While on the brink of a military confrontation with China, Air Force One crashes in the desert, killing the President. This brings Vice-President Kermit Madigan to power who, having been left in the dark by the president, must now rely on his predecessor's aides to guide him. But they have markedly different viewpoints and hidden agendas. Will he blunder his way into a nuclear exchange with the Chinese? Written by
Air Force One, a VC-137C, a Boeing 707-353B, is depicted by a former United Airlines Boeing 720B-022, and carries the serial number 62-6001 (tail number 26001), one digit up from President John F. Kennedy's 62-6000 (tail number 26000), as if it was part of a two aircraft order. The actual serial 62-2601 was assigned to a Martin AGM-12 Bullpup missile. See more »
While the President is not aboard Air Force One when it crashes, the plane uses the call sign Air Force One instead of the correct call sign SAM 26001. This is because the flight is a cover for the President's actual, top secret, destination on another aircraft. See more »
The President appears to be dead....and the timing couldn't be any worse.
This installment of "The ABC Movie of the Week" is based on a novel by Robert J. Serling. When it begins, the President is headed out on Airforce One when the unthinkable happens...the plane disappears and it appears as if it's crashed. The Vice President (Buddy Ebsen) has been told and it's likely he's now the President! The worst part about this is that this Vice President may be called on to deal with a huge Chinese crisis...and it will take a very strong and decisive person to deal with the escalating problem. But, when they are unable to find the President's body in the wreckage, things get really confusing!
As far as the cast goes, this one is a bit more star-studded than usual for a made for a TV movie. Apart from Ebsen, Peter Graves, Arthur Kennedy, Raymond Massey, Mercedes McCambridge and Rip Torn star in this one. Because of this and because it's a really interesting story, this installment of "The ABC Movie of the Week" is a standout...well worth seeing and very well made. And, if you'd like to see it, many of the movies from this series (including this one) are available to watch on YouTube.
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