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Ransom
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Terrorists More at IMDbPro »Ransom (original title)

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22 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Convincing thriller

Author: Renaldo Matlin from Oslo, Norway
13 March 2002

Sadly neglected 70's thriller shot on location in Oslo, Norway. Sean Connery looks great as "Scandinavian Security Chief" Nils Tahlvik, and director Caspar Wrede has made some great use of Oslo scenery including a West Side residential area, Oslo's City Hall and Fornebu International Airport (which closed down in 1998). It's also nice to see one of Norway's greatest stage actors, Knut Wigert, as Connery's commanding officer.

All though slow-moving at times this gritty looking thriller has a nice realistic flair to it, including some surprising plot twists along the way.

One final note: from a Norwegian point-of-view it's fun to see how much this British production has the look and feel of a 70's Norwegian film!

Update/comment on Mike's user comment with the headline "Boring Swedish hijacking action": I don't know where he gets all this "Swedish"-stuff as the movie is mainly shot on location in Norway, it has Norwegian actors in some of the supporting roles (most notably Knut Wigert and Alf Malland) and not one Swedish actor, and as IMDb states it is a British production. Sweden had nothing to do with it.

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

fine 1970s thriller with GREAT Jerry Goldsmith score

10/10
Author: mombasa_pete from Belarus
3 June 2007

I cannot believe the negative comments I am reading here. This is a complex, atmospheric and well-acted thriller, which fully captures the 1970s atmosphere of European terrorism, fashion and mannerisms.

The photography is stunning of the Norwegian snowbound landscapes, and Sean Connery gives one of his best performances.

And to cap it all there is a great - and I mean GREAT score by Jerry Goldsmith, one of this best.

Check the scene of the plane chase through the mountains, also the stylish montage of scenes involving London being struck by terrorism in the opening credits and the way the photofit of the terrorist leader gradually appears.

Goldsmith's score is so good, it is worth watching for that alone!

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Hostage situation

6/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
15 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The main reason for watching this thriller on the Fox cable channel was the cast. Not having a clue as to whether this movie was ever distributed in this country, but the allure of actors like Sean Connery and Ian McShane in its cast, proved to be the deciding factor for watching this 1975 British production directed by Finnish director Caspar Wrede. The film had the title "The Terrorists", in the version we watched.

After a series of bombs are detonated in London, we are taken to Oslo, where a group of terrorists have kidnapped the British ambassador to that country. The masked individuals demands are passed to the local security forces. Nils Tahlvik, the negotiator wants to put his own plan of action in place. There is a conflict with a British agent who wants to give in to the kidnappers' demands, something that Tahlvik doesn't want to do.

In the meantime, a commercial airliner, about to land at Oslo's old Fornebu airport is taken over by a group of hijackers. The captain takes a chance by making the tires of the plane blow up as they land. All attempts to surprise the kidnappers on board fail. As preparations begin to bring the ambassador and the men holding him to the aircraft, that by now has been fixed for an unknown flight, the police tries, unsuccessfully to send security forces masquerading as the criminals, but everything fails until the end when Tahlvik himself boards the aircraft and a surprise, that has been kept from us, is revealed.

The screen play by Paul Wheeler is confusing, at best. We don't have a clear picture of what is really going on, that is complicated by the ending in which that surprise comes out of nowhere regarding one of the hijackers and the duplicity of someone in the negotiating team.

Sean Connery is not at his best in the film. We get to see Mr. Connery as he looked at that time before any cosmetic enhancements, especially his teeth, which went through quite a change after this film was done. Ian McShane makes an interesting appearance as the evil Ray Petrie, who is in charge of the hijacking team on board the plane. Isabel Dean, has a good moment as the British ambassador's wife pleading with Tahlvik.

While the film is by no means horrible, it could have been probably better with another film treatment and a action director. The best thing in the movie is Sven Nykvist cinematography, which unfortunately doesn't quite show in its splendor because of the faded quality of the copy that was shown.

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Cool, calm and exciting

Author: Rakesh Kumar from Malaysia
31 December 2001

This film is also called The ransom, not to be confused with the mild action film with Mel Gibson.

The film set in the Scandinavian country (called Scandinavia in the movie, while it is shot in Norway), the snow atmosphere and the heavily dressed characters somehow dictated the slowness of the pace in the movie. Nevertheless, it's exciting. The whole look is not your conventional Hollywood actioner, while at the same time deserves the same class as that of the late sixties/early seventies crime/caper movies like Bullit, French Connection, Taking Pelham One, Two and Three and Dirty Harry.

Connery is fun to watch. He really adds to the atmosphere of the movie and the relatively tame climax looks good with his presence. Good movie. 7/10

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12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Great, but underrated movie

10/10
Author: adam-1009 from Poland
21 July 2007

I bought this movie only because I was curious what would Sean Connery do in Swedish movie... Well, it turned out to be British movie filmed in Norway, but the story takes place in Sweden. But that wasn't the big surprise...

