United 93 (2006)

R | 111 or 115 mins | Drama | 28 April 2006

THIS TITLE IS OUTSIDE THE AFI CATALOG OF FEATURE FILMS (1893-1993)
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Director:

Paul Greengrass

Writer:

Paul Greengrass

Cinematographer:

Barry Ackroyd

Production Designer:

Dominic Watkins

Production Companies:

Universal Pictures , StudioCanal, Working Title Films
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HISTORY

The working title of the film was Flight 93 . Only the company credits and title appear before the film; all other credits are at the end. The following written epilogue appears before the end credits: “Of the four aircraft hijacked that day, United 93 was the only one that did not reach its target. It crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m. No one survived. Military commanders were not notified that United 93 had been hijacked until four minutes after it had crashed. The nearest fighter jets were 100 miles away. At 10:18 a.m., the President authorized the military to engage hijacked aircraft. Fearing an accidental shoot down, military commanders chose not to pass the order to pilots in the air. By 12:06 p.m. every civilian airliner over America had been forced to land. Amidst an unprecedented military mobilization, U.S. airspace was closed until further notice. Dedicated to the memory of all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.”
       Paul Greengrass' onscreen credit reads "Written and directed by." The closing credits give special thanks to a long list of the hijacking victims’ family members and acknowledge the Department of Defense, the Royal Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), the 102nd Fighter Wing in Massachusetts, the 119th Fighter Wing in North Dakota and Dr. Mahjoob Zweiri of the Institute for Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, Dunham University. The credits also state that United 93 was filmed on location in New Jersey, Boston, Washington, Morocco and at Pinewood Studios, England.
       On 11 Sep 2001, nineteen men hijacked four transcontinental flights as part of an ... More Less

