The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Crime, Thriller  |  13 November 1981 (USA)
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A speculation on the fate of the famous hijacker who parachuted with his ransom and disappeared in the mountains, has Cooper following a meticulous plan to disappear into anonymity despite ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Howard K. Smith
Ramon Chavez ...
El Capitan
Stacy Newton ...
Pat Ast ...
Horse Lady
Jack Dunlap ...
Drinking Buddy


A speculation on the fate of the famous hijacker who parachuted with his ransom and disappeared in the mountains, has Cooper following a meticulous plan to disappear into anonymity despite the best efforts of a dogged cop. Written by Keith Loh <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who says you can't take it with you ?


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 November 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pursuit  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The true hijacker, of which this movie is based upon, never used the alias D.B. Cooper. Instead he used "Dan Cooper". D.B. Cooper was the name of a person the police checked out, in case the hijacker had stupidly used his own name. The media got hold of the info that the police were checking out the rap sheet of a "D.B. Cooper" and the name has stuck ever since. See more »


During the chase, the left wheel is wrenched off the biplane after D.B. uses it to pierce the roof of a car. But in later scenes, the biplane appears with its right wheel missing. See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits says Possum - Marsoupial See more »


Referenced in Abominable (2006) See more »


You Were Never There
Sung by Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter
Written by Michael Smotherman
Songs of Bandier-Koppelman, Inc (ASCAP)
Garbo Music (ASCAP)
If Eyes Incorporated (ASCAP)
Seventh Son Music (ASCAP)
Chappel Music (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

13 February 2011 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Plays like a backpacker's version of Midnight Run (1988), with Duvall in the de Niro role and Williams in Grodin's. Except this one substitutes mindless action for character development and rust bucket jalopies for clever dialog. The result is more tiresome than funny, despite the attractive cast. In fact, Williams plays DB Cooper's part like it's all a big joke that only he thinks is funny—I agree with the reviewer who finds him way too cutesy. In fact, that could apply to the entire movie.

Worse-- any well-meaning viewer hoping for insight into the heist itself will be sorely disappointed. We see nothing of the crime except for the dramatic dive from the airliner. I suspect that's because threats to blow up the plane would have "serious-ed up" the movie. Then Williams' Cooper would no longer be humorous at all. The one worthy aspect links Cooper to army ranger training, seemingly apt preparation for such a daring wilderness crime.

The movie does have two scenic attractions. There's the great snow-capped panorama of Jackson Hole that keeps the eye entertained whatever the nonsense on the ground. Second is Kathryn Harrold's Hannah. In skintight jeans she presents another kind of natural grandeur that may give backpacking a whole new look. Despite the visuals, however, the topic deserves better than the third-rate Keystone Cops treatment it gets here.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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