Shortly after the launch of a satellite from a space shuttle the satellite collides with an UFO in front of the crew's eyes. Because of an election campaign some politicians try to hide the... See full summary »

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(screenplay) (as Steven Thornley), (story) (as Tom Chapman) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Frank Morrison
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Sarah Michaels
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Steven Keats ...
Paul Bannister
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Harry Forbes
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Sheriff Barlow
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Storyline

Shortly after the launch of a satellite from a space shuttle the satellite collides with an UFO in front of the crew's eyes. Because of an election campaign some politicians try to hide the crashed UFO -- inside hangar 18. Written by Kay Drangmeister <K.Drangmeister@insider.sub.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Why won't they tell us? See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

13 March 1981 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Invasion Force  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$6,000,000 (USA)
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(Technicolor)

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two 1980 science-fiction films starring actor Robert Vaughn first released in that year. The other film was Roger Corman's Battle Beyond the Stars (1980). In 1980, Vaughn also starred in the Japanese sci-fi film Day of Resurrection (1980). See more »

Goofs

The interior of the spaceship is obviously bigger than its exterior would account for. See more »

Quotes

Harry Forbes: Again. Punch it in again. And make sure.
Neal Kelso: I tried three times, Harry. I keep on getting the same answer. These are all designated landing areas.
Harry Forbes: Oh my God, they're coming back!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 51 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Politics and UFOs make VERY uneasy bedfellows
17 July 2001 | by (San Gabriel, Ca., USA) – See all my reviews

It is common to bash this 1980 sci-fi/conspiracy movie for its admittedly not-top-notch special effects and pretty much everything else; the limited budget has a lot to do with it. But with the exception of the 1978 film CAPRICORN ONE, nobody else was trying to mix the two elements (sci-fi and conspiracy) together for the big screen. In essence, HANGAR 18 can indeed be said to presage "The X Files" by a decade and a half.

The film begins with two astronauts (Collins, Hampton) encountering a UFO in orbit while launching a military satellite. The satellite collides with the UFO, causing an explosion and killing a third astronaut in the cargo bay who had been watching the satellite's progress. But the UFO makes a surprisingly controlled landing in the Arizona desert, thus necessitating its quick removal and forcing the president's chief of staff (Vaughn, an absolutely steely performance) to concoct a cover story to avoid serious damage to his boss's chances for re-election.

Naturally, both Collins and Hampton are fingered by Vaughn and his staff for blame in the incident. This forces them to gather hard evidence to clear themselves, but it also means that they'll be pursued by government agents the entire way. Meanwhile, at Hangar 18, located at an air force base in Texas, a team of scientists, led by McGavin, are learning everything they possibly can about the UFO and its alien occupants. What they find about those aliens is how uncannily similar they are to humans.

Despite the film's technical imperfections, HANGAR 18 is still a pretty good and speculative science fiction film from Sunn Pictures, the same Utah-based film company that was known for making speculative documentaries during the 70s and early 80s. McGavin is at his usual best, as he was in the 1972 TV film THE NIGHT STALKER. In terms of plot, HANGAR 18 seems to use Watergate as a starting point and then mixes in elements of Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and Spielberg's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. And although it is hardly on a level with those two great movies, it nevertheless works because of the approach it takes to the debate not only over UFOs in our present day but also the possibility that visitors from another world have visited Earth before.


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