The working title of the film was Flight 93 . Only the company credits and title appear before the film; all other credits are at the end. The following written epilogue appears before the end credits: “Of the four aircraft hijacked that day, United 93 was the only one that did not reach its target. It crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m. No one survived. Military commanders were not notified that United 93 had been hijacked until four minutes after it had crashed. The nearest fighter jets were 100 miles away. At 10:18 a.m., the President authorized the military to engage hijacked aircraft. Fearing an accidental shoot down, military commanders chose not to pass the order to pilots in the air. By 12:06 p.m. every civilian airliner over America had been forced to land. Amidst an unprecedented military mobilization, U.S. airspace was closed until further notice. Dedicated to the memory of all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.”
       Paul Greengrass' onscreen credit reads "Written and directed by." The closing credits give special thanks to a long list of the hijacking victims’ family members and acknowledge the Department of Defense, the Royal Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), the 102nd Fighter Wing in Massachusetts, the 119th Fighter Wing in North Dakota and Dr. Mahjoob Zweiri of the Institute for Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, Dunham University. The credits also state that United 93 was filmed on location in New Jersey, Boston, Washington, Morocco and at Pinewood Studios, England.
       On 11 Sep 2001, nineteen men hijacked four transcontinental flights as part of an organized terrorist attack. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, and American Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. United Flight 93 took off from Newark’s Liberty International Airport with thirty-seven passengers, including the four hijackers, on board. The plane was scheduled to depart for San Francisco at 8:00 a.m., but did not take off until 8:42 a.m. due to air traffic delays. At 9:28 a.m., the hijackers attacked and seized control of the plane, presumably killing the pilots. It is not known exactly what occurred on the plane after that, although many emergency services operators, as well as friends and family of passengers and crew members on the flight, have released transcripts or publicly related details from private cellphone conversations with them during the hijacking. The most well-publicized of these was passenger Todd Beamer's later famous "Let's roll," which is related in the film in a soft whisper, followed by "let's go."
       An in-depth investigation by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (more commonly known as the 9/11 Commission), yielded the following information: Shortly after the takeover of the airplane, the passengers and flight crew began making calls from the plane’s air phones and their own cellphones. Speaking with their family members and colleagues on the ground, the passengers learned about the attacks on the World Trade Center earlier that morning. The passengers and surviving crew members decided to revolt against the hijackers, and at 9:57 a.m., the assault on the hijackers began. The struggle went on for about five minutes before the hijackers crashed the plane into an empty field in Shanksville, PA, about twenty minutes’ flying time from Washington, D.C. The 9/11 Commission Report summarized the outcome of the hijacking thus: “[Hijacker Ziad] Jarrah’s objective was to crash his airliner into symbols of the American Republic, the Capitol or the White House. He was defeated by the alerted, unarmed passengers of United 93.”
       According to The 9/11 Commission Report , the two federal agencies responsible for protecting U.S. airspace, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, were unprepared to deal with the scope and unusual nature of the hijackings. The report noted that the protocols in place at that time assumed that a hijacking “would take the traditional form: that is, it would not be a suicide hijacking designed to convert the aircraft into a guided missile.” As depicted in the film, the FAA command center’s national operations manager, Ben Sliney, gave the unprecedented order to instruct all aircraft to land at the nearest airport.
       News items noted the following about the production: British director Paul Greengrass submitted a 21-page treatment to Universal Pictures in the summer of 2005 and was immediately given a $15 million budget to make the film. As part of his extensive pre-production research, Greengrass and associate producer Kate Solomon traveled across the U.S. to conduct more than a hundred interviews with the families of the victims, who gave their full cooperation to the project. Greengrass shot the airplane scenes in an old Boeing 757 reconstructed on a Pinewood Studios sound stage. The actors portraying the terrorists were kept separate from the rest of the cast until the hijacking sequence was shot. Ben Sliney, who portrays himself in the film, had just begun his new job at the FAA’s command center in Herndon, VA, on 11 Sep 2001. According to a 22 Apr 2006 LAT article, Sliney was originally hired for a cameo role in the film, but Greengrass later dismissed the actor cast in the role of Sliney and asked the FAA manager to play himself. Greengrass cast other roles with nonprofessional actors as well. JJ Johnson, who portrays Captain Jason M. Dahl, is a real United pilot, and Trish Gates, who plays flight attendant Sandra Bradshaw, had been a flight attendant with United. In addition, a number of real air traffic controllers and military personnel—many of whom were on duty on 9/11—portrayed themselves in the film. According to a 26 Apr 2006 LAT article, actor Karim Saleh, who had portrayed a terrorist on the 2005 Steven Spielberg film Munich (see above) auditioned for a role in United 93 .
