Yesterday Jim Molner was an ordinary guy. Today he's a desperate man, frantically trying to save himself and his family, held hostage by a demented terrorist who's demanding $500,000 not to detonate a bomb he's planted on a domestic airliner.Written by
The subway sequence near the end actually was shot at and in the old Hudson & Manhattan Railroad system (now better known as the PATH Trains), operating in Lower Manhattan, lower midtown, and New Jersey, which was in bankruptcy at the time. (Ridership had shrunk to 30 million a year, and one imagines the operators were happy for whatever access fees and publicity the production carried with it). The station or stations used seem to be the Christopher Street station in the far west of Greenwich Village, and possibly the 9th Street station north and east of the former. See more »
When Joan exits the bank, the camera pans up to a building with large corner windows and the blinds are down. But, in the next shot, Paul is looking down from a corner window and the blind is up. See more »
This is a really taught little thriller. I've heard it described as noir, but that isn't true. There is way too much daylight in this movie, but it doesn't in any way detract from the nail biting suspense. It's a somewhat convoluted plot about an evil psycho that lures an old army buddy into his plan to extort money from an airline by planting a bomb on one of their flights. I know that sounds like a tired plot, but this one has lots of twists. He gets the buddy to build the bomb by convincing him the Army is interested in it. He then kidnaps this guys family and forces the wife to pick up the ransom money! This is a fast paced movie and the tension just continues to build from beginning to end. There is also lots of stuff for the tech junkies.
The cast is also top notch. Rod Steiger plays the diabolical psycho, assisted by his evil henchmen played by Neville Brand (what a surprise), Jack Klugman (as a shlub), and a delicious Angie Dickenson in her most delicious prime. Inger Stevens plays the terrified wife who always seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but the big surprise is the buddy played by James Mason, of all people. Character development abounds as this story progresses. Jack Klugman begins to break down when he realizes they will have to kill the kid. Rod Steiger begins to lose his cool as the plan unravels. Neville Brand becomes crazier and more menacing by the minute. The family, on the other hand, gets stronger and more resourceful as time goes by. They seem to be able to draw on an inner strength none of them knew they had. The motive for this madness is perfectly logical. They were willing to blow up an airplane for half a million dollars. In light of 9/11 we can almost look back in nostalgia at a motive that rational.
1958 was a good year. This movie lets us look back on cars with tail fins, beer can openers, the West Side Highway, men who wore ties, and women who wore heels. It was also the tail end of an era where movies actually told a story - and this is a great one.
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