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|Index||13 reviews in total|
10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Under Cover Of Darkness, 9 February 2002
Author: virek213 from San Gabriel, Ca., USA
It is not surprising that something as utterly dramatic and swift as
Israel's lightning raid at Entebbe against a planeload of Palestinian
hijackers holding over one hundred of their own should make for a movie.
Instead, however, there were three, of which this is the
This made-for-TV movie, which somehow bought together an all-star cast and was shot, edited, and aired within a mere five months of the Entebbe event, which happened under cover of darkness on July 4, 1976, shows some of the faults of being shot largely in a studio and on videotape (later transferred to film). But what we get, thanks to veteran TV director Marvin Chomsky and writer Ernest Kinoy, is a rather good account of perhaps the most dramatic anti-terrorist raid the world has ever seen. Burt Lancaster and Anthony Hopkins are matchless as Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, with Richard Dreyfuss contribuing his usual best as Colonel Yonni Netanyahu, the only casualty the Israeli military suffered during the raid.
The cast also includes Kirk Douglas, Linda Blair, Elizabeth Taylor, Helen Hayes, Christian Marquand (as the Air France pilot), and Harris Yulin, among others. The only performance that seems full of ham to me is Julius Harris' as the ultra-notorious Ugandan president Idi Amin; it is so over the top (though perhaps that is a bit harsh, as the real Amin was far, far worse).
This is a somewhat imperfect version of the story, but nevertheless worth the 7-out-of-10 rating it gets from me.
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Okay., 9 August 2005
Author: iloveperth from United States
After viewing both versions of the Entebbe rescue (the Encore Drama
channel is showing both of them this month), I have to definitely say
that this is the weaker of the two. While the true story is exciting
and excellent, the bargain basement sets (most of this movie looks as
though it were being filmed in an abandoned high school!), melodramatic
overacting (Linda Blair and Liz Taylor I'm looking at you) and terrible
Nazi caricatures really take away from the wonderful rescue story at
hand. This is basically a soap opera, Hollywood version of a true
I'm sorry, but when Linda Blair walked around with that damn box of chocolates, I was ready to beat her up myself. If you want a great account of the Entebbe rescue, I'd highly recommend 'Raid on Entebbe' instead.
10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
They should have stayed down! excellent film, 7 January 2007
Author: mombasa_pete from Belarus
I have seen all 3 films of this incident, all have merits.
This is the only one to truly show the bloodiness of the final shootout.
We really see people getting riddled with bullets and blood all over the place, the other 2 shy away from this.
As to the other matter, the Israelis shooting down hostages. well I have also read the book, and in reality, some hostages were caught in the crossfire and killed. They disobeyed directions and stood up.
This was not the fault of the Israeli soldiers, it was the stupidity of the hostages to not listen and obey.
In a counter-terrorist operation like this it is inevitable there will be casualties.
This is the calculated risk.
just because viewers mired on the unrealistic world of Hollywood dross where the good guys always give the bad guy a chance to draw his gun first, and never miss a shot, may not like it, it actually did happen and will happen.
This is the real world: sometimes innocent civilians who don't do as they are told in a counter terrorist situation will be killed, by either side.
They should have stayed down.
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Great story, bad movie, 28 July 2005
Author: Sulaco72 from United States
This is a bad movie. The real story of the Entebbe rescue was much more exciting and interesting than this. Everything about the movie, apart from the star-studded cast, screams low-budget. But even the stars can't save this movie: Kirk Douglas and Liz Taylor overact horribly. So does the guy who plays Idi Amin, but I suspect Amin was even worse in real life so I'll cut him some slack. Anthony Hopkins and Richard Dreyfuss perform well, though. The woman who plays the female German terrorist is a caricature of a Nazi. The characterization is paper-thin, though that is perhaps understandable given the number of characters. A lot of the dialogue is awful, a part near the beginning where Linda Blair is having an insipid conversation with her new beaux actually made me laugh out loud. The effort to humanize the male German terrorist was silly and pointless. I haven't seen the other two movies about Entebbe, but don't watch this one. Read a book about it instead.
