5.7/10
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Ground Control (1998)

A disgraced former air traffic controller is called back into service when the airport's traffic control system malfunctions.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
T.C. Bryant
...
Julie Albrecht
...
Cruise
...
Susan Stratton
...
Amanda
...
Sam
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Randy
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Farrah Forke ...
Laura Franklin
...
Murray
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Weather Analyst
...
Curtis
...
Pudgy
...
Shamaal
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Storyline

Chicago air traffic controller Jack Harris is a wreck with guilt nightmares after a major airplane crash that killed all 174 aboard. He gives up the job and designs air traffic control games in Phoenix. Five years later, his ex-colleague T.C. Bryant, also transferred to Phoenix, desperately asks him to help out short-term, given desperate staff shortage on New Year's Eve with a bad storm predicted. A power outage hits, and the storm has caused their workload to multiply. Colleagues welcome him in very different states of mind but he quickly proves his capabilities, alas then the fatal memories start creeping up again: will his lack of self-confidence cause another drama? Written by KGF Vissers / DA77

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No Radar. No Contact. No Control.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 August 1998 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Flug 177 - Panik im Tower  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Showtime)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

"Doctor Shamaal Buckhargee, M.D., licensed pilot" calls the tower and they ask him to turn on his transponder at which point the controller room freaks out because another plane magically appears on the radar. A radar can always detect a plane in the air so the controller would have seen the plane no matter. The transponder merely provides additional information for the radar computer system to display on the screen, such as altitude. So turning a transponder on or off cannot affect the visibility of a plane on a radar screen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: On an average day above the United States, over 200,000 aircraft carry more than 2,000,000 people guided by less than 3,000 air traffic controllers.
Title Card: "My biggest fear? When you've done all you can do and you still have to listen as the image disappears from your screen." - Air Traffic Controller, Los Angeles En Route Center
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User Reviews

Extremely engaging, the best independent action film I've ever seen
16 September 2000 | by (In shame (2005 update)) – See all my reviews

'Ground Control' is probably the biggest surprise I've ever encountered since I became a movie fan years ago. It's incredibly well done, with great performances all around, and is seriously the best independent action film I've ever seen, if that could be imagined. The climax is truly riveting, aided by tight editing and strong direction. The real surprise with this movie is that almost all of it takes place in a single set, a fact that the director/editor managed to cover up. It seems that real care was poured into 'Ground Control', a rare feat these days with the countless B action flicks being pumped out each month, and it shows. It's sad that the movie didn't enjoy even a short theatrical run, as it more than deserves it, especially after the similar, and far inferior, 'Pushing Tin' making it into theaters a year later.

It's as if the producers managed to find the only actors that actually have talent and haven't yet made it big time, and casted them in this movie. Kiefer Sutherland (The Lost Boys) is great in the main role, and is given strong support from Kelly McGillis (Top Gun, Witness- and the only real high profile actor in the film), Kristy Swanson (The Chase) and Robert Sean Leonard (Dead Poets Society)

The production values are unexpectantly high, especially for a movie on a budget like this one. Very good direction, commendable editing, and a superb script. The dialog is crisp and realistic, with a few really good one-liners, something I've never seen in a low budget action movie. The musical score is original and also very good, comparable to that of many large studio productions.

Despite a few flaws already pointed out in previous postings, I absolutely loved this movie, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in seeing a refreshing break from the norm.

9/10


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