21 user 2 critic

Birds of Prey (1973)

Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Thriller | TV Movie 30 January 1973
A former fighter pilot now working as a radio station traffic reporter witnesses a bank robbery. He chases down the bank robbers and a hostage in his helicopter.


William A. Graham


Robert Boris (screenplay), Robert Boris (story) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
David Janssen ... Harry Walker
Ralph Meeker ... Jim McAndrew
Elayne Heilveil ... Teresa Jane
Harry Klekas Harry Klekas ... Captain Slater
Sam Dawson Sam Dawson ... Inspector Sinclair
Don Wilbanks Don Wilbanks ... Trucker
James W. Gavin James W. Gavin ... Police Pilot
Paul Grace Paul Grace ... Robber #1
Wayne D. Wilkinson Wayne D. Wilkinson ... Robber #2
Larry Peacy Larry Peacy ... Robber #3
Larry Doll Larry Doll ... Robber #4


Harry Walker, X-military pilot, works for a radio station in Salt Lake City as a traffic helicopter pilot. While on his rounds he observes a bank robbery taking place and the abduction of a female teller. He follows, 1st the criminals in their car, then they transfer to a helicopter. Harry is running out of fuel so he stops on the road to flag down a tanker truck, gets fuel then continues the pursuit. Written by Robert Fiedler <fied2032@dpnet.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Before Blue Thunder, There Was ... Birds of Prey


Action | Crime | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 January 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aetoi tou prasinou valtou See more »

Filming Locations:

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tomorrow Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The robber's helicopter is an Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama as shown by the old FAA registration number N13583 displayed in the movie . The SA 315B is a French single-engined helicopter combining the Alouette II airframe with Alouette III components and powerplant to meet hot and high operational requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. See more »


Jim McAndrew: Hey Walker, remember how we used to make simultaneous approaches on intersecting runways?
See more »

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User Reviews

It's an action/chase thriller from the '70s with helicopters instead of cars.
13 June 2000 | by dean.s.espitallierSee all my reviews

This film was part of the edge-of-your-seat action/chase genre made popular in the '70s. Films like Vanishing Point, and Smokey and the Bandit, where nothing more than a car chase sequence with a little cohesive drama or comedy thrown in.

The makers of Birds of Prey obviously had the same thing in mind, but they added an interesting twist; helicopters instead of cars.

David Janssen plays Harry Walker, an ex-WWII fighter pilot longing for the glory days of dog fights and heroic aerobatics. He is a now twice divorced, lonely, and somewhat bitter, Salt Lake City helicopter traffic reporter. Ralph Meeker plays Jim "Mac" McAndrew, a former war buddy of Walker's who prefers to stay on the ground, forget flying, war planes, and the past, to focus on the his career as a Salt Lake City cop.

On a routine day Walker witnesses a bank robbery from the air. He calls it into Mac who thinks he's pulling a gag. The robbers kill a bank guard and take a hostage then get away in a stolen car. The chase begins. The police join the chase as car and chopper scream through urban Salt Lake City.

This was a pretty good film for a made-for-TV movie. The flying sequences are well done and well coordinated. The flying stunts, including diving under overpasses, flying into and out of buildings, tumbling (auto-rotating), and flying between sky scrapers, are all done with real helicopters. No toys on strings or models with goofy trick photography were used. The acting and drama aren't bad, but that's not what this movie's about. Like Top Gun, this movie's about flying.

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