       United 93 depicts the hijacking in real time. In a NYT interview, Greengrass observed that the people on the plane “had 30 minutes to confront the reality of the way that we’re living now, decide on the best course of action and act.” He added that the passengers on United Flight 93 were the “first people to inhabit the post-9/11 world." A Village Voice news item reported that an unfinished print of the film concluded with a title card that read: “America’s war on terror had begun.” According to the Screen International review, the title card was "replaced with something more sobering and reflective."
       On the DVD commentary, Greengrass revealed the following information about the film’s production: He originally planned to start the film in Afghanistan and show Osama bin Laden and Sheik Mohammed planning the attack. After shooting this scene in Morocco, however, he decided it “seemed redundant.” He also originally shot scenes of the crew members getting ready in their hotel rooms. The scenes in the air traffic control command centers and on the plane were shot in very long takes—often 45 to 60 minutes—using two cameras so that filming never had to stop while a camera was being reloaded. Many airplane scenes were shot with a camera suspended on a pulley for low-angle perspective. Later, in post-production, special effects technicians painted in the gap where the pulley ran through the center of the aircraft.
       Explaining that he had wanted to give audiences "a ringside view of the events," Greengrass said in the commentary, “We tried to make no concessions to things being comprehensible. There was no attempt made to explain jargon—for instance, technicalities of transponders being dropped and course changes and so on.” He added, “If this film was going to feel real, it needed to be quite challenging.” In addition to the director’s commentary, the DVD contains, as added content, a short documentary in which family members and friends of the United 93 victims share memories, meet the actors portraying their loved ones and attend a private screening of the film. There is also a memorial section that presents pictures and biographies of the passengers and crew members.
       According to a 1 May 2006 article in Var , Universal Pictures courted conservative commentators in the weeks before the film’s release. Right-wing talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Prager were invited to advance screenings, and both endorsed the film. Prager also wrote in his syndicated column: “Apparently many Americans are not ‘ready’ to see a film about 9/11 ‘so soon’ after 9/11. If this is so, it is an ode to the weakening of the American people.” The studio also hired Motive Entertainment, a Christian marketing firm, to distribute “ United 93 Resource Guides,” which included sermons inspired by the film.
       News items reported that an AMC movie theater in New York pulled the promotional trailer for United 93 after audiences complained and began running a short making-of film instead. Universal defended the trailer, which included news footage of the World Trade Center attack, claiming that the trailer was being shown in thousands of theaters and no other cinema owner had pulled it.
       The film had its premiere on 25 Apr 2006 as the opening-night selection at the Tribeca Film Festival. According to a 25 Apr 2006 DV news item, festival organizers decided to host the premiere in midtown, instead of at its usual venues in lower Manhattan, for fear that the proximity to Ground Zero could be too emotionally difficult for the audience. Private screenings for families of passengers were held on 8 Apr in Newark, NJ, and on 9 Apr in Daly City, CA. A 1 Jun 2006 LAT news item reported that the film was screened at the White House on 30 May. Iraqi-born actor Lewis Alsamari (who portrayed hijacker Saeed al Ghamdi), was refused a visa to attend the New York premiere. A resident of London, Alsamari had been granted asylum in Britain in 1998. According to news items, Universal contributed 10% of box office revenue from the first three days of the film’s North American release to the Flight 93 National Memorial Fund, an organization that seeks to build a memorial near Shanksville, PA.
