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The Soviets have developed a revolutionary new jet fighter, called "Firefox". Naturally, the British are worried that the jet will be used as a first-strike weapon, as rumours say that the jet is indetectable on radar. They send ex-Vietnam War pilot Mitchell Gant on a covert mission into the Soviet Union to steal Firefox. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A new special effects technique for the shooting of the flying sequences called "Reverse Blue-Screen Photography" was developed by John Dykstra for this picture. Wikipedia states that the process involved "coating the model with phosphorus paint and photographing it first with strong lighting against a black background and then with ultraviolet light to create the necessary male and female mattes to separate the foreground model and the background footage. This enabled the shiny black model to be photographed flying against a clear blue sky and gleaming white snow; compare this with traditional blue-screen technique used in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)". See more »
In the scene where Pytor Baranovich is in the Firefox, Colonel Kontarsky is staring at him, at a short distance away from the Firefox plane. Baranovich looks at him with his head turned to the left. But when the camera has a closer shot of Colonel Kontarsky looking at Baranovich, Baranovich is looking back at him, this time with his head turned to the right. See more »
Calm yourself, Vladimirov...
Calm... calm myself? How can I be calm in your stupidity, STUPIDITY! Losing that aircraft to the Americans... Do you know what this man Gant is? He can land a plane on an ice floe and take off again! You must *ACT*, First Secretary!
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There are no opening credits after the title has been shown. This has since become a trademark of all Eastwood-directed films. See more »
I'm not sure whether Firefox is really a guilty pleasure or simply a film I remember as being one. It's certainly overlong and overfamiliar despite its neat Maguffin Clint Eastwood's flashback-plagued Vietnam vet fighter ace has to steal a state-of-the-art warplane with a thought-controlled weapons system (as long as you remember to think in Russian) from the heart of the Evil Empire but it has a sort of undemanding Cold War charm that the constant stream of clichés only reinforces. Even the old school model effects in the final chase-and-dogfight section are more fun in their way than modern CGI effects, especially when the Firefox is leaving a wall of water in its wake as it races across the sea or causing fallen snow to fill the air as it passes over the mountains, so it's a shame that much of the last third is played in darkened control rooms rather than the skies.
The Russians, naturally, are mostly played by British actors, albeit in this case actors best known for their sitcoms, which adds a different dimension to their scenes as comically humourless KGB types or lemming-like dissidents only too happy to die for the cause, or incorrigible hams like Freddie Jones who simply look like they SHOULD be in a sitcom. There's even an almost admirable perversity into giving most of the explanatory dialogue in the last half-hour to Klaus Löwitsch, an actor with a shaky grasp of spoken English who sounds like a bumblebee caught in a vacuum cleaner pipe. Not good by any means, but strangely watchable, and Maurice Jarre contributes an enjoyable score from the days before he disappeared entirely into atonal electronics.
The Region 1 DVD is the uncut theatrical version before Clint re-edited and trimmed the film by some 12 minutes without visibly improving it, although the Region 2 PAL DVD is the cut version.
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