After watching "Ransom" I was really surprised that I've never heard of this movie, because it was really good - intelligent, surprising and entertaining - what more could you expect from a thriller?? I was even more surprised when I saw how low the rates are in IMDb - perhaps some people were expecting lots of explosions and car chases, but instead it is brilliantly handled thriller which really worked for me :)

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Strong Performances by Connery and Mc Shane

7/10
Author: pictlady (pictlady@hotmail.com)
20 October 1999

Strong performances by leads Sean Connery and Ian Mc Shane, backed good action segments, pacing and fine winter locations. Poor editing in some spots causes the film to seem a bit stiff as does some inferior dubbing. Nice twists. Connery's always a pleasure to watch, and Mc Shane's bad guy provides an interesting touch as the head terrorist.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Sean Connery tries to outwit airplane hijacker Ian McShane

6/10
Author: msroz from United States
14 February 2014

The pros and cons of "The Terrorists" have been well aired in other reviews. I liked the film, even if it was not a top tier thriller. What did I like about it? It kept moving with different situations and twists. The plot was a good one. It's inventive and reasonably realistic in how the two sides behave. The behavior of the two sides was rational, each in their own ways.

There was an interesting situation in which one group of terrorists had kidnapped the British ambassador and were making demands to get an airplane so that they could parachute to their hiding spot. There is then a plot twist concerning the secrecy of that spot that drives the action and links up to another band of terrorists friendly to the first. That group, led by McShane, hijacks an airplane and offers safe haven to the first group. This leads into a battle of wits and resources between Connery and McShane.

The performance of Sean Connery was highly watchable. He provided the most sparks. McShane was cool and in command at the plane.

A subplot led into an airplane chase through mountains that was nicely filmed.

I thought the film's tension was quite well maintained. There is a twist ending that has left some viewers disappointed. I think one has to understand that Connery is playing a Scandinavian military man and he has issues with the British, and that conflict also occurs at the higher diplomatic levels. Connery also has conflicts with his own higher-ups. Connery thought the British were playing too fast and loose with innocent lives in their scheme to capture the first group of terrorists.

I don't think this film is a bomb, as some do, or even to be ignored as others do. It's not up to its contemporary thrillers like "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" but few pictures are. Overall this is a respectable thriller, not dependent on gimmicks. It's not a comic caper movie or a comic eurospy kind of light movie. It's more serious, in fact, serious all the way through. It manages to stand on its own feet and survive the years, in my opinion.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Undistingushed Thriller.

5/10
Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
7 September 2013

Sean Connery plays Scandanavian military police chief Nils Tahlvik, assigned to deal with a high jacked British plane that has landed at their airport. The terrorists make various demands that Tahlvik must meet if he wants to save the plane filled with passengers...

Undistinguished yarn has little going for it other than Sean Connery's commanding performance, and a surprise twist at the end that perhaps doesn't bear close scrutiny.... Regardless, though not at all bad, it contains little to make it memorable.

With all respect to Mr. Connery, were films like this and "Zardoz" worth giving up playing James Bond?

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Hijack thriller which doesn't stick in the mind for very long

Author: Jonathon Dabell (barnaby.rudge@hotmail.co.uk) from Todmorden, England
30 December 2002

Many critics have called the Sean Connery thriller Ransom a stinker. It's not all that good, but to label it as bottom-of-the-barrel rubbish is possibly a bit harsh.

The story is old hat. It concerns a plane hijacking in Scandinavia, carried out by a gang of suit-clad Englismhmen led by the charismatic Ian McShane. Connery is introduced as a Scandinavian police chief (still with the familiar Scottish accent, however) who is hired to end the siege. His mission is complicated further when a second hostage situation arises at the nearby residence of the British Ambassador.

The snowy landscapes fit nicely with the cold, cynical plot. There are infrequent tense sequences, such as the bit where a team of counter-terrorist soldiers make a bungled attempt to seize the aircraft. Connery and McShane have a few well played scenes in which they taunt and torment each other over the readio transmitter. The reason that the film fails to take off is that it is too low key, and suffers from a bad twist ending which renders the entire film a bit pointless. Too many of the scenes are flat, and Caspar Wrede (the director) doesn't get interesting performances out of any of the secondary characters.

Not a full-on catastrophe, then, but not a great film either.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining Siege drama

10/10
Author: Kieran Green (greene515@hotmail.com) from Scotland
6 March 2011

'The Terrorists' or also known as elsewhere in the world as 'Ransom' as i recall it being titled from the television showing i watched many years ago, Sean Connery stars in this Co-Production as a Scandinavian police chief(in typical Connery tradition has a Scottish accent!) who is called in to end the terrorists siege at an airport carried out by a gang of suit-clad Englismhmen led by the charismatic Ian McShane. His mission is complicated further when a second hostage situation arises at the nearby residence of the British Ambassador. 'Ransom' is an enjoyable and well acted potboiler which sadly remains underrated but fear not as it is readily available on DVD.

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