       Reviews for United 93 were generally strong, although much of the film’s press coverage questioned whether the American public was ready for a film about the 9/11 attacks. The LAT review said, “This staggering, draining film is exceptionally accomplished but extremely difficult to watch.” NYT called United 93 “a persuasively narrated, scrupulously tasteful re-creation,” but added, “[The film’s] narrow focus, along with the lack of fully realized characters, and the absence of any historical or political context, raises the question of why…this particular movie was made.” Some reviewers complained that the scene in which the passengers fight with the hijackers took too much dramatic license. In a NYT editorial, Frank Rich wrote, “Two major liberties taken with the known facts in United 93 —sequences suggesting that passengers thrashed and possibly killed two of the hijackers and succeeded in entering the cockpit—are highly cathartic but unsupported by the evidence.” Village Voice cited this depiction of the struggle as “the most problematic of the movie’s unverifiable events, and one might say its biggest concession to popular taste.”
       On 10 Jul 2006, Var reported that the film had become an unexpected hit in the Middle East, grossing close to $200,000 in its opening week in the United Arab Emirates. Var noted that the film was cleared by censors in countries throughout the Persian Gulf, including Lebanon, which had banned the 2005 film Syriana (see above).
       In addition to being named one of AFI’s Movies of the Year for 2006 and being included on more than seventy “ten best” lists, United 93 received Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Film Editing, and was named Best Picture of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle. Greengrass was named Best Director by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the National Society of Film Critics. The film received a BAFTA award for Editing and a nomination for Sound, in addition to a Writers Guild of America nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The film also was nominated for Best Picture by the London Film Critics’ Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association. As reported in LAT on 12 Jan 2007, controversy arose surrounding Universal Pictures' Oscar campaign for United 93 after ads featuring the voice of critic Peter Travers, who spoke glowingly about the film, were broadcast on local Los Angeles radio stations. Although LAT reported that Travers was not paid for the spots, and was only reading excerpts from his 27 Apr 2006 Rolling Stone review, other critics and media groups were highly critical of the ads.
       Although United 93 was the first released feature film to depict the actual 9/11 attacks, the events had already been the subject of two made-for-television films. DC 9/11: Time of Crisis , which aired in Sep 2003 on the Showtime cable network, focused on the Bush administration’s response to the attacks. Flight 93 was broadcast on the A&E cable network in Jan 2006 and drew almost six million viewers, the biggest audience in A&E’s history. Oliver Stone’s feature film World Trade Center , which opened in Aug 2006, was based on the true story of two Port Authority officers who were trapped under the rubble at Ground Zero. On 10 and 11 Sep 2006, ABC ran the controversial miniseries The Path to 9/11 , which drew accusations of bias from former members of the Clinton administration. As of Jan 2007, other films about 9/11 in development include 102 Minutes , based on a book by two NYT reporters that chronicles the time between the crash of the first plane and the collapse of the second tower, and Against All Enemies , based on former National Security Council counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke’s memoir. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Backstage West
13 Sep 2006.
---
Boston Globe
28 Apr 2006.
---
Daily Variety
25 Apr 2006
Section A, p. 1, 14.
Daily Variety
26 Apr 2006.
---
Entertainment Weekly
7 Apr 2006
p. 14.
Entertainment Weekly
28 Apr--5 May 2006
pp. 113-14.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Mar 2006.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 2006.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 2006.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 2006.
---
Los Angeles Times
9 Apr 2006.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Apr 2006
Calendar, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
22 Apr 2006.
---
Los Angeles Times
26 Apr 2006
Calendar, p. 1, 6.
Los Angeles Times
28 Apr 2006
Calendar, p. 1, 17.
Los Angeles Times
29 Apr 2006.
---
Los Angeles Times
1 Jun 2006.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Jan 2007
Calendar, p. 1, 18.
New York Times
1 Jan 2006
Arts, p. 7, 22.
New York Times
24 Apr 2006
Arts, p. 1, 6.
New York Times
28 Apr 2006
Arts, p. 1, 16.
New York Times
7 May 2006.
---
Newsweek
1 May 2006.
---
Rolling Stone
27 Apr 2006.
---
Screen International
28 Apr 2006.
---
Time
17 Apr 2006.
---
Variety
30 Mar 2006.
---
Variety
1 May 2006.
---
Variety
10 Jul 2006.
---
Village Voice
26 Apr 2006.
---
Village Voice
20 Sep 2006.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
United 93--Passengers:
United 93--Hijackers:
Boston Air Traffic Control:
Cleveland Air Traffic Control:
Herndon:
New York Air Traffic Control:
Newark tower:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Paul Greengrass film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
1st asst dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, New Jersey unit
