On a Wing and a Prayer (2023)

Movie Info

Movie Info

Sean McNamara
Run Time
1 hour and 40 minutes

VP Content Ratings

Sex & Nudity
Star Rating
★★★★4 out of 5

Relevant Quotes

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

Psalm 91:15 (KJV)
Terri assists her husband Doug in finding the right buttons & levers when their pilot dies.    (c) MGM

The title of Sean McNamara’s film might remind older viewers such as myself of the old WW 2 song about the crew of a bomber, “Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer,” but this film is set in the present, yet it is just as appropriate because it is based on a true story in which a seasoned pilot of a private twin-engined plane suffers a fatal heart attack. This leaves his passengers, a husband, wife and two daughters stranded several thousand feet up in the sky.

Director Sean McNamara’s is a faith-based film that again shows that Christian filmmakers are learning to tell a good story well–far better than preaching at the audience. (Roma Downey, Autumn Bailey-Ford and Mark Burnett are the producers.)

Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham play Doug and Terri White in this high-altitude thriller. They and their two teenage daughters are flying from Florida back to their home in Louisiana, the only passengers of a twin-engined private plane. Doug has had a few lessons that did not end well when he tried to land a single-engine plane, so when the pilot invites him to sit up front beside him, he readily agrees.

Without any forewarning the pilot’s head falls over. He is dead from a heart attack. Doug is in a near panic at first, but calms down, informing his wife of their dire situation. She is a person of faith, the kind that you want with you in a crisis.

It so happens that back at the airport traffic control none of the controllers have had much flight experience, so they are not familiar with the controls of Doug’s plane, necessary if they are to talk him down. Fortunately, one of them has a friend in Connecticut who was an experienced pilot, so, even though it is against the rules to bring a cell phone into the tower, he slips away to call him. That man is able to find the manual of Doug’s plane, complete with a diagram of the cockpit controls.

Meanwhile, one of the daughters develops a health issue, dividing Terri’s attention, though she remains up front so she can help her anxious husband find the different levers that he is instructed to pull or push. Her steadfast faith is a great asset to them all as she helps everyone to remain calm.

We previously saw Dennis Quaid teamed with Sean McNamara in the inspiring 2011 film Soul Searcher, another good faith-based film that showed rather than preached the power of faith. The new film will keep you on the edge of your seat so that you might want to put on mittens if you are a nail biter. It is appropriate for virtually all members of a family. Look for it to be released on April 9—an appropriate date in that it is Easter Sunday this year.

This review will be in the April issue of VP along with a set of questions for reflection and/or discussion. If you have found reviews on this site helpful, please consider purchasing a subscription or individual issue in The Store.

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