Bat 21 (1988)

R | 105 mins | Drama, Adventure | 21 October 1988

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HISTORY

       Referring to the title as Bat Two-One, the 18 Dec 1980 DV reported that the picture was being financed by the Cambridge Film Group, Ltd., with actors Dean Martin and Ben Vereen in the cast. Principal photography was set to begin in Mar 1981. Three months later, a 3 Mar 1981 HR article noted the film, referred by the working title Bat 2-1, would start filming in Arizona on 15 Apr 1981 with director John Sturges and executive producer Gen Jenson. The budget was cited as $6 million. However, an advertisement in the 15 Dec 1983 DV announced the film was to be produced by Billy Hanna and David Fisher. Fisher was listed as director, and Ben Chapman was credited as an associate producer, with C. K. Williams as executive producer.
       Four years later, a 5 May 1987 DV news item reported that the picture was scheduled to begin principal photography on 15 Jun 1987, under director Peter Markle, with Fisher attached as producer. However, a 25 Aug 1987 HR production chart stated filming began on 22 Jun 1987 in Malaysia. According to the 16 Jun 1987 HR, filming was scheduled for ten weeks in Sabah, Malaysia. A 26 Jun 1987 HR item reported that while filming on the island of Borneo, residents of a local village were angered when the production’s makeup truck “accidentally caused the untimely death of the villagers’ pet snake,” and hurled rocks at the crew. The 26 Aug 1987 Var announced completion principal photography. ... More Less

