- 73 hr
Hijack! is a 1973 action thriller directed by television veteran television director, Paul Krasny. The movie stars David Janssen as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigator named Frank Thompson. He is tasked with locating missing aircraft at a time when air hijacking is a prevalent issue in America. Keenan Wynn plays Harry Boyd, a retired aircraft pilot, and Lee Purcell plays Valerie Mulholland, a stewardess. The plot revolves around a group of terrorists led by John Bunsen (Erik Estrada), who seize control of a new Boeing 747 mid-flight. The plane is en route from New York to Los Angeles with 300 passengers and crew members on board. The hijackers demand the sum of $3 million in exchange for the lives of the passengers, and their intentions become clear that they plan to kill everyone on board if the demand isn't met. Frank Thompson leads the investigation to save the missing plane and to bring it to a safe landing. Throughout the film, viewers are taken on a nail-biting journey, following the hijackers and their every move. David Janssen tries to navigate the situation and keeps his head cool in high-pressure moments. He utilizes his expertise and experience to make tactical decisions that can minimize the loss of life. The team of terrorists is a varied and flawed group, making them more realistic and multi-dimensional. The movie has a compelling plot twist which translates to an exciting climax. The tension escalates as the drama unfolds in real-time, leading to a finale that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. The film’s fast-paced action and nifty plot twists kept audiences engaged throughout and highlighted the intensity of the situation of air hijacking. The film utilized real-life footage of airports and airplanes, including commercial airliners, to give it an authentic feel. Hijack! offers an intriguing look into the hijacking methods and airplane safety protocols of the 70s. Today, amid stringent regulations and technology, it offers a nostalgic take on travel and air safety. Although seemingly a run-of-the-mill entry in the disaster films sub-genre, Hijack! benefits from the top-notch performances of the cast. Janssen portrays a convincing, authoritative figure, while Wynn offers some comic relief amidst the tension. Lee Purcell offers a compelling character with a complex backstory that connects the audience on an emotional level. Paul Krasny’s direction is noteworthy in his handling of realtime pacing and suspense. He manages to create suspense without using violence or gore – a refreshing break from the stereotype of violence that dominates today's action-thriller genre. The movie's score, composed by Peter Matz, also contributes to the drama with a sense of urgency, underlining the high stakes of the situation. Overall, Hijack! offers an entertaining thriller that keeps audiences engaged with suspenseful suspense and a tale of air travel and hijacking in the 70s. While its techniques are now dated, the film remains one of the finest examples of suspenseful limited settings and a classic sub-genre of action movies. Hijack! deserves to be seen as a testament to the artistry of filmmaking from the 70s.