Edgar Anscombe (Christopher Reeve) is an instructor at a US Army Air Corps flying school in 1918. While he is teaching a young pilot, the aircraft crashes during a landing attempt and bursts into flames. The student is killed, though Edgar survives.
Ten years later, Edgar is a Contract Air Mail pilot flying the rugged CAM-5 route between Elko, Nevada and Pasco, Washington. When asked to take a passenger, Edgar reluctantly agrees, revealing that the last time he had a passenger in his aircraft, it was the doomed trainee.
Tillie Hansen (Rosanna Arquette) is outspoken and rebellious. She makes it clear that she does not want to go to her aunt’s house, but her father demands it. He uses his influence as banker for the airline to secure passage for her. Tillie annoys Edgar with her questions, and he acts coldly towards her.
During the stopover at Boise, Idaho, Edgar’s pilot friend, Jerry Stiller (Scott Wilson) changes the oil in the engine, but neglects to tighten a hose. The tension between Edgar and Tillie continues to escalate, and when the flight resumes, Edgar decides to take a shortcut over the mountains, deviating from the normal route. However, the engine loses oil pressure and soon fails, causing Edgar to crash land on a remote ridge.
Tillie blames Edgar for stranding them, and Edgar calls Tillie a jinx. During the night, Tillie accidentally blows up the remains of the aircraft with a cigarette. Afterward, Edgar’s anger subsides as he seems to accept the hopelessness of their situation.
The next day, Edgar goes out hunting and manages to shoot a rabbit with his pistol. However, while returning to camp he is attacked by a pack of wolves who steal the rabbit and badly injure his arm. Tillie manages to sew the wound shut and bandages his arm. Faced with the continued threat of the wolves, and since the remains of the aircraft have been destroyed, Edgar and Tillie decide to climb down the cliff to the canyon below.
The Aviator is a 1985 American aviation adventure drama film starring Christopher Reeve, Rosanna Arquette, Jack Warden, Sam Wanamaker, Scott Wilson, Tyne Daly, Marcia Strassman and Glenn Neufeld, directed by George T. Miller.
The Aviator (1985)
Directed by: George Miller
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Rosanna Arquette, Jack Warden, Sam Wanamaker, Scott Wilson, Tyne Daly, Marcia Strassman, Glenn Neufeld
Screenplay by: Marc Norman
Production Design by: Brenton Swift
Cinematography by: David Connell
Film Editing by: Duane Hartzell
Costume Design by: Patricia Smith
Set Decoration by: Keith Hein
Art Direction by: Dusan Jericevic
Music by: Dominic Frontiere
istributed by: Metro Goldwyn Mayer, United Artists
Release Date: March 1, 1985