       Referring to the title as Bat Two-One, the 18 Dec 1980 DV reported that the picture was being financed by the Cambridge Film Group, Ltd., with actors Dean Martin and Ben Vereen in the cast. Principal photography was set to begin in Mar 1981. Three months later, a 3 Mar 1981 HR article noted the film, referred by the working title Bat 2-1, would start filming in Arizona on 15 Apr 1981 with director John Sturges and executive producer Gen Jenson. The budget was cited as $6 million. However, an advertisement in the 15 Dec 1983 DV announced the film was to be produced by Billy Hanna and David Fisher. Fisher was listed as director, and Ben Chapman was credited as an associate producer, with C. K. Williams as executive producer.
       Four years later, a 5 May 1987 DV news item reported that the picture was scheduled to begin principal photography on 15 Jun 1987, under director Peter Markle, with Fisher attached as producer. However, a 25 Aug 1987 HR production chart stated filming began on 22 Jun 1987 in Malaysia. According to the 16 Jun 1987 HR, filming was scheduled for ten weeks in Sabah, Malaysia. A 26 Jun 1987 HR item reported that while filming on the island of Borneo, residents of a local village were angered when the production’s makeup truck “accidentally caused the untimely death of the villagers’ pet snake,” and hurled rocks at the crew. The 26 Aug 1987 Var announced completion principal photography. Reports in the 6 Jul 1987 and 20 Aug 1987 DV noted the film’s budget as being between $10 million and $10.5 million.
       The 12 May 1987 HR production chart, and reports in the 5 May 1987 HR and 27 May 1987 Var, credited Marc Norman as a writer on the screenplay along with author William C. Anderson. However, Norman is not credited onscreen. A 15 Jul 1987 Var brief and the 25 Aug 1987 HR listed actress Julie Sommars as a cast member, but she is not credited onscreen.
       According to studio publicity materials in AMPAS library files, Tri-Star Pictures held a preview screening at AMPAS in Beverly Hills, CA, on 17 Oct 1988.
       Nine years after the picture’s release, the 20 Nov 1997 LAT reported that the remains of six airmen who were part of the search-and-rescue mission for Lieutenant Colonel Iceal Hambleton were buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC. As portrayed in the film, the men were shot down in Vietnam on 6 Apr 1972.
       End credits state: “Special Thanks to: Claude K. Williams; William Hanna; Sam Oetinger; Don Otto.” End credits also state: “This motion picture was shot entirely on location in Sabah, Borneo--East Malaysia”; and, “The producers would like to thank: the Federal Government of Malaysia; the Royal Army and the Royal Air Force of Malaysia; the state government of Sabah and its people; the Malaysian Airline System; the management and the staff of the Tanjung Aru Beach Hotel, a Beaufort International Hotel Group.”
      The onscreen title card in opening credits includes a star symbol between “Bat” and “21.” The following statement precedes opening credits: “Lieutenant Colonel Iceal Hambleton was a missile intelligence expert in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. As such, he was privy to certain highly classified information. The film you are about to see is based on a true story.” Before end credits, the following statement appears: “Lt. Colonel Iceal Hambleton is now retired and resides in Arizona, near a golf course.” The credit, “Best Golfers,” is credited onscreen to “Harry & Jack.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Dec 1980
p. 1, 30.
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1983
p. 13.
Daily Variety
5 May 1987
p. 12.
Daily Variety
6 Jul 1987
p. 3.
Daily Variety
20 Aug 1987
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 1981
p. 1, 25.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 1987
p. 1, 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Aug 1987.
---
Los Angeles Times
21 Oct 1988
Calendar, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
20 Nov 1997
Part A, p. 28.
New York Times
21 Oct 1988
Section C, p. 22.
Variety
27 May 1987
p. 24.
Variety
15 Jul 1987
p. 15.
Variety
26 Aug 1987
p. 22.
Variety
5 Oct 1988
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Tri-Star Pictures & Vision P.D.G. Present
An Eagle Films Production
Of A Peter Markle Film
A Tri-Star Release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Malaysian asst dir
Malaysian asst dir
Dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Co-prod
Line prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod, 2d unit
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d cam asst
2d cam asst
Key grip
Best boy grip
Grip
Grip
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Elec
Still photog
Spec still photog
Aerial and spotter plane photog
Dir of photog/Op, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Story board artist
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Scenic artist
Set dresser
Asst set dresser
Swing crew
Swing crew
Greens crew supv
Greens crew
Greens crew
Greens crew
Const coord
Lead carpenter
Const labor supplied by
Const labor supplied by
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Prop asst
COSTUMES
Cost des
Costumer
Asst costumer
Seamstress
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus ed
Mus rec and mixed by
Orch conducted by/Mus consultant
Shakuhachi and nokan solos
Electronic percussion programming
Mus coord
Sitar mus
SOUND
Sd mixer
Cableman
Sd des and supv sd ed
Sd des and supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd asst
Sd asst
Sd asst
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer/ADR mixer
Re-rec mixer
Foley mixer
Foley mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Lead eff
Effectsman
Effectsman
Effectsman
Effectsman
Spec visual eff by
Spec eff supv, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Prod supv, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Model shop supv, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Model maker, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Model maker, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Pyrotechnics, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Cam, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Cam, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Matte artist, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Prod asst, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Prod asst, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Prod asst, Fantasy II Film Effects, Inc.
Titles and opt eff
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup
Asst makeup
Asst hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Unit pub
Prod assoc
Asst to the prod
Asst to Mr. Markle
Casting asst
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod secy (LA)
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst (LA)
Prod asst (LA)
Aerial coord and spotter plane pilot
Cam helicopter pilot
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Transportation co-capt
Generator op
First aid coord
Voice casting
Completion bond by
Loc assistance
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts/Stand-in
Stunts
Stunts
Parachutist
Parachutist
Stand-in
Stunt helicopter pilot, 2d unit
Stunt helicopter pilot, 2d unit
COLOR PERSONNEL
Negative processing by
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book BAT 21 by William C. Anderson (Englewood Cliffs, 1980).
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Bat Two-One
Bat 2-1
Release Date:
21 October 1988
Premiere Information:
Preview screening at AMPAS in Beverly Hills, CA: 17 October 1988
Los Angeles and New York openings: 21 October 1988
Production Date:
began 22 June 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Bat 21 Productions, Ltd., L.P.
Copyright Date:
23 January 1989
Copyright Number:
PA0000404528
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
105
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29159
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During the Vietnam War, U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel Iceal Hambleton, an electronics weapons expert and avid golfer, volunteers for a surveillance mission aboard an EB-66 aircraft before a scheduled airstrike against the North Vietnam Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong (VC). However, the aircraft is attacked by surface-to-air missiles. Hambleton ejects and parachutes into a rice field. Referring to himself by the call sign “Bat-21,” Hambleton radios reconnaissance pilot Capt. Bartholomew “Birddog” Clark for help. Seeing enemy soldiers advancing, Clark orders Hambleton to hide. Leaving his helmet behind, Hambleton runs for the jungle. Since all rescue helicopters are currently engaged, Clark tells Hambleton he will be picked up the following morning. After Clark leaves to refuel, Vietnamese soldiers find Hambleton’s helmet and search for him. Knowing about the upcoming airstrike, Hambleton plots a route to a river outside the attack zone, using the measurements of specifics holes on Air Force golf courses. Clark’s superior, Colonel George Walker, orders him to fly throughout the night, as Hambleton’s knowledge of classified information makes him a target for capture. Once Clark makes contact with Hambleton, they chat about their lives. All the while, soldiers of the NVA and VC eavesdrop to learn Hambleton’s whereabouts. In the morning, Hambleton alerts Clark about tanks in the area. After Clark fires at the tanks, two fighter jets arrive and bomb the site. Seeing the dead soldiers, Hambleton is shaken, having no previous combat experience. When he learns his rescue will be delayed for another day, Hambleton uses golfing terminology as code to describe his route to the river to Clark. ... +