2d asst dir, Working Title
2d asst dir, New Jersey unit
3rd asst dir, Working Title
3rd asst dir, 2d unit
2d 2d asst dir, New Jersey unit
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Line prod
Exec in charge of prod, Working Title
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Dir of photog, 2d unit
'A' cam op
'A' cam op, New Jersey unit
Cam op, Plate unit
Cam op, Aerial unit
1st asst 'A' cam
1st asst 'A' cam, New Jersey unit
1st asst cam, Plate unit
1st asst cam, Plate unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst 'A' cam
2d asst 'A' cam, New Jersey unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, Plate unit
'B' cam op/Steadicam, New Jersey unit
1st asst 'B' cam
1st asst 'B' cam, New Jersey unit
2d asst 'B' cam
2d asst 'B' cam, New Jersey unit
Central loader
Clapper loader, 2d unit
Clapper loader, 2d unit
Loader, New Jersey unit
Loader, Aerial unit
Key grip, New Jersey & Plate units
Grip 'A' cam
Grip 'B' cam
Cam grip, 2d unit
Cam grip, 2d unit
Cam grip, 2d unit
Cam grip, 2d unit
Addl grip, New Jersey & Plate units
Dolly grip, New Jersey unit
Libra head op
Crane op
Gaffer
Gaffer, 2d unit
Gaffer, New Jersey unit
Rigging gaffer
Best boy
Best boy, New Jersey unit
Genny op, New Jersey unit
Elec
Elec
Elec
Elec
Elec
Elec, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
Elec, New Jersey unit
Tech, Aerial unit
Desk op
Moving light rig op
Chargehand elec rigger
Elec rigger
Elec rigger
Elec rigger
Elec rigger
Elec rigger
Elec rigger
Standby rigger, 2d unit
FT2 cam trainee
FT2 grip trainee
Video playback op
Video assist, New Jersey unit
2d video assist, New Jersey unit
Stills photog
Stills photog, New Jersey unit
Cam car, 2d unit
Cam equipment
Lighting equipment
Grip equipment
Moving light rig
Chapman cam cranes and dollies
Prod telecine facilities
Stills processing
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Supv art dir
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir, New Jersey unit
Standby art dir
Graphic artist
Prod buyer
Draughtsman
Asst concept artist
Art dept coord
Art dept coord, New Jersey unit
Art dept asst
Food stylist
Food stylist
FILM EDITORS
Assembly ed
Assembly ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Laboratory contact
Negative cutting
Editing facilities & equipment
Avid and Pro Tools equipment
SET DECORATORS
Set dec, New Jersey unit
Prop master
Prop master, New Jersey unit
Dressing propsman
Dressing propsman
Dressing propsman
Dressing propsman
Standby props
Standby props
Standby props, 2d unit
Property storeman
Drapesman
Const mgr
Standby carpenter
Supv carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Chargehand painter
Chargehand scenic painter
Scenic painter
Standby scenic, New Jersey unit
Painter
Painter
Standby rigger
Supv rigger
Rigger
Rigger
Rigger
Rigger
Supv metal worker
Welder
Welder
Supv stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Supv plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Leadman, New Jersey unit
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Asst cost des
Ward supv, New Jersey unit
Ward shopper, New Jersey unit
Cost standby
Cost standby
Cost standby
Cost standby
Cost standby
On set costumier, New Jersey unit
On set costumier, New Jersey unit
On set costumier, New Jersey unit
On set costumier, New Jersey unit
Ward PA, Plate unit
Ward PA, Plate unit
Cost trainee
MUSIC
Mus supv, Working Title
Mus coord, Working Title
Mus ed
Exec in charge of mus for Universal Pictures
Mus cond
Mus orchestrated by
Mus orchestrated by
Orchestral contractor
Orch leader
Mus rec and mixed by
Addl rec
Rec and mixed at
Asst eng
Mus copyist
Solo vocal
Comp asst
Comp asst
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd mixer, 2d unit
Sd mixer, 2d unit
Sd mixer, New Jersey unit
Sd mixer, Plate unit
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd maintenance
Boom op, 2d unit
Boom op, New Jersey unit
2d boom op
Sd eng
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Asst sd ed
Sd editorial support
Sd editorial and post prod by
Supv Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley rec at
Sd utility, New Jersey unit
Sd re-rec at
Re-rec mixer
Addl re-rec mixer
Addl re-rec mixer
Addl re-rec mixer
ADR supv
New York ADR supv
LA ADR supv
New York ADR facility
New York ADR facility
LA ADR facility
LA ADR facility
UK ADR mixer
New York ADR mixer
New York ADR mixer
LA ADR mixer
LA ADR mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff supv
Visual eff digital supv
3D supv
3D supv
Visual eff prod
Visual eff prod
Visual eff prod
VFX ed
Spec eff consultant
Spec eff coord
Senior SFX
SFX crew
SFX crew
SFX crew
SFX crew
SFX crew
SFX crew
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital artist
Digital main and end titles
Digital playback & des
Creative supv, Useful Companies
Project supv, Useful Companies
Coord, Useful Companies
Tech, Useful Companies
Tech, Useful Companies
Tech, Useful Companies
Radar programmer, Useful Companies
MAKEUP
Hair & make-up des
Key hairdresser
Hair & make-up artist
Hair & make-up artist
Hair & make-up artist
Hair & make-up artist
Hair & make-up artist
Hair & make-up artist
Hair & make-up artist
Make-up artist, 2d unit
Make-up artist, New Jersey unit
