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Island in the Sky is an adventure film loosely based on the true story of Ernest Gann's search for a downed pilot as related in his autobiography "Fate is the Hunter". Captain Dooley (John Wayne) is flying with his crew over Canada when the ice and snow force Captain Dooley to crash-land his DC-3 transport plane. Dooley rallies his men to focus on survival and not the seemingly hopeless predicament in which they are found. Dooley and his men create a shelter and find food while Dooley reassures his men that rescuers will be coming for them. Meanwhile, Captain Stulz (Lloyd Nolan) is given the task of finding the downed plane and crew, and is determined to locate and rescue his comrades. Dooley must not only help his men stay alive despite the harsh conditions in the Canadian wilderness, but must also keep their spirits up so they don't give up.