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Air Force One (1997)

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Communist Radicals hijack Air Force One with The U.S. President and his family on board. The Vice President negotiates from Washington D.C., while the President, a Veteran, fights to rescue the hostages on board.


Wolfgang Petersen
4,103 ( 657)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Harrison Ford ... President James Marshall
Gary Oldman ... Ivan Korshunov
Glenn Close ... Vice President Kathryn Bennett
Wendy Crewson ... Grace Marshall
Liesel Matthews ... Alice Marshall
Paul Guilfoyle ... Chief of Staff Lloyd Shepherd
Xander Berkeley ... Agent Gibbs
William H. Macy ... Major Caldwell
Dean Stockwell ... Defense Secretary Walter Dean
Tom Everett ... NSA Advisor Jack Doherty
Jürgen Prochnow ... General Alexander Radek (as Jurgen Prochnow)
Donna Bullock ... Press Secretary Melanie Mitchell
Michael Ray Miller ... AFO Pilot Colonel Axelrod
Carl Weintraub ... AFO Co-Pilot Lt. Col. Ingrahams
Elester Latham ... AFO Navigator / Major Bridges


The President of the USA goes to Moscow and gives a stirring speech outlining the USA's new "Zero-tolerance" policy with respect to terrorism. On the flight home, terrorists take over Air Force One (the President's official plane) and take the passengers (including his wife and daughter) hostage. The terrorists plan to execute one hostage every half-hour unless/until their demands are met. However, the President is a former Medal of Honor winner, so the terrorists may be in for a surprise... Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The fate of a nation rests on the courage of one man. See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


On the DVD commentary, Wolfgang Petersen noted that he likely would not have made the film after the 9/11 attacks. See more »


If it wasn't for the C-4/Semtex explosives planted on the cockpit door, which cannot be detonated by gunshots, Air Force One could have landed safely at Ramstein Air Base. See more »


[first lines]
Major Perkins: [after landing in Kazakstan] Quick head count! One, two, three, four, five. Move out!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Per Marshall's comment to her, the aide who helps him with the fax machine (portrayed by Messiri Freeman) is listed in the credits as "Future Postmaster General". See more »

Alternate Versions

In the theatrical release and the original DVD and VHS releases, Korshunov's line (in Russian) as he puts the explosive on the cockpit door was translated as "If we land, we're finished" in the burned-in English subtitles. On the US Blu-ray and UHD releases, and on most digital streaming versions, the previous subtitle "They're landing" is incorrectly repeated instead. See more »


Written by Eugène Pottier (as Eugene Pottier) and Pierre De Geyter
See more »

User Reviews

An enjoyable action flick
12 February 2004 | by Blade_Le_FlambeurSee all my reviews

Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Glenn Close are the main stars in director Wolfgang Petersen's action thriller 'Air Force One', a film about the scenario of the famous presidential jet being taken over by a group of terrorists. The terrorists, led by Ivan Korshunov (Oldman) want one thing, the release of one of their comrades named General Redek. However, little do they know the President is a very intelligent and lethal man, and the film becomes a cat and mouse game onboard the air liner between the terrorists and the president. The suspense works out well, there are some good moments of surprise and plenty of good action sequences. The film keeps its momentum and pace going, despite some lame moments through out (e.g. the 'parachuting' scene). Harrison Ford is enjoyable in the role of the tough- as- nails president, but it's not particularly anything new for the actor. Gary Oldman is spectacular as the cold blooded terrorist, he is very commanding and daunting in the role. Close also her role well, making the character live, also worth nothing is William H. Macy as a major on board the flight. The script has some nice lines to it, and some strongly written scenes of action, though there are still notable clichés. Petersen's direction is almost furious in style, he tries his hardest to not let the film fall apart, and in some way he succeeds. All in all, 'Air Force One' is worth watching, it's not necessarily one of the top action films of all time, but it has plenty of moments and is definitely entertaining. Oldman is also a very nice treat. 8/10

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

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USA | Germany


English | Russian

Release Date:

25 July 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Air Force One See more »


Box Office


$85,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,132,505, 27 July 1997

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | Dolby Atmos



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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