Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

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The 2004 remake of The Flight of the Phoenix is on TV here right now. According to the Wikipedia article it wasn't all that well received, with many critics of the opinion that it didn't improve on the original. However, there is one point that they seem to have missed: this version is set in Mongolia, and the unfortunately brief conversation with the bandits is in comprehensible Mongolian! I don't think I've ever encountered Mongolian before in an American film.


  1. Laura said,

    July 2, 2011 @ 6:00 am

    The film Mongol (about Genghis Khan) is largely in Mongolian. The actress that plays Mrs Genghis was not in fact a professional actress, but a native Mongolian who suited the part (and is actually really good).
    It's not an American film, so OK, it's totally unrelated to the point of this post, but it was widely viewed in the UK at least, and I presume the US as it was nominated for an Oscar. So still worth a mention for adding to the list of popular films (i.e. ones you don't have to hunt around specialist shops/foreign retailers for) which contain Mongolian dialogue.

  2. Bob Violence said,

    July 2, 2011 @ 6:34 am

    The Story of the Weeping Camel got a Best Documentary nomination in 2005 and is out on DVD in the U.S. (as is the director's follow-up Cave of the Yellow Dog). Mongolian Ping Pong is another one that's relatively easy to find — it's actually a Chinese film, with a mostly Han crew, but the dialogue is in Mongolian (specifically the southern variety, which could make for an interesting comparison with films shot in Mongolia proper).

  3. language hat said,

    July 2, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    Haven't seen the others, but I can recommend The Story of the Weeping Camel.

  4. Bill Poser said,

    July 2, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    Excellent. Thanks for the pointers. Even if these aren't popular American films, its nice to know about films with Mongolian dialogue.

  5. Nathan Myers said,

    July 3, 2011 @ 1:10 am

    Let us not neglect Genghis Blues, the account of blind blues musician Paul Pena who traveled to Tannu Tuva and earned the awed nickname Earthquake ("Cher Shimjer"). It was nominated for an Oscar, and would have won were there justice in the world. He died in 2005.

  6. david genrich said,

    July 4, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

    "Destination Gobi" (1953). Somewhere in one of the early Mongolia Society Newsletters/Bulletins John Krueger mentions seeing it and being startled at hearing the Mongol characters speaking correct Mongolian.

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