Hairdresser, New Jersey unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Casting
Casting
Extras casting, New Jersey unit
ADR voice casting
ADR voice casting
Casting assoc
Casting asst
Addl & background casting
Prod mgr
Unit prod mgr, New Jersey unit
Chief operating officer, Working Title
Prod exec, Working Title
Prod coord, Working Title
Prod coord, New Jersey unit
Prod coord, Plate unit
Exec coord, Working Title
Asst prod coord, Working Title
Asst prod coord, Working Title
Asst coord, New Jersey unit
Asst coord, Plate unit
Asst to Tim Bevan, Working Title
Asst to Eric Fellner, Working Title
Asst to Paul Greengrass, Working Title
Asst to the cast, Working Title
Prod secy, New Jersey unit
Prod asst, Working Title
Office prod asst, New Jersey unit
Office prod asst, New Jersey unit
Office PA, Plate unit
Set prod asst, New Jersey unit
Set prod asst, New Jersey unit
Set prod asst, New Jersey unit
Set prod asst, New Jersey unit
Set prod asst, New Jersey unit
Set prod asst, New Jersey unit
Set prod asst, New Jersey unit
Prod runner, Working Title
Floor runner, Working Title
Floor runner, Working Title
Floor runner, Working Title
Floor runner, Working Title
Floor runner, Working Title
Floor runner, Working Title
Loc mgr
Loc mgr, New Jersey unit
Loc mgr-Washington, Plate unit
Asst loc mgr
Loc asst, New Jersey unit
Loc PA, New Jersey unit
Loc asst-Washington, Plate unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Co-pilot, Aerial unit
Plane hire
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
Scr supv
Scr supv, 2d unit
Scr supv, New Jersey unit
Prod accountant
Chief financial officer, Working Title
Accountant, New Jersey unit
Accountant, Plate unit
Payroll accountant, New Jersey unit
1st asst accountant
1st asst accountant
Asst accountant, New Jersey unit
Cashier
US air traffic control
US air traffic control
US Air Force adv
US Air Force adv
US Air Force adv
Religious adv
Religious adv
Religious adv
Religious adv
Lebanese adv
Saudi adv
Health & safety consultant
Standby health & safety adv
Unit nurse
Unit medic, New Jersey unit
Catering, New Jersey unit
Transport capt
Transport capt, New Jersey unit
Transport co-capt, New Jersey unit
Driver to Paul Greengrass
Unit driver
Addl unit cars
Addl unit cars
Minibus driver
Minibus driver
NY Teamster driver, Plate unit
Washington Teamster driver, Plate unit
Parking coord, New Jersey unit
Facility vehicles
Head of legal & bus affairs, Working Title
Senior legal & bus affairs exec, Working Title
Legal & bus affairs exec, Working Title
Legal clearances
Legal clearances
US clearances
Visa services
Gonzalez & Harris
Facilities capt
Walkie talkies
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt safety
Asst to stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Prod, Framestore CFC
Prod, Framestore CFC
Digital intermediate
Colourist, Framestone CFC
Digital grading asst, Framestone CFC
Digital grading asst, Framestone CFC
Scanning and rec, Framestone CFC
Digital clean up, Framestore CFC
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Flight 93
Release Date:
28 April 2006
Premiere Information:
World premiere at Tribeca Film Festival: 25 April 2006
Production Date:
in New Jersey, Boston, Washington, Morocco and at Pinewood Studios, England
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, LLLP
Copyright Date:
6 March 2006
Copyright Number:
PA0001363708
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Digital; dts Digital Sound in selected theatres
Color
DeLuxe; Kodak Motion Picture Film
Duration(in mins):
111 or 115
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
41676
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At dawn on September 11, 2001, Ziad Jarrah, Saeed al Ghamdi, Ahmed al Naimi and Ahmed al Haznawi read the Koran and pray in a New Jersey hotel room. Haznawi tells Jarrah, in Arabic, “It’s time,” and the four men get dressed, slipping knives and box cutters into their pockets before embracing one another. They go to the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, where they check in for United Flight 93 and go through security. As the men take separate seats in the departure lounge, the airline’s crew members get the plane ready for the nonstop flight to San Francisco. Meanwhile, at the Federal Aviation Administration’s command center in Herndon, VA, Ben Sliney reports to work as the new national operations manager and greets his team. At the FAA’s air traffic control center in Boston, controllers are concerned because American Airlines Flight 11, en route to Los Angeles, is not responding to radio transmissions. When a voice with a foreign accent is heard from the cockpit, the controllers suspect that the plane has been hijacked. Back in Newark, United 93 has boarded but is still on the runway. The pilot announces a delay due to heavy air traffic, and the four Middle-Eastern men, who are seated throughout the first-class cabin, grow increasingly uneasy. At the FAA command center, Sliney receives word that a flight attendant on Flight 11 called American Airlines and reported that the plane was being hijacked and several people had been stabbed. In Boston, the FAA replays the tape of the last transmission from Flight 11, in which a man in the cockpit says, “We have some planes,” and determines that more than one ... +


