Air Force One (film)

Air Force One (film)

Infobox Film
name = Air Force One

image_size = 215px
caption =
director = Wolfgang Petersen
producer = Executive Producers:
Marc Abraham
Thomas A. Bliss
David V. Lester
Armyan Bernstein
Gail Katz
Wolfgang Petersen
Jonathan Shestack
writer = Andrew W. Marlowe
starring = Harrison Ford
Gary Oldman
Glenn Close
music = Jerry Goldsmith
editing = Richard Francis-Bruce
cinematographer = Michael Ballhaus
distributor = Columbia Pictures(USA)
Buena Vista International (non-USA)
released = 25 July 1997
runtime = 125 minutes
country = FilmUS
language = English
budget = $85,000,000 "(est.)"
gross =
imdb_id = 0118571

"Air Force One" is a 1997 action thriller film starring Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman, and featuring Glenn Close, Wendy Crewson and William H. Macy. It was directed by Wolfgang Petersen and written by Andrew W. Marlowe.


While on a visit to Moscow, President James Marshall announces in a speech that the United States will not negotiate with terrorists, three weeks after an operation in which U.S. and Russian special forces captured tyrannical leader of Kazakhstan General Radek. With his visit to Moscow complete, the President is now on his way home to Washington, D.C. aboard Air Force One. Unknown to security, Soviet neo-nationalists posing as a news crew have infiltrated the plane, and one of the President's Secret Service agents, Gibbs, is in league with the terrorists.

Once the plane is aloft, Gibbs kills three fellow agents before opening the on-board weapons locker. The terrorists, controlled by Ivan Korshunov frantically grab weapons and search the plane for Marshall, killing many passengers. They then take the remaining crew (White House Chief of Staff Lloyd Shepard, Military Advisor Major Caldwell, National Security Advisor Jack Doherty, and Marshall's wife and daughter) hostage. The flight crew declare an emergency and prepare to land at Ramstein Air Base. The President is evacuated to an escape pod by numerous Secret Service agents, who are all gunned down. After inspecting terrorists assume he has escaped in the deployed pod, they all head to the cockpit. Surprisingly, Marshall comes out of hiding and retreats to the baggage deck. Meanwhile, the terrorists kill the pilots and take control of the plane, which takes off again to the surprise of the standby Ramstein ground crew and security forces.

In Washington, Vice President Kathryn Bennett arrives at the White House, assessing the situation alongside Secretary of Defense Walter Dean and other officials. They soon learn that Marshall did not board the escape pod and could be either dead, a hostage, or hiding somewhere onboard. The terrorists call the Vice President, demand the release of General Radek and threaten to begin executing hostages one by one every half an hour. This threat is soon realized when Security Advisor Doherty is executed after Bennett calls to report that Russian President Petrov will not release Radek, but tells Bennett he would do so only to save the President.

Still on the baggage deck and having already killed one terrorist, Marshall finds a satellite phone. While Marshall is attempting to call the White House, a second terrorist finds and detains him. The call nevertheless reaches the Situation Room. Marshall manages to covertly order an attack on Air Force One so he can subdue the terrorist, explaining that the airplane's countermeasures would sharply turn the plane (and knock his assailant off balance). The plan works, and Marshall attempts a fuel dump to land the plane. Recognizing the presence of someone on the baggage deck (the terrorists assume him to be a Secret Service agent), Korshunov executes White House Press Secretary Melanie Mitchell in an effort to force Marshall's surrender. While two of the terrorists attempt to restore the fuel controls, Marshall slips by and subdues another terrorist, using his keys to free the hostages. Major Caldwell proposes a ruse whereby an aerial refueling tanker could force Air Force One to an altitude that permits parachuting from the rear of the plane. The idea is put into action and most of the hostages escape with parachutes, but the tanker explodes when the terrorists discover the evacuation at the rear of the plane, stranding Caldwell, Shepard and Gibbs (all of whom insisted on staying with the President after Marshall refused to leave without his family). President Marshall and his family are all then captured and taken to Korshunov.

