was whether this action-adventure-race film would be an off-road land or underwater salvage movie . The movie was re-titled 'Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr' for its distribution in the USA and it was first shown in America via pay-cable, where it carried no rating but was preceded with a warning vis-a-vis violence and strong language . The casting is frankly good , as Star Billing the followings : Ken Wahl , Lesley Ann Warren , Bruno Lawrence and special mention to George Peppard as a snarling villain and Donald Pleasence as a likable drunk . Gorgeous outdoors shot in location in the rugged terrain from New Zealand . Although the film was made in New Zealand instead of Australia due to an Australian Actor's Equity dispute , this was due to the refusal to permit four foreign actors to be cast in the film's four top-billed lead roles ,as such, this meant there would be not one Australian actor in any of these parts . Before the picture's setting was located to the South Island of New Zealand due to union disputes, the film was originally intended to be set in the rain forests of tropical north Queensland, Australia, specifically in the region of Cape York. This was second of two Australian theatrical feature films that were directed by David Hemmings in the early 1980s , the first was The survivor (1981) . Both films were made with producer Antony I. Ginnane and both movies featured an airplane as a central story element . David Hemmings replaced Richard Franklin as director. The latter was the film's original director but withdrew from the production when the filming location changed from Australia to New Zealand . This was last cinema movie directed by David Hemmings for around eleven years until 1992's Dark Horse (1992). Hemmings' only other theatrical feature after that movie was 1996's Lone Justice 3 (1996). In between these three pictures Hemmings did direct in television such as A Team (1983), Airwolf (1984), Magnum P.I. (1980) and Quantum Leap (1989).

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