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The Delta Force (1986)

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After a plane is hijacked by terrorists, The Delta Force is sent in to resolve the crisis.


Menahem Golan
3,998 ( 1,267)
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chuck Norris ... Maj. Scott McCoy
Lee Marvin ... Col. Nick Alexander
Martin Balsam ... Ben Kaplan
Joey Bishop ... Harry Goldman
Robert Forster ... Abdul
Lainie Kazan ... Sylvia Goldman
George Kennedy ... Father O'Malley
Hanna Schygulla ... Ingrid
Susan Strasberg ... Debra Levine
Bo Svenson ... Capt. Campbell
Robert Vaughn ... Gen. Woodbridge
Shelley Winters ... Edie Kaplan
William Wallace William Wallace ... Pete Peterson
Charles Grant Charles Grant ... Tom Hale (as Charles Floye)
Steve James ... Bobby


When the two terrorists Abdul Rafai and Mustafa hijack a Boeing 707 in Athens with 144 passengers and 8 crews, they use a grenade to force pilot Captain Roger Campbell to fly to Beirut, Lebanon, instead of to Rome and New York. Meanwhile the Delta Force commanded by Colonel Nick Alexander and Major Scott McCoy are assigned to resolve the situation. Abdul and Mustafa separate the Jewish and Marine passengers and they are transported to Beirut, while twelve other terrorists embark on board. Then they fly to Algiers, where the women and children are released. McCoy and the Delta Force team are prepared to attack the plane when Alexander learns that there are now fourteen terrorists on board and not only two, and he aborts the mission. Abdul kills a Marine and returns to Beirut with the male passengers on board. Now the Delta Force needs to act in two locations crowded of terrorists to release the hostages. Will they succeed? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Hijack....The Ordeal....The Rescue... See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



USA | Israel


English | Arabic | Hebrew | Greek

Release Date:

14 February 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Delta Force See more »


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,959,505, 17 February 1986

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Boeing 707 featured in the film was an early production model, ordered by Cubana (which never took ownership) but delivered new as a 707-139 to Western Airlines on May 13, 1960. It was then sold in 1964 to Pan Am, which operated it for several years, before leasing it to several other carriers, including: Aer Lingus, British Cal., El Al, and many others. It was the 108th 707 off the line, with serial number 17903. In 1979, British Caledonian leased it, when the DC-10s were grounded after the AA 191 accident. Its last service was in 1986 to Aerocar Aviation, whose livery appears on the aircraft in the film. It was eventually scrapped in Marana, after more than thirty years of service, with more than a dozen airlines, mostly in the Middle East. See more »


When the Delta C-130 is leaving the hangar to fly to the Middle East, supposedly at Fort Bragg, there is a sign behind it that says "...AEL AIRLINES". Perhaps "El Al Israel Airlines"? (Approx. 31:40) See more »


Abdul: [to Ingrid after she is released] Ingrid... you are a brave woman.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The initial Region-1 DVD was mistakenly released without the Arab language subtitles and location captions. However, this problem was reported and resolved. Most current Region 1 DVD's on the shelf now include the original subtitles and captions as originally intended. See more »


Referenced in Get Smart (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Typical Eighties action flick
11 October 2006 | by cosmic_questSee all my reviews

I have to admit I do love 'The Delta Force', perhaps because it was a favourite of mine as a child or maybe because it's sometimes relaxing to watch a flick which is very rigid in dividing people into black and white, good and evil, and the main focus is providing the audience with plenty of action.

Very loosely based on the true-life 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, 'The Delta Force' sees an airliner bound for America being taken over by Palestinian terrorists, who demand the flight be diverted to Beirut. While the real life event led to the Israeli government being forced to release Islamic political prisoners to appease the hijackers, the hostages on this flight have Chuck Norris to sort everything out. As the hijackers are threatening to kill passengers, the US military send in the elite Delta Force, a team of highly-trained commando led by Colonel Alexander (Lee Marvin) and his second-in-command Major McCoy (Chuck), to retake the plane by force.

This is a film that won't win any prizes for being politically correct since the Islamic terrorists are blatantly depicted to have not one redeeming attribute and are instead nothing more than abusive, greedy thugs who think nothing of slapping around women and hitting old men. That said, surprisingly Hanna Schygulla and George Kennedy, in roles as an air hostess and priest respectively, do give good performances in portraying the idea that not all heroes show their might with guns and martial arts. And there is a saddening insight, until Chuck arrives on the scene, of what it is to be on a hijacked plane as loved ones are separated and people are left fearing for their life and the lives of their loved ones.

However, with Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin in the lead roles, it's obvious from the start that this will be a film primarily involving gung-ho behaviour and over-the-top action from the all-American heroes. Emotion is shoved to the side to make way for the guns, explosions and karate. My favourite example is a scene that sees two or three cars carrying terrorists armed to the teeth and ready for killing only to be stopped by Chuck, dressed in black on his motorbike with a brooding glare! That, and how our team are able to rescue one-hundred-forty-four people (some of whom are strewn across various areas of Buirut) with only two casualties lost on the good guys and Innocent's' team.

Overall though, this film can be quite enjoyable if not taking seriously and is instead treated like the Eighties action flick it is. And, in these post-September 11th times, there is something rather uplifting about the idea that there would be a crack team of specialists able to rescue hostages and shoot the bad guys without breaking a sweat. Certainly, it's almost haunting to reminisce of the days when hostages on-board hijacked planes only had to worry about was when they would get home for dinner rather than whether they panicking over the fear their plane is going to be rammed into a building, killing them and many others.

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