Lt. Col. Iceal "Ham" Hambleton is a weapons countermeasures expert and when his aircraft is shot over enemy territory the Air Force very much wants to get him back. Hambleton knows the area he's in is going to be carpet-bombed but a temporary shortage of helicopters causes a delay. Working with an Air Force reconnaissance pilot, Capt. Bartholomew Clark, he maps out an escape route based on golf courses he has played. Along the way however, he has to face enemy forces and the death of some of his fellow soldiers.Written by
Bat 21 was the call sign of Hambleton's EB-66 Destoyer. Hambleton's personal call sign for that mission was Bat-21-Bravo, which was based on the plane's call sign. See more »
When Hambleton calls in the first air strike from the ground, the planes report carrying full loads of "snake and nape". However, the visual shows the planes carrying something along the lines of sparrow missiles. The girth of Snake Eye bombs and Napalm bombs (snake and nape) are easily discernible from the long, slender rocket-like missiles that these planes carried. See more »
Lt. Colonel Iceal Hambleton (Gene Hackman) is a respected, middle-aged strategist who has only seen the war from the air - and high in the air, too. During one reconnaissance mission, however, he's shot down behind enemy lines for the first time. Scared and out of his element, Hambleton must rely on Captain Clark (Danny Glover), a pilot, to help him keep his composure until a rescue can happen.
Most of the scenes are of just the two leads, almost making this a two-character action play. Both men provide stellar performances, with Hackman putting a decidedly different spin on his tough-guy, in-control persona. Glover is equally aces as the tireless pilot. And just in case you think there's going to be more talk than action in this movie, don't fret. The Vietcong are around somewhere, and they know Hambleton's in the vicinity. Not only does Clark have to get Hambleton out of there before good ol' Charlie finds him, he has to get him out of there before U.S. forces carpet-bomb the entire area! Needless to say, there are bombs bursting galore. Jerry Reed, who plays Clark's commander, also turns in a fine performance - a bit above par for Reed - and served as executive producer and composed some of the songs on the soundtrack.
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