At dawn on September 11, 2001, Ziad Jarrah, Saeed al Ghamdi, Ahmed al Naimi and Ahmed al Haznawi read the Koran and pray in a New Jersey hotel room. Haznawi tells Jarrah, in Arabic, “It’s time,” and the four men get dressed, slipping knives and box cutters into their pockets before embracing one another. They go to the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, where they check in for United Flight 93 and go through security. As the men take separate seats in the departure lounge, the airline’s crew members get the plane ready for the nonstop flight to San Francisco. Meanwhile, at the Federal Aviation Administration’s command center in Herndon, VA, Ben Sliney reports to work as the new national operations manager and greets his team. At the FAA’s air traffic control center in Boston, controllers are concerned because American Airlines Flight 11, en route to Los Angeles, is not responding to radio transmissions. When a voice with a foreign accent is heard from the cockpit, the controllers suspect that the plane has been hijacked. Back in Newark, United 93 has boarded but is still on the runway. The pilot announces a delay due to heavy air traffic, and the four Middle-Eastern men, who are seated throughout the first-class cabin, grow increasingly uneasy. At the FAA command center, Sliney receives word that a flight attendant on Flight 11 called American Airlines and reported that the plane was being hijacked and several people had been stabbed. In Boston, the FAA replays the tape of the last transmission from Flight 11, in which a man in the cockpit says, “We have some planes,” and determines that more than one plane has been hijacked. United Flight 93 is finally cleared for takeoff, just as the air traffic control center in Ronkonroma, New York, loses radio communication with United Flight 175, which is flying from Boston to Los Angeles. American Flight 11 disappears from radar over New York City, and a few minutes later, air traffic controllers in Newark are shocked to see thick smoke billowing from the north tower of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. Initial news reports suggest that a light aircraft has hit the tower, but when Sliney watches the coverage on television news channel CNN, he realizes that the damage is too great to have been caused by a small plane. Meanwhile, United Flight 175, which is now heading toward New York, appears to be on a collision course with another airplane and does not respond to redirection from the frantic air traffic controllers. United 175 begins a rapid descent, and the controllers watch in horror as, live on CNN, the plane crashes through the second tower of the World Trade Center. Sliney gives the order to ground all planes in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. The FAA soon receives word that American Flight 77 is missing, and all further departures are canceled as the air traffic controllers try to figure out what is going on. The Northeast Air Defense command center, which has received information that American Flight 77 is still in the air, asks the government to clarify the rules of engagement, but is not given authority to shoot the plane down. In the United 93 cockpit, the pilots see a message on the computer about planes hitting the World Trade Center. In the cabin, the passengers are eating breakfast when Naimi goes to Jarrah and urges him to take action. Jarrah nervously insists that the others wait for his sign, but Haznawi grows impatient and goes into the restroom with his flight bag. As the other men silently pray in their seats, Haznawi unwraps a large battery and bricks of modeling clay, then assembles what appears to be a bomb and straps it around his waist, zipping his jacket over it. After Haznawi returns to his seat at the rear of the cabin, Ghamdi grabs a flight attendant and holds a knife to her throat. Naimi then stabs a passenger as Haznawi rips off his jacket to reveal the bomb. In the ensuing chaos, Jarrah forces the flight attendant to open the door to the cockpit. Ghamdi stabs the pilot and copilot, and Jarrah takes control of the plane. As the air traffic controllers listen to the screaming and sounds of a struggle coming over the radio, Ghamdi kills the flight attendant and shuts the cockpit door. In the cabin, the terrified passengers are forced to the back of the plane and subdued by Naimi and Haznawi, who brandishes the loose wires from the bomb threateningly. After trying in vain to contact the cockpit, flight attendant Sandra Bradshaw calls United’s maintenance department and reports the hijacking. When the hijackers in the cockpit learn that the World Trade Center towers were hit, Ghamdi goes out to share the news with the other two. The passengers begin discreetly using their cellphones and the air phones on the back of the seats to call people on the ground and urge them to contact the authorities. As the flight attendants are tending to the wounded passenger, Sandra sees the hijackers drag the pilots’ bodies out of the cockpit. Some passengers overhear her say that the pilots are dead and tell people on the phone. CNN broadcasts a story about a plane crashing into the Pentagon, and the FAA bans all international flights from entering the country. On Flight 93, passengers on the phone with their loved ones learn that two planes have hit the World Trade Center, and that there has been an “explosion” at the Pentagon. The news quickly spreads throughout the cabin, and some of the passengers conclude that the hijacking is a suicide mission. Passenger Todd Beamer tells Sandra to find anything that could be used as a weapon, and she and the other flight attendants gather wine bottles, silverware, hot water and a fire extinguisher. Now aware of their fate, the passengers begin calling home to tell their families they love them. Several of the passengers form a plan to overpower the hijackers and take control of the plane, intending to get a passenger with some flight experience into the cockpit. Armed with the makeshift weapons the flight attendants have distributed, the passengers attack the hijackers, beating Haznawi with a fire extinguisher. The panicked Jarrah begins flying erratically, causing the plane to lurch violently. The passengers persevere, and after overpowering Naimi, they use a beverage cart to ram through the cockpit door. They struggle fiercely with Jarrah but cannot seize the controls quickly enough. The plane crashes to the ground in a field near Pennsylvania. +

Legend
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Offscreen Credit
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AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.