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Andrew V. McLaglen
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Robert Culp plays Bracken, a rich industrialist whose life seems perfect until his wife, Ellen, and their children are kidnapped by terrorists. After failed attempts by the police to capture the terrorists, Ellen's ex husband enters the fray and plans his own rescue attempt. James Coburn plays McCabe, Ellen's ex-husband who hires a crew of professional hang gliders to help him rescue her and the kids from the terrorists' mountain top lair. Written by
Patrick Knightly <email@example.com>
This movie's working title was 'Hostages'. See more »
During the supposed night-time rescue operation when the rescuers hang-glided in for the rescue, you can clearly see the shadows of the hang gliders on the rocks below them. So, clearly these scenes were shot in the daytime with a dark filter used to make it look like nighttime. See more »
The movie starts with machinegun-toting terrorists killing the hired help and kidnapping a wife and child. The husband seeks his wife's former husband's help in getting them back. The gang's hideout territory scenery is breathtaking, an abandoned and isolated monastery in mountainous Greece. The inside of the monastery depicts ancient Christian Orthodox iconography. Coburn lines up a travelling troupe of circus-act type hang gliger performers to teach him how to fly. These are the early design of hang gliders, with a rogallo wing design. The rogallo wing consists of fabric stretched out in a triangle over two leading-edge hollow aluminum spars, with another aluminum tube for a spine, and another for a cross bar, and a lower metal loop for the dangling pilot to grip and steer by. Very much like a modern delta-style steerable kite. These were dangerous but beautiful designs, which are capable of going into a stall and nose dive, straight into the ground from a thousand feet up if you are not careful and experienced, but a delight to watch in flight. Before he approaches them, Coburn watches the travelling aerialists' circus-style open-air act, as the heartstoppingly colorful hang gliders perform aerial maneuvers with breathtaking poise and beauty. There's a pretty girl in the troup. One flyer pretends to lose his grip and plummets dozens of feet into a nearby body of water while his pilotless hang glider drifts lazily down without him. So Coburn approaches them and asks to be taught how to pilot one. Somewhere along the line, while learning to fly, Coburn gets casual and cozy, and proposes to the performers that they join him in the rescue. "If we fail," you get your money back," the teacher volunteers. "Right!" Coburn grins skeptically and knowingly, to which the others laugh. Coburn isn't bitter, but he's no fool, and suddenly they have all been won over to his side and looking at the challenge as a team. Like I said, Coburn at his best. From there on, it's a class act as Coburn and the aerialists make a stealth infiltration of the sky-high monastery via hang glider, and seek to get the woman and child out and escape again on their hang gliders before the terrorists can discover and stop them.
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