Korshunov abuses the President and then convinces him to call Petrov to secure Radek's release by threatening his daughter. In Washington, Dean persuades the Cabinet to sign a letter declaring President Marshall incapacitated in accordance with the 25th Amendment, but Bennett refuses to sign it. As Radek's release is prepared, Marshall and the hostages free themselves and kill the remaining terrorists, but Korshunov captures the First Lady and shoots at the President. Shepard saves him by blocking the bullets with his body while Korshunov flees to the parachute ramp. In a vicious fight, Marshall manages to eject Korshunov from the aircraft by deploying his parachute while a static line is wound around his neck, fatally breaking it. Marshall then calls Petrov moments before Radek's release, and the prison guards gun down the former general as he flees.

Kazakh MiG-29 fighter jets loyal to Radek soon reach Air Force One and inflict serious damage to its engines in retaliation. US F-15 fighters intercept and fend off the hostile aircraft, shooting down several. Although one of the US fighters sacrifices itself to save Air Force One from a missile, heavy damage is inflicted on the plane from enemy fire, rendering it unlandable. An air-to-air flying fox rescue from a C-130 is hastily arranged, but before the evacuation can be completed, the damaged plane begins a rapid descent with Marshall, Caldwell, and Gibbs still aboard. Marshall insists on rescuing his family and the wounded Shepard before he evacuates the plane. Once it is the President's turn to leave, Gibbs drops all pretense, killing Caldwell and the Air Force parajumper, and attempts to secure his exit at the President's expense. Marshall fights with Gibbs and escapes on the zip line, leaving a despairing, screaming and crying Gibbs aboard the doomed VC-25 as it crashes into the Caspian Sea. The C-130 announces that it is changing call signs to Air Force One (indicating the president is aboard), and the film ends with the plane flying towards safety with the First Family aboard and the return of USAF F-15 Eagle jets.


* Harrison Ford - President of the United States James Marshall
* Gary Oldman - Egor Korshunov
* Glenn Close - Vice President of the United States Kathryn Bennett
* Wendy Crewson - First Lady Grace Marshall
* Liesel Matthews - First Daughter Alice Marshall
* Paul Guilfoyle - White House Chief of Staff Lloyd Shepherd
* Xander Berkeley - Agent Gibbs
* William H. Macy - Major Caldwell
* Dean Stockwell - Secretary of Defense Walter Dean
* Tom Everett - National Security Advisor Jack Doherty
* Jürgen Prochnow - General Ivan Radek
* Donna Bullock - Press Secretary Melanie Mitchell
* Michael Ray Miller - Colonel Axelrod
* Tim Allen (cameo) - Russian Prison Warden
* Carl Weintraub - Lieutenant Colonel Ingraham
* Alan Woolf - President of Russian Federation Petrov


Air Force One received generally positive reviews from critics. The performance of Gary Oldman was praised, claimed as "flawless and menacing. " [ [ Air Force One Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes ] ] [ [ Air Force One (1997): Reviews<-- Bot generated title -->] ] It was a major box office success, earning $172,650,002 (54.9%) at the U.S and $142,200,000 (45.1%) in other countries. It grossed a total of $315,156,409 worldwide in the box office. [ [ Air Force One - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information - The Numbers ] ]

President Bill Clinton saw the film twice and gave it good reviews. He noted, however, that certain elements of the film's plane, such as the escape pod and the rear parachute ramp, did not reflect actual features of Air Force One. [ The Dark Side of Gary Oldman. "Air Force One (1997)" ] Because the exact details and features of the plane are highly classified, this cannot be confirmed.


Randy Newman was initially hired to write the film score; however, his version was considered by Petersen to be almost a parody, and Jerry Goldsmith was commissioned to write and record a more sombre and patriotic score in just twelve days (with an assist from Joel McNeely). [ [ Jonathan Broxton, "Air Force One" (rejected score) (review) from "Movie Music U.K.," 1998.] ] [ [ "Air Force One" (rejected score)" (review) from "Soundtrack Express," 1998.] ] After the harried experience, Goldsmith vowed never again to take on such a last-minute task. [ [ Christian Clemmensen, "Air Force One" (review) from "Film Tracks," 1997.] ]


External links

* [ "Air Force One"] Movie Gallery at []
* [ "Air Force One" Script] at [ Daily Script]
* [ Ivan Korshunov] character information at [ Villain]
* [ Air Force One as Political Communication]

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