4.6/10
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Warhead (1977)

A weapons expert is reluctantly sent on a mission to a middle-east warzone to locate a lost nuclear warhead and dismantle it before it falls into the wrong hands. But before he can complete... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tony Stevens
...
Liora
...
Ben-David
...
Mario
Tuvia Tavi ...
Meshugi
David Semadar ...
Malouf
...
Namoi
...
Pupik (as Pupik Arnon)
Eddy Muktar ...
Hassan
Jacob Roda ...
Sammy
Poly Reshef ...
Rabbi
Itzik Weiss ...
Rony
...
Shoshonna (as Ellen Stern)
Rachel Terry ...
Daphne
Nicholas Torzeski ...
CIA Agent
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Storyline

A weapons expert is reluctantly sent on a mission to a middle-east warzone to locate a lost nuclear warhead and dismantle it before it falls into the wrong hands. But before he can complete his work, he is taken prisoner and thrust into the conflict, and finds himself looking out for more than just the warhead. Written by Cynan Rees <cynanrees@hotmail.com>

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independent film | See All (1) »

Genres:

Action | Adventure | War

Certificate:

PG
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Details

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Release Date:

February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prisoner in the Middle  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed for television in 1974 as "Prisoner In The Middle". See more »

Soundtracks

Ancients
(uncredited)
Music by Eric Spear
KPM Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Clever, fast paced and exciting but depressing.
3 March 2006 | by (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA) – See all my reviews

After becoming a David Janssen fan through "The Swiss Conspiracy," I bought a DVD that contains two of David's other movies, "Moon of the Wolf" (I also review it and "The Swiss Conspiracy" on this page) and the subject of this review, "Prisoner in the Middle." Also known as "Warhead," "Prisoner in the Middle" was filmed in 1973 but not released until four years later. Apparently it received only minimal theatrical distribution and now is in public domain. The movie appears to be low budget but overcomes that with clever writing, excellent pacing and exciting actions scenes, plus another strong performance by Janssen.

"Prisoner in the Middle" stars Janssen as U.S. Air Force Col. Anthony Stevens, who, while vacationing in Jerusalem, is summoned to deactivate an American nuclear missile that has accidentally been dropped via parachute into the Jordanian desert.

Stevens finds the missile but before de-activating it, he is captured by a militant Arab group that calls itself the Palestinian Liberation Army. At first, the group's leader, Malouf (played by David Semadar), expresses interest in using the missile to destroy Israel. But upon seeing a red light flashing on the missile, he allows Stevens to de-activate it.

But before Stevens finishes, a group of Israeli soldiers arrive at the scene and begin firing at the Arabs, who retreat. Stevens takes cover during the shoot out and is captured by the Israelis, who don't treat him much better than the Arabs and won't let him de-activate the missile. Meanwhile, the Arabs make plans to attempt to re-gain the missile.

The movie doesn't contain a lot of character development but doesn't need to. It's more about a theme than about characters. And the theme is just as relevant now as it was then. And the movie still does a good job at portraying the lives of Israeli soldiers. In one particularly powerful scene, they are shown praying in a synagogue and from there immediately prepare for battle.

And the point of view of the Arabs isn't ignored. When Stevens tries to convince Malouf to let Stevens de-activate the missile, Stevens tells Malouf to think about Malouf's family. Malouf replies that because of the Jews, he doesn't have a family.

But while "Prisoner in the Middle" is exciting and compelling, it becomes progressively more depressing throughout, all the way until the end. And I'm surprised that it got a PG rating, especially at a time that the PG-13 rating didn't exist. To me, the movie is a pretty obvious R for its intense violence and the implied rape of a captured female Israeli soldier.

For those who can endure, "Prisoner in the Middle" is a very entertaining action drama and a must see for Janssen fans. I give the movie 8/10, the same rating as "Moon of the Wolf." Getting the two movies on one DVD for just $1 is an outstanding value!


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