The Shepherd (2023)
December 24, 2023 2:53 PM - Subscribe

Christmas Eve night, 1957. A young RAF pilot finds himself lost over the North Sea with no radio, no compass and little fuel. Adapted from the 1975 novella by thriller writer Frederick Forsyth (The Day of the Jackal) who himself had flown the De Havilland Vampire in the RAF.

I was surprised that The Shepherd, written by Forsyth as a Christmas present for his then wife, hadn't been filmed before, although it has been adapted for radio, both as a drama by the BBC and, in Canada, as a well-known and much-repeated reading. As a dramatisation of a first-person-viewpoint story, it struggles a little to convey the detailed interior narrative of the original novella, but the atmosphere is perfect.

John Travolta felt like somewhat stunt casting, but then (a) he is a very experienced pilot in his own right, and (b) I rather suspect he had a lot to do with getting the film made in the first place.
posted by Major Clanger (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I should have added - streaming on Disney+, and only 40 minutes.
posted by Major Clanger at 2:54 PM on December 24, 2023

Apparently Travolta optioned the story years ago, back when he was of the age to play the young pilot but he couldn't get a movie off the ground. At least that's the story I heard on As It Happens the other night. Here's the write-up if you're looking for more backstory.
posted by sardonyx at 9:45 PM on December 24, 2023

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