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Warhead (1977)

 -  Action | Adventure | War  -  February 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 110 users  
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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 »



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Stevens
Tuvia Tavi ...
David Semadar ...
Joan Freeman ...
Mordechai Arnon ...
Pupik (as Pupik Arnon)
Eddy Muktar ...
Jacob Roda ...
Poly Reshef ...
Itzik Weiss ...
Shoshonna (as Ellen Stern)
Rachel Terry ...
Nicholas Torzeski ...
CIA Agent


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film


Action | Adventure | War






Release Date:

February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prisoner in the Middle  »

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Music by Eric Spear
KPM Music Ltd
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User Reviews

Up with people versus Frank Zappa
29 December 2009 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

While testing a new nuclear device, the Americans lose it accidentally in the Syrian desert, just across the Israeli border. No idea why the test didn't take place in let's say the Mojave dessert or in New Mexico... But hey, let's not be too critical before the third minute of this movie has begun. At the same time, an Arab terrorist group led by a Frank Zappa lookalike attacks an Israeli school bus transporting sweet, happily singing Jewish kids. Only a female armed guard will survive the vicious attack. Later, she will identify the leader of this treacherous act. The angry Israelis decide to send -once again- a vengeance team across the border with Syria, to deal with Zappa and his hot rats.

Meanwhile in the Pentagon ! Every reasonable person would think the US would be rather upset by having lost their latest lovely little nuke, in a Syrian desert of all places ! So, the logical thing to do would be to send an Airborne Division backed up by the Navy Seals stacked in some heavily armed transport helicopters, to secure the safe return of the lost nuke, right ? Well, actually no… The Americans just happen to have a nuclear weapons specialist on holiday in Israel, in the "dynamic" shape of David Janssen taratata...

Now, I see David clearly has many fans here on IMDb, maybe because of his more entertaining "Fugitive" legacy. So I already know I won't make myself popular by making fun of him. But frankly, in this movie his dynamism is comparable to that of a koala with a tommy ache. And when it comes to charisma, think in terms of let's say a rusty water tap. Believe it or not, in Warhead, he's even worse than in the extremely boring 'Swiss Conspiracy' of 1978. Anyway, Washington sends Dynamic David ('DD') by parachute and equipped with a do-it-yourself instruction booklet on how to defuse N-weapon into Syrian territory. Sleep tight, little children !

Now, you don't have to be a BBC World Service reporter to know that the Syrians keep a rather VERY close eye on their border with Israel since the Yom Kippur war. So, maybe DD's aircraft already had some stealthy characteristics, as Koala Man lands without causing alarm bells to go off in Damascus. Other possibilities are the stupid Syrians were all asleep during his landing, or he was dropped in Israel and strong desert winds blew him over the border ? Anyway...Fortunately enough for the Syrians, child killer Zappa and his bunch of rats aren't sleeping... Imagine their surprise when they discovers super-DD in his bomber jacket in the middle of the desert, leaning over a cigar shaped thing with a funky flashing red taillight... No wonder they're getting "slightly curious" about what he's up to. Wouldn't you be ? Now, DD isn't happy at all with this undisciplined bunch of Arabds standing around him. How can he be concentrating on his difficult disarmament task, if they're noisier than young teenagers in a museum of Roman art ??? He's even showing some degree of irritation, when they want to take away the metal cigar, paid for by US taxpayers. But well, since there are 20 of 'them' and only one DD, he's soon convinced that giving up this US property might be a wise thing to do. Especially since he definitely intended to play in "Swiss Conspiracy" the next year, just to irritate this reviewer...

After this extremely thrilling and clever humhum action, the filmmakers decided some funny interlude would counterbalance the serious first part of this movie. So, prepare yourself for a very didactic humhum portrait of Arabs. They are more or less portrayed in the same way as Jews were in Goebbels' sponsored films: very stupid, extremely ugly, in a word, as quite an insult to humanity. Enjoy the scenes in which these nasty child killers are trying to push the handsome little US nuke on the back of their truck. Even super-zen DD starts to get slightly uneasy about so much clumsiness, as the nuke isn't completely shock-free. Fortunately enough, marauding Israeli Defense Forces in search of autographs of Zappa all of a sudden appear. And just like in Entebbe, they efficiently make mashed potatoes out of that bunch of clumsy Arabs in a matter of minutes.

After the last ones have fled away with their tail between the legs, the smoke on the battlefield starts to clear. High time to have a closer look at that IDF elite unit. OK, I'll concede that one could hardly expect the Israeli team to look like a well disciplined SS unit. For a start, that would be politically slightly incorrect. But really, was it absolutely necessary to come up with a mixture of "Up with people 1977" and "Barnum's Greatest Show on Earth" ? Because, believe it or not: you're in for a sniff of wigs, a slice of the most stupid looking spectacles, and a pinch of extremely "clever" hum-hum jokes about Arabs. Furthermore, in the next chapters, this "elite" team will perform a catalog of "don't"s in the art of war. Just to name one thing, what military unit would take a 'tea break' on the bottom of some sort of small version of the Grand Canyon, becoming a very nice target practice for snipers hidden on surrounding rocks ? Except maybe the army of San Marino... Well, if you have half an hour to spend one day, have some fun by watching this movie and try to find these flaws yourself. Honestly, I've identified at least 12 ridiculous situations. In the end, sending the Swiss Guards dressed in their carnival outfits seemed a better idea than to send this Funny Dozen.

I gave this movie a 1/10, only because the zero wasn't available. You'll have to introduce the D category of movies to be able to label it correctly.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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