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Flight of the Intruder (1991)

During the air war over Vietnam, a U.S. Navy A-6 Intruder bomber pilot schemes with a hardened veteran to make an unauthorized air strike on Hanoi.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Cmdr. 'Cowboy' Parker
Jared Chandler ...
CPO Frank McRae
Lt. Morgan 'Morg' McPherson
Scott N. Stevens ...
Hardesty (as Scott Newton Stevens)
Justin Williams ...
Big Augie


After his bombardier is killed, Jake "Cool Hand" Grafton (Brad Johnson)', a carrier-based Intruder pilot, questions the purpose of Navy bombing missions. He finds an ally for his cynicism in Virgil Cole, a bombardier on his third tour of duty, and together they ponder the notion of one unsanctioned mission "downtown", to "Sam City" in North Vietnam. Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The only thing they can count on is each other.


Action | Drama | Thriller | War


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apostoli thanatou  »


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,725,133, 21 January 1991, Wide Release

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The final theatrical film directed by John Milius. See more »


VA-196 only started flying the A-6E Intruder in 1975, 3 years after the movie was set. Although it did fly Intruders at the time the movie was set, it was operating the KA-6D, the tanker version. See more »


Cole: Do it, Sandy.
Cole: I'd do it for you.
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Featured in Computerbilleder - udfordring til virkeligheden (1992) See more »


by Tony Hatch
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Exciting adaptation chronicling the exploits of bombardiers including thrills and overwhelming aerial scenes
19 November 2012 | by See all my reviews

It's a thrilling warlike movie that contains over-the-top performances , drama , poignant vignettes and unsparing action . It takes place at the beginning of the Vietnam war , after his bombardier is killed, Jake Grafton (Brad Johnson), a carrier-based Intruder pilot, questions the purpose of Navy bombing missions and he join forces with another partner (Willem Defoe) to carry out a dangerous objective in Hanoi . Meanwhile , a grumpy general (Danny Glover) surveys their exploits and frustrations but when his aircraft is shot down , he is stranded in the wilds of Vietnam . Alone , he must rely on himself and a whole army after him . Trapped behind enemy lines , only two men with whom he has radio contact can save him and to get him out . As the protagonists come determined to rescue him .

Pretty good aerial flick plenty action , tragic drama , fantastic cloudy scenes and breathtaking dogfighting . It's a spectacular actioner including impressive scenarios , fine star cast and memorable acting . It plays like one of these 1940s service propaganda war that was shot in cooperation with US Air Force . This stirring as well as incongruous warlike movie mixes thrills , rugged action and dialog with lots of military scenes , without losing sight of the continuation of its interesting plot or necessities of war and works on various levels . Acceptable budget extended adventures about a maverick pilot and his pal undergoing risked feats on air and bombing on earth . It gets the right balance between the old-style warfare movies and the modern wartime films . Noisy action scenes punctuate the tension without breaking it . Brad Johnson and Willem Defoe give terrific acting in this otherwise passable film , both of whom show professionalism as two crack fighter pilots , two ambitious Lieutenants assigned to risked missions . Danny Glover is top-notch as Cmdr. Frank 'Dooke' Camparelli , he is a grumpy but likable officer subsequently stranded and alone after his plane is gunned down . Secondary cast is frankly excellent as Rosanna Arquette , Dann Florek , Tom Sizemore , Ving Rhames , Madison Mason , J Kenneth Campbell , David Schwimmer , John Corbet , among others . Fine production design and right special effects , as a 1:160 scale model of the city of Hanoi was built for the filming of the bomb-runs scenes , buildings closer to the camera were detailed more while the furthest away buildings in the background we only painted blocks of wood . And being partially filmed on the USS Independence CV-62 . While the story was centered around VA-196, VA-165 was actually the squadron used to film the movie ; all of the aircraft used for filming were re-painted with VA-196 markings used during the Viet Nam conflict era . Colorful and evocative cinematography in super 35 by Fred J Koenekamp . Moving musical score fitting to action by Basil Poledouris , he had originally been scheduled to score Dances with Wolves but reluctantly dropped out to score this film for his close friend John Milius, with extremely damaging results to his career when he found himself suddenly unemployable at any studio making a picture with the then-hot Kevin Costner .

The motion picture was professionally directed by John Milius but he stated that making this film was one of the worst experiences he had. He is a notorious screenwriter and filmmaker with several hits , specially on adventure genre as ¨Jeremiah Johnson (1972)¨, ¨Conan¨ , ¨Red Dawn¨, and also made biography as ¨Dillinger¨ , making two films about Theodore Roosevelt , ¨ The Wind and the Lion¨(1975) and ¨Rough Riders¨ (1997) . He was partially the basis for the character of Walter in the cult classic ¨The great Lebowski (1998)¨. Rating ¨Flight of the Intruder¨: Good and entertaining . Compassionate thinkers , lovers warfare genre , and non-pacifists will all find satisfaction here .

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