Back from Eternity (1956)
Remake of the 1939 classic "Five Came Home" by the same director John Farrow with Rod Steiger stealing the acting honors as convicted criminal Vasquez being sent back to Boca Grande, in Pararico, to face the firing squad for the attempted murder of the country's dictator General Gomaz.
Getting caught in a violent lightning storm over the unexplored jungles of South America the PLA passenger plane, minus it's stewardess who fell overboard, crash lands with it's engines in operation but in the middle of headhunter country. Trying to get the plane fixed before the local headhunters get a beat on the planes passengers and crew tempers start to flair between bounty hunter Crimp, Fread Clark, and his prisoner Vasquez.
Crimp is a bit taken by the change of events with Vasquez now the man who's in charge, since Vasquez is an expert on the habits of the South American headhunters, not him starts to panic. Crimp ends up running off in the unfriendly jungle with the only gun among the people on the plane and ends up losing his head over it. As the days go by it becomes evident that there's no rescue party on the way to save them and both the pilot and co-pilot Bill Lonagan & Joe Brooks, Robert Ryan & Kieth Andes, work around the clock fixing the planes engines. Everything possibly is done to get the plane airborne before the drums start to beat meaning that the headhunters are on their way to finish off the planes survivors.
Tense drama in the South American Amazon basin with a stellar cast knowing that the end is near but not exactly who among them will end up being killed by the headhunters. It's decided that only five will come back since the planes engines can't carry any more weight. The disabled airplane has to have as light as possible a payload in order to take off and fly over the dense jungle mountain range to become fully airborne. (IMDB sol1218)