13 user 3 critic

The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981)

A speculation on the fate of the famous hijacker who parachuted with his ransom and disappeared in the mountains, has Cooper following a meticulous plan to disappear into anonymity despite ... See full summary »


Roger Spottiswoode, Buzz Kulik (uncredited)


J.D. Reed (book), Jeffrey Alan Fiskin (screenplay)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Duvall ... Gruen
Treat Williams ... D.B. Cooper
Kathryn Harrold ... Hannah
Ed Flanders ... Brigadier
Paul Gleason ... Remson
R.G. Armstrong ... Dempsey
Dorothy Fielding Dorothy Fielding ... Denise
Nicolas Coster ... Avery
Cooper Huckabee ... Homer
Howard K. Smith ... Howard K. Smith
Christopher Curry ... Hippie
Ramon Chavez Ramon Chavez ... El Capitan
Stacy Newton Stacy Newton ... Cowboy
Pat Ast ... Horse Lady
Jack Dunlap Jack Dunlap ... Drinking Buddy


A speculation on the fate of the famous hijacker who parachuted with his ransom and disappeared in the mountains, has Cooper following a meticulous plan to disappear into anonymity despite the best efforts of a dogged cop. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who says you can't take it with you ?


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 November 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pursuit See more »


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,214,767, 15 November 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sound Recordist Duncan McEwan had just taken up skydiving the previous year, and was used to create the sound effects for the skydiving scene. All of the Foley work involving the use of the parachute gear was done with his personal rig. He also made one skydive with a recorder to record the sound of parachute opening, though the recording was not used. It was used, however, on CHiPs (1977) season five, episode seven, "Bomb Run", and was added to the MGM sound effects library. See more »


During the chase, the left wheel is wrenched off the biplane after D.B. uses it to pierce the roof of a car. But in later scenes, the biplane appears with its right wheel missing. See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits says Possum - Marsoupial See more »


Maybe He Knows About You
Sung by Rita Coolidge
Written by Enid Levine
Songs of Bandier-Koppelman, Inc (ASCAP)
Chappel Music (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

The Pursuit of D. B. Cooper
8 May 2005 | by nlmcmSee all my reviews

Many who were adults in 1981 and slightly prior, recall the name D. B. Cooper, who hijacked a Boeing - 727, laden with passengers demanding a ransom, and will release them but keep the crew and plane, to be ordered to fly over the Rockies of his choosing.

Crew was ordered to stay in the front of the aircraft whilst D. B. Cooper was preparing for the jump, many investigators believed he was a former highly trained army specialist, ex-paratrooper and studied his preference of aircraft well.

He used the tail stairs to jump out of the plane, at night, and was never seen again. However, months later some people found some of the money near a small river or creek, and some believed he may have died of his injuries. Others claimed some money The Pursuit of D. B. Cooper is a story of what might have happened, at least one scenario was generated in this full chase scene by the Insurance Bounty hunter (Duvuall) and lots of bantering for some folks would simply put you on the floor.

The chase however goes both ways. Duvuall manages to locate the loot, for himself! Williams tries to find him through the use of a bi-plane and the chase begins again.

And it ends wildly, and certainly enjoyable for many. And remember too that D. B. Cooper back then was regarded as a folk hero.

It certainly should be considered a candidate for update or new release with different actors. Increase the action and the comedy, could be a hit.

In closing, Boeing and McDonald Douglas DC-9's, retooled all their aircraft of this configuration (rear stairs from the tail area) so that it could not be opened while in flight.

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