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Executive Decision (1996)

When terrorists seize control of an airliner, an intelligence analyst accompanies a commando unit for a midair boarding operation.

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Louie (as B. D. Wong)
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Secretary of Defense Charles White
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Jaffa
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Allison
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Nancy (as Marla Maples Trump)
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Storyline

Terrorists take over a 747 bound from Athens to Washington D.C., supposedly to effect the release of their leader. Intelligence expert David Grant suspects another reason and convinces the military that the 'plane should not be allowed to enter U.S. airspace. An assault mission is devised, using a specially equipped 'plane designed for mid-air crew transfers, and Grant finds himself aboard the 747 with a team of military anti-terrorists who have to defuse a bomb and overpower the terrorists. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Five miles above the earth, an elite team of six men must make an air to air transfer, in order to save 400 lives on board a 747... and 40 million below. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Critical Decision  »

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,204,433 (UK) (17 May 1996)

Gross:

$68,750,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Tomcat squadron receives the shoot down order over a "CRM-115" device. This is a nod to the CRM-114 decryption device used aboard a B-52 in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). No such real-life device exists. See more »

Goofs

The interior views of the Remora aircraft show the passenger cabin immediately behind the cockpit. The computer schematic of the aircraft shows the passenger cabin at the rear of the aircraft separated from the cockpit by the transfer tube. See more »

Quotes

David Grant: If you don't believe me, what are you doing up here?
Lt. Colonel Austin Travis: Well... who the hell else is gonna do it? You?
See more »

Connections

Edited into Category 6: Day of Destruction (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

IT'S NICE TO GO TRAV'LING
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen (as James Van Heusen)
Performed by Frank Sinatra
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under Licence from CEMA Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Skillfully crafted, and exciting
30 July 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I am curious to know how many Steven Seagal fans walked out of the theater after the first twenty minutes demanding their money back. It is a good thing that Exectutive Decision does not direct its attention towards Seagal. Instead it chooses to focus on suspense and thrills which is exactly what it offers. It is slow and ominous, even claustrophobic at times. The plot stays consistent, never getting too thick, and it keeps you focused, Which is good enough for me.

It will be hard to watch Executive Decision today and not think about 9/11. Islamic terrorists from Algeria highjack a 747 flying from Athens to D.C. they have loaded a nuclear weapon on board, and they are giving the US government until landing time to free one of the leading Islamic terrorist they have in custody, or they blow Washington. A small team of soldiers are sent out in a small aircraft, which will latch on to the jet and allow them to board in secret. With them is intelligence consultant David Grant, who knows that there is a bomb on board and what it is capable of. confined to the labyrinth of tiny corridors and storage cabins, our heroes have only a few hours, to find the bomb, defuse it and take out the terrorists, without being seen.

This is the directorial debut for Oscar nominated editor Stuart Baird, and he does a sensational job of crafting tension. It is not until the climactic twenty minutes where Executive Decision lets out all its energy. Baird really takes his time, and just occasionally it feels like the story could use a little tightening, but not too much.

The movie is not meant to be mind enriching, but in a way it does make you realize, how much we took freedom and safety for granted, before 9/11 occurred. If that disturbs you, than perhaps you should not see this movie. Anyone else who wants to be thrilled and on the edge of their seat should watch this one for sure


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