IMDb > Birds of Prey (1973) (TV)

Birds of Prey (1973) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Robert Boris (screenplay)
Robert Boris (story)
View company contact information for Birds of Prey on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 January 1973 (USA) See more »
Before Blue Thunder, There Was ... Birds of Prey
A former fighter pilot now working as a radio station traffic reporter witnesses a bank robbery. He chases down the bank robbers and a hostage in his helicopter. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Janssen's best See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

David Janssen ... Harry Walker

Ralph Meeker ... Jim McAndrew
Elayne Heilveil ... Teresa Jane
Harry Klekas ... Captain Slater
Sam Dawson ... Inspector Sinclair
Don Wilbanks ... Trucker
James W. Gavin ... Police Pilot
Paul Grace ... Robber #1
Wayne D. Wilkinson ... Robber #2
Larry Peacy ... Robber #3
Larry Doll ... Robber #4

Directed by
William A. Graham 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Robert Boris  screenplay
Robert Boris  story
Rupert Hitzig  story

Produced by
Alan A. Armer .... producer
Roger Gimbel .... executive producer
Original Music by
Jack Elliott 
Allyn Ferguson 
Cinematography by
Jordan Cronenweth 
Film Editing by
Jim Benson 
Casting by
Jack G. Roberts 
Costume Design by
Ray Summers 
Makeup Department
Bob Stein .... makeup artist
Production Management
Robert Huddleston .... unit production manager (as Bob Huddleston)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Phil Rawlins .... first assistant director
Art Department
Tom Fairbanks .... property master
Sound Department
Dean Gilmore .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Ira Anderson Jr. .... special effects
Jesse Wayne .... stunt coordinator
Gene Hartline .... truck stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Gary R. Dodd .... key grip
Frank M. Holgate .... camera operator
Gary Holt .... gaffer
Thomas Del Ruth .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Other crew
Paul Cameron .... executive production supervisor
James W. Gavin .... aerial supervisor
Joyce King .... script supervisor
Peter Lake .... assistant to producer
Denis McCallion .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
81 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

According to the stunt pilot on the film, David Janssen did some of his own flying in this movie. "A favorite project of [pilot Jim] Gavin's was the 1973 made-for-TV movie titled Birds of Prey. It starred David Janssen as a traffic reporter who discovers a bank robbery. 'Birds was a ground-breaking project,' he says. 'We took the helicopter out of its normal environment, put it in the city streets and did all the work with Janssen in flight for real. In fact, since he was a pilot Janssen did a lot of the flying, and I'd sit opposite him.' (Flying Magazine, June 1988, p. 30)See more »
Jim McAndrew:Why do you work so hard at remembering?
Harry Walker:Why do you work so hard at forgetting?
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This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
15 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
Janssen's best, 8 September 2001
Author: Ralpho from United States

David Janssen and Ralph Meeker are perfectly cast in this TV movie as World War II flying buddies who have had disparate levels of success in adjusting to post-war life. Meeker's character, McAndrews, is an apparently well-balanced police captain in Salt Lake City. Janssen's character, Harry Walker, flies a helicopter for a local radio station and has not been able to put the war behind him.

Janssen's character witnesses a bank robbery and chases the perpetrators, who are also in a helicopter. The aerial stunt work is top-notch, and the film was made on location in Salt Lake City at a time when you could fake very little with special effects.

But the core of the movie is the relationship between Walker and McAndrews. Walker feels alive for the first time in a long time as he chases the bad guys. McAndrews tries to restrain Walker through most of the movie, although it's clear he sympathizes with his old friend. And at the end he's as crazy as Walker.

When the movie was originally televised, a beautiful and perfectly appropriate version of the song "I'll Get By" played over the opening credits. I have searched long and hard for a recording of that version of that song without success. It wasn't the cover by Keely Smith, or by Billie Holliday.

I wouldn't have looked so hard for a recording if the song was included in the videotape of "Birds of Prey." I suspect that whoever put the movie on video would have had to pay royalties to someone if the song was retained. So this despicable person replaced "I'll Get By" with an instrumental big band song that is probably in the public domain.

This thrifty gent likewise axed a song from the body of the movie to which Janssen's character sings along. So the videotape viewer is left to wonder what song Janssen is singing as an instrumental big band number plays.

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I have a question thundercloud47
The original is available cygenesis
I watched this with my Dad (how does this end?) roximunro
Great Movie - Also check of 'State of Division' AKA Death Race (1973) Onecanuck2001
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