This Is a Hijack (1973)

PG | 90 mins | Drama | June 1973

Director:

Barry Pollack

Producer:

Paul Lewis

Cinematographer:

Bruce Logan

Production Designer:

Vincent Cresciman

Production Company:

Southstreet Productions
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HISTORY

The working title of the film was Sky Heist . Although there is an onscreen copyright statement for Southstreet Productions, the film was not registered for copyright. Neither the film, nor any other available sources, contained any screenplay or story credits. At the film’s conclusion, the jet is shown taking off with “Mike Christie,” “Diane,” “Champ,” and pilot “Gil Gresham” on board. Just after the wheels retract, the image is freeze-framed, and a voice is heard giving the command to “fire.” Immediately after is the sound of an explosion, suggesting that the refueled plane explodes. It is unclear if “Gordon” or “Wyatt” gives the command. An onscreen credit notes that portions of the film were shot on location at the Mojave District Airport and Diamonte's Club." Press materials add shooting locations at Lindbergh Field, San ... More Less

The working title of the film was Sky Heist . Although there is an onscreen copyright statement for Southstreet Productions, the film was not registered for copyright. Neither the film, nor any other available sources, contained any screenplay or story credits. At the film’s conclusion, the jet is shown taking off with “Mike Christie,” “Diane,” “Champ,” and pilot “Gil Gresham” on board. Just after the wheels retract, the image is freeze-framed, and a voice is heard giving the command to “fire.” Immediately after is the sound of an explosion, suggesting that the refueled plane explodes. It is unclear if “Gordon” or “Wyatt” gives the command. An onscreen credit notes that portions of the film were shot on location at the Mojave District Airport and Diamonte's Club." Press materials add shooting locations at Lindbergh Field, San Diego. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Jun 1973
p. 4601.
Daily Variety
5 Jun 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Mar 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 1973
p. 3, 10.
Los Angeles Herald Express
8 Jun 1973
Section B, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
7 Jun 1973
Section IV, p. 18.
Variety
13 Jun 1973
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Film by Barry Pollack
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Prod
Prod supv
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Key grip
Grip
Gaffer
Elec
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Const supv
Set dressings
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Prod sd
Sd ed
Sd boom op
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prod
Casting
Prod equipment provided by
Post prod
Scr clerk
Prod secy
Loc mgr
Transportation provided by
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Sky Heist
Release Date:
June 1973
Production Date:
1973
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
DeLuxe
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Unable to pay off a sizable debt to mobster Mr. Richardson, Mike Christie, aide to wealthy industrialist tycoon Simon Scott, conceives of a plan to kidnap his boss for ransom. Although Richardson reluctantly agrees to extend Mike an additional $25,000 to fulfill his scheme, he insists that Mike be accompanied by his bodyguard, the vicious Dominic Petrie. Upon learning that Scott plans to make a trip to Dallas the next day on his private jet, Mike asks to accompany him, but Scott insists that he remain behind to manage business. At lunch, however, when an argument at a neighboring table leads to a violent shoot-out, Scott changes his mind and asks Mike to accompany him for additional security. That evening, Mike and Petrie meet and hire bartender Gil Gresham, a former jet pilot, who refers them to control tower agent Neal Hanaford. The men meet Hanaford and threaten to expose his relationship with his transvestite lover Hollis, unless he assists them in hijacking Scott’s plane. That evening at the airport, Mike is dismayed to learn that Scott has invited several acquaintances to join his trip: newlywed journalists Pierce and his wife Jennifer, secretary of state Harley Latimer and his wife, Wall Street banker Orlando Porter, former heavyweight boxer Aaron Dotey, known as “Champ,” Scott’s current girl friend Belinda and Mike’s own girl friend Diane. When Mike frantically telephones Richardson to relate that he will not continue the hijack plan with the unexpected guests, however, Richardson hangs up on him. As Mike rejoins the others in the jet, pilot Smitty seeks clearance from the tower where Hanaford, pretending that ... +


