What a piece of shit Ice Station Zebra is, and I’m saying that as an admirer of macho director John Sturges. I love Alan Spencer‘s story about Ice Station Zebra showing on a long flight that Sturges was on, and a fellow passenger complaining that the flight would end before the film did, and Sturges wanting to tell the passenger “you don’t know how lucky you are.” Howard Hughes‘ favorite all-time movie? Really? Spencer says Patrick McGoohan is the best in the film; “has all the best lines.” A North Pole movie shot on a backlot in California.
The roadshow bookings were presented in Cinerama, but if the producers wanted the ultra-wide Cinerama screen to be filled end to end they would have shot Ice Station Zebra in Ultra Panavision 70, which would have delivered an aspect ratio of 2.76:1. It was shot, however, in Super Panavision 70, which delivered a no-great-shakes aspect ratio of 2.2:1. The cinematographer was Daniel L. Fapp (Desire Under the Elms, One, Two, Three, The Unsinkable Molly Brown).