During the Vietnam War, U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel Iceal Hambleton, an electronics weapons expert and avid golfer, volunteers for a surveillance mission aboard an EB-66 aircraft before a scheduled airstrike against the North Vietnam Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong (VC). However, the aircraft is attacked by surface-to-air missiles. Hambleton ejects and parachutes into a rice field. Referring to himself by the call sign “Bat-21,” Hambleton radios reconnaissance pilot Capt. Bartholomew “Birddog” Clark for help. Seeing enemy soldiers advancing, Clark orders Hambleton to hide. Leaving his helmet behind, Hambleton runs for the jungle. Since all rescue helicopters are currently engaged, Clark tells Hambleton he will be picked up the following morning. After Clark leaves to refuel, Vietnamese soldiers find Hambleton’s helmet and search for him. Knowing about the upcoming airstrike, Hambleton plots a route to a river outside the attack zone, using the measurements of specifics holes on Air Force golf courses. Clark’s superior, Colonel George Walker, orders him to fly throughout the night, as Hambleton’s knowledge of classified information makes him a target for capture. Once Clark makes contact with Hambleton, they chat about their lives. All the while, soldiers of the NVA and VC eavesdrop to learn Hambleton’s whereabouts. In the morning, Hambleton alerts Clark about tanks in the area. After Clark fires at the tanks, two fighter jets arrive and bomb the site. Seeing the dead soldiers, Hambleton is shaken, having no previous combat experience. When he learns his rescue will be delayed for another day, Hambleton uses golfing terminology as code to describe his route to the river to Clark. After Clark informs Walker about Hambleton’s coded message, Walker contacts Colonel Douglass, Hambleton’s superior officer, and learns that they have a window of twenty-four hours to rescue Hambleton before the airstrike. With maps of the golf courses and a glossary of golf terms, Clark goes out to keep track of Hambleton. Later, Hambleton sees Clark’s plane, followed by two rescue helicopters flown by Walker and Clark’s friend, Ross Carver, near a village. However, NVA and VC soldiers open fire. Walker orders a retreat, but Carver ignores the order. Carver is hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and forced to land. Hidden in the trees, Hambleton watches as Carver and his crew are murdered. Walker calls for the village to be bombed. Hearing the order, Hambleton escapes before fighter jets destroy the village, where they will kill soldiers and villagers alike. As Hambleton continues on his trek, Walker orders Clark to remain grounded until after the airstrike. Clark wants to fly back to keep contact with Hambleton’s progress, but Walker informs him that a U.S. Navy patrol boat will be stationed on the river if Hambleton makes it. Before the airstrike commences, Clark steals Walker’s helicopter and goes to rescue Hambleton. Using Hambleton’s golf course route, Clark finds him at the “ninth hole.” Hambleton boards the helicopter, but enemy soldiers open fire. Forced to land, Clark and Hambleton run into the jungle as the airstrike begins. Surviving the attack, Hambleton thanks Clark for never giving up on him. Arriving at the river, the men see the Navy patrol boat, and are rescued. +

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

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