Unable to pay off a sizable debt to mobster Mr. Richardson, Mike Christie, aide to wealthy industrialist tycoon Simon Scott, conceives of a plan to kidnap his boss for ransom. Although Richardson reluctantly agrees to extend Mike an additional $25,000 to fulfill his scheme, he insists that Mike be accompanied by his bodyguard, the vicious Dominic Petrie. Upon learning that Scott plans to make a trip to Dallas the next day on his private jet, Mike asks to accompany him, but Scott insists that he remain behind to manage business. At lunch, however, when an argument at a neighboring table leads to a violent shoot-out, Scott changes his mind and asks Mike to accompany him for additional security. That evening, Mike and Petrie meet and hire bartender Gil Gresham, a former jet pilot, who refers them to control tower agent Neal Hanaford. The men meet Hanaford and threaten to expose his relationship with his transvestite lover Hollis, unless he assists them in hijacking Scott’s plane. That evening at the airport, Mike is dismayed to learn that Scott has invited several acquaintances to join his trip: newlywed journalists Pierce and his wife Jennifer, secretary of state Harley Latimer and his wife, Wall Street banker Orlando Porter, former heavyweight boxer Aaron Dotey, known as “Champ,” Scott’s current girl friend Belinda and Mike’s own girl friend Diane. When Mike frantically telephones Richardson to relate that he will not continue the hijack plan with the unexpected guests, however, Richardson hangs up on him. As Mike rejoins the others in the jet, pilot Smitty seeks clearance from the tower where Hanaford, pretending that the jet has radio malfunctions, sends them to an isolated, dark spot on the runway to wait for mechanics. The repair truck arrives and Gresham, Petrie and two of his cohorts, Avery and Bo, sneak on board disguised as mechanics. Gresham replaces the co-pilot and soon after the plane takes off with Avery monitoring the cockpit and Petrie and Bo guarding the confused passengers. As soon as the craft is airborne, Mike and Petrie force the protesting Scott at gunpoint into the private bedroom, where Mike demands that Scott contact his Dallas business partner, Phillips, to meet the plane with a million dollars. Scott telephones Phillips, revealing that his jet has been hijacked but pleads for his partner not to contact the police or FBI. After the call, Phillips’ wife Pat argues against her husband's involvement in the situation but, envisioning himself taking over the business in the event of Scott’s death, Phillips ignores her and calls the FBI. Meanwhile on board, Petrie stuns the passengers by slapping Latimer when he attempts to speak to Scott. Quietly suggesting that they should take advantage of the unfolding drama, Jennifer disregards Pierce’s warning and, after receiving permission from Petrie, goes to the restroom where she retrieves a small camera from her bag and conceals it in a lighter case. Later, when Petrie physically taunts Belinda, Jennifer takes several pictures, causing a suspicious Bo to confront her and discover the camera. Despite Mike’s protests, Petrie slaps Jennifer several times, then, turning on the other frightened passengers, harasses them into performing humiliating activities. Later at the small private Dallas airport, Phillips meets with federal agent Wyatt and Sheriff Gordon. Alarmed when Wyatt explains that Phillips is to trick the hijackers by delivering a suitcase filled with Bibles rather than cash to weigh it down, Phillips becomes reluctant to participate. Gordon criticizes Wyatt, arguing that as soon as the hijackers realize his deception, the hostages will be in danger, but Wyatt insists it is against bureau policy to negotiate with kidnappers in any way. When Phillips continues to be concerned for his safety, Wyatt demonstrates the heavy firepower of hidden agents and police officers who will surround and incapacitate the aircraft. Far from being assured, the timid Phillips asks to be relieved of his task and Wyatt agrees to deliver the suitcase to the plane. Later on the plane, Bo asks the scantily clad flight attendant Cami for some coffee which she spikes with sleeping pills. However when Cami realizes that Bo is delivering the coffee to Smitty, she panics and reveals her deed. Entering the cockpit, Petrie smacks away the coffee from the startled Smitty and Gresham, then, outraged, attacks Cami until Mike intervenes. The scuffle between the men is broken up when Gresham announces that they are nearing the Dallas landing field. Upon landing minutes later, Mike opens the side door, but realizing the man approaching the plane is not Phillips, shouts at Gresham and Smitty to turn around. As the plane turns, the agents and police open fire through the side door, killing Bo. When Smitty refuses to release the brakes, Avery kills him. Struggling to gain control of the careening jet, Gresham gets the plane airborne. In the cabin, Latimer attempts to grab Bo’s machine gun, but is shot and wounded in the shoulder by Petrie. After removing Smitty’s body from the cockpit, Petrie berates Mike for the weakness of his plot. Announcing that he is taking over the hijacking, Petrie orders Mike into the cockpit with Gresham. A little later, Petrie insists that Scott contact the Dallas airport tower to report that Petrie will kill one hostage at a time, beginning with the tycoon, until they receive the million dollars and fuel. Petrified, Scott insists that Petrie kill another passenger first, eyeing the African American Champ and then the weakened Latimer. Increasingly out of control, Petrie agrees and forces the bleeding Latimer to the phone after which he reaches Wyatt and relates Petrie’s demands. When Wyatt initially refuses the demand, Petrie is outraged and declares he does not care if the entire plane is destroyed. Reluctantly, Wyatt then agrees to let Gordon implement his own plan. As the jet returns to Dallas, Mike convinces Gresham to make an abrupt banking turn which throws the passengers off their feet. Mike then darts out and grabs Avery from behind and when Petrie attempts to shoot him, he kills Avery instead. Retrieving Avery’s dropped machine gun, Mike kills Petrie. When the gunfire sets off a small fire, Mike urges the others to take refuge in the private bedroom while he extinguishes the flames. As the plane nears the runway, Gresham reports that the gunfire has damaged the radio and also the front landing gear. Opening the panel over the wheel, Mike uses the manual handle to crank the nose gear down and soon after the plane lands safely. Gordon, who has stripped down to his boxers to demonstrate that he is completely unarmed, rides the fuel truck out to the plane with the suitcase. As the truck begins refueling, Scott and the others deplane and refuse the suitcase proffered by the confused Gordon. When Champ warily accepts the bag, Mike and Diane, in the plane's doorway, invite him to join them. Delighted, he accepts. As soon as the craft is refueled, the plane takes off and just as it becomes airborne, orders are given to open fire upon it. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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