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Victory at Entebbe, 14 August 2003
Author: H_Kivel from Concho, Arizona
While I substantially agree with the review by John Barnes, I also
believe the film has one or two positive qualities which he neglected
to mention. Yes, Mr. Barnes, Victory at Entebbe is a poor quality,
third-rate, and hastily-prepared film. But it is NOT worthless.
It was a 1976 attempt to portray a 1976 historical event for a 1976 television audience. That alone lends it a certain historical authenticity. So many films with much higher budgets seem far less genuine simply because they attempt to portray historical events 20, 30, 40+ years after the fact.
Although I did read the book 90 Minutes at Entebbe a number of years ago, I cannot necessarily vouch for the film's complete historical accuracy. However--with the notable exception of the unruly hostages being shot by the commandos--the film appears to be an honest attempt to accurately portray the event.
Nevertheless, due to the film's poor quality, I recommend it only for those who either already have a special interest in the Entebbe raid, or would like to learn about the Entebbe raid. The film actually has more educational than entertainment value.
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Not the best account of the incident but worth watching., 9 April 2002
Author: yenlo from Auburn, Me
If one is a history buff and enjoys reading about and viewing films made about historic events then they will read and view everything they can find on the subject. This film is an account of the Israeli commando rescue of Jewish hostages who were hi-jacked in July of 1976 and flown to Idi Amins Uganda. While this film which boasted an all star cast is clearly inferior to the one which came out a year later and starred Peter Finch and Charles Bronson it still makes for good viewing. It also makes one wonder with the talented cast had more time and perhaps more money been spent on making this version it might have been the best of the lot.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
If you like Soap Operas, this is the version to watch., 16 February 2010
Author: dennis from the Bay Area
This is the Soap Opera version of the Raid on Entebbe.
About half of this movie is poorly written, a real shame. I couldn't believe that this all-star cast would sign up to make a movie of this low caliber.
I have watched all 3 Entebbe movies. As others have commented, the "Raid on Entebbe" is strongly on point of the story at hand (the rescue of 101 Israelis held by terrorists).
"Operation Thunderbolt" is also on-point, and has many of the actual players playing themselves, but it is largely unfocused.
So, for the people who want to get lost in the background, "Victory" is the pick. I wish they could have taken this cast, and had them perform the Raid on Entebbe script ... it would be incredible.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Star Power, 20 June 2008
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Two films came out in the wake of the successful Israeli rescue of a
lot of Jewish passengers on an Air France flight that was hijacked to
the Ugandan capital of Entebbe that year. This one, Victory at Entebbe,
had a lot more star power to it if you look at the cast list.
The Seventies began the years of terrorism starting with the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. For reasons I can't explain, the left took up the cause of the Arabs and of Islam, societies which wouldn't let them operate, no way, no how. Maybe it's psychological or pathological, it sure ain't rational.
The group that took the Air France passengers hostage were Germans, members of the Bader-Meinhoff gang which was a militant German leftist crowd. The idea these folks had was to trade their lives for the lives of Arab terrorists in Israeli and other western power's jails. To do they had the tacit cooperation of another loon who ran a country for a while, Idi Amin Dada of Uganda.
All you need to know about that one you can see in Forest Whitaker's portrayal in The Last King of Scotland. Here though is the Idi Amin played by Julius Harris whose antics nauseated the civilized world. It's the Idi Amin I remember from the news.
Anthony Hopkins plays Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin who ironically would fall victim to extreme Judaism some 20 years later. This was his first time as Prime Minister and he's ably assisted by Burt Lancaster as Shimon Peres as Defense Minister. These two guys must have been flattered all to heck because they sure don't look like Hopkins and Lancaster.
Working on a five day deadline the terrorists imposed, the Israeli military crafted a rescue that stunned and delighted the civilized world. 103 innocent Jewish lives were rescued from barbarism and death, there was no meek resignation in that generation of Jews.
This film technically speaking was the fourth Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas joint project. They have no scenes together. Douglas and his wife played by Elizabeth Taylor play the parents of Linda Blair who is one of the passengers on the plane and who are part of a small group representing the families of the hostages meeting with Hopkins.
