A passenger flight out of Vancouver crashes in remote mountains. On the ground, two lone survivors, a young brother and sister, gather food and blankets. In the air, bush pilot Vince Heldon (Howard Keel), the children's father, guides his plane in a quest to find the downed aircraft. Meanwhile, against this backdrop of search and survival, another drama unfolds: pilot Nora Stead (Patricia Medina) arrives to join the search. She's the ex-Mrs. Heldon, and her presence brings unresolved issues of that broken marriage to the surface while also creating problems for Vince and his new wife (Jane Greer).
DESPERATE SEARCH is a lower-echelon MGM programmer, elevated by the crisp direction of cult favorite Joseph H. Lewis. Jane Greer plays the mother of two small children who are on board an airliner which crashes. The children survive, but are stranded in the middle of the Canadian wilderness. With the help of forest ranger Keenan Wynn and bush pilot Howard Keel, Greer launches an agonizing all-points search for the missing children. DESPERATE SEARCH was an entertaining and efficient means for MGM to keep its contract players busy at minimum cost.
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