One of the stories that got world attention was the murder of Dora Bloch played by Helen Hayes here. She was taken ill and removed to a Ugandan hospital and she was killed by the Ugandans in retaliation for the Israeli rescuers killing Ugandan troops who were protecting the terrorists.
The best one I thought in the cast was Bibi Besch who played the only female among the terrorists. She looked every inch the part of a German whose antecedents were no doubt proud Hitler youth members. She practically is salivating when the Jews are separated out from the rest of the passengers for what she knows will be annihilation.
Victory At Entebbe should be required viewing for anyone who has romantic notions about the nature of terror and the need for a state of Israel.
Made for TV and sorry to say badly., 17 November 2012
Author: Glen Lambert from United States
What I am writing is intended for those considering purchasing this movie on DVD from Warner Archive. Do not mistake this movie for Raid On Entebbe which is a first class film. A first class cast deliver poor performances down to the last man woman and child. Although not annoying there certain scene changes with gaps intended for placement of commercials. a The plot is slow to develop and tends to drag painfully. Filmed in academy aperture on either poor film stock or the print is bad. There are frequent focus errors and audible camera noise. There are numerous technical and historical errors including piston engine sound for the turboprop C-130s. As digitized by Warner Archive has shutter type sound track partially visible to the right of the picture.
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Better Than "Raid on Entebbe", 3 August 2009
Author: pfarnell from Australia
Its difficult to dispute some or most of the obvious criticisms of this
film, that it was made hastily ( for a reason, both 1976 films on the
subject were) that it has 2-bit sets, as it would tend to, another
thing I find which gives it an odd feel is the lack of
score/soundtrack, it has a stage play look....what I find puzzling is
that it is found to be far inferior to its rival in any way, which has
most of the same faults -and more besides..."Raid has the charisma and
presence of action-man Charles Bronson , c'mon, YOU have the late
Chuckster in charge of rescuing you from Arabs, Germans and crazy
Ugandan dictators if you are ever in that position, you know you want
him to-(if the real Israeli government had had Bronson they could have
dispensed with the Golani brigade and Paras, C130s and recoilless
gun-jeeps and just sent in Chuck with his pump-gun and melon truck to
house-fight the terrorists out of existence) But this film despite its
TV look is a far better, more exciting, more involving, more colourful
script than "Raid..Richard Dreyfuss is pretty matter-of-fact Jewish
charismatic and some sort of substitute for Bronson and Woods.I think
the criticism of the actor playing Amin is pretty unfair, that his
antics were over the top, of course the real Amin was in no way over
the top, was he? It may be played a little even-voiced, precise and
shrewd sounding by Julius, but I would call it a professional job
still, bear in mind in 1976 the outside world had not seen as much of
the real Amin as it had later.I can tell you that there was total
silence in the cinema as Julius/Amin spoke back in 1977. A good
sign.The assault on the airport terminal is VERY exciting and realistic
in its muzzle-flashing ruthless flesh-spattering gore,the shock sudden
loss of Yoni to a Ugandan sniper's bullet, after the commandos have
taken control , is shock and matter-of-fact heroic ...the role of the
black Mercedes limo is explained and its ominous silent tarantula-like
approach to the terminal is tense, as the commandos leap out blazing at
the first of the terrorists lounging outside(yes, they did a number on
that blonde Nazi bitch).People really seem to have it in for Linda
Blair and her chocolates-it seems nitpicking and perhaps the chocolates
reflect something that really occurred on the flight.Jeez, they were
Kosha chocolates after all, as she said, but everyone wants to exorcise
poor Linda and her sweets. There is the inevitable humanitarian
armchair-expert attack on the 'bloodthirsty" Israeli soldiers who cut
down 1 or 2 of their own people , after warnings to stay down-hilarious
that this time, Israeli soldiers are dubbed monsters for killing their
own people instead of the usual innocent Muslim terrorists these days.
The humanization of one of the German captors is criticised-but this
features even more in the films rival with Horst Bucholz.Perhaps this
person actually was a little like this, or just seemed more decent
compared to the German woman.If all the terrorists were shown brutal
hateful & dehumanised, then the critics would rag on that.
This film is the better more entertaining better-written more involving of the first two. Apparently the later Operation Thunderbolt eclipses both.Good for it.
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