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(aka "Sky Terror" )


directed by John Guillermin
USA 19

Hank O’Hara is as good a pilot as they come. He knows how to handle an airliner in turbulent skies. How to settle the big bird down like a baby put to bed. But now he faces the unexpected. He’s been Skyjacked.

Charlton Heston plays O’Hara, leading a top cast in a thriller from the era of big edge-of-your-seat disaster films like The Poseidon Adventure and Earthquake. John Guillermin (The Towering Inferno) directs, escalating the tension in a story about a deranged war vet (James Brolin) who demands that a Minneapolis-bound flight make a slight detour – to Moscow. All that stands between the terrified passengers and doom is the steely resolve of Captain O’Hara. And moment after moment of nerve-shattering suspense.


One of the first of many '70s disaster films, Skyjacked (1972) puts together what would soon become the traditional ensemble cast--former film and TV stars who are subjected to all kinds of horrific situations. In this case, passengers who think they're bound for Minneapolis are actually heading for the Iron Curtain, thanks to a deranged soldier, James Brolin (Capricorn One, 1978), who gives, quite possibly, the performance of his career (which isn't saying much). With Charlton Heston as the captain (of course), you know you're about to fly into one hell of an over-the-top drama. Yvette Mimieux (Dark of the Sun) is head stewardess and the captain's erstwhile lover, Walter Pidgeon is the senator, pro-footballer Roosevelt (Rosie) Grier is a cellist and Susan Dey (The Partridge Family, 1970-'74) is a hippie girl. It's a who's who of '70s pop culture--and they're all about to assume crash positions.

The film is a surprisingly suspenseful one and also delivers a number of surreal flashbacks from the vet's twisted mind that seem straight out of a Frank Tashlin (The Girl Can't Help It, 1956) film or a paranoid fantasy like The Manchurian Candidate, (1962). Skyjacked's director, John Guillermin, went on to do another key disaster film with The Towering Inferno (1974), but his knack for aerial photography was no doubt learned in large part on The Blue Max (1966).

 Excerpt from TCM located HERE


Television Premiere: May 24th, 1972


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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:40:57

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.45 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles English, English (SDH), French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: September 13th, 2017
Keep Case

Chapters 38





Wow - another 70s disaster-related flic with a stacked cast! Skyjacked has Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, James Brolin, Claude Akins, Jeanne Crain, Susan Dey, Roosevelt "Rosie" Grier, Mariette Hartley, Walter Pidgeon, John Hillerman, John Fiedler. It's not too bad... Heston carries the load as the granite-jawed leader, Brolin the soldier-looney and some decent support all around. Perhaps Hartley having her baby on-board was a bit over the top. There is some Airport-style tension.

It's standard single-layered disc but progressive and anamorphic in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and looks dull but consistent. This is labeled under the Warner's "Archive Collection" marquee and the image is somewhat faded but detail is reasonable for the format. Contrast is modest but supports the presentation. Decent enough for SD. 

The lossy audio is equally decent supporting the Perry Botkin Jr. score that exports some drama augmenting the film's suspense. There are optional subtitles offered (see sample). No supplements at all.

If you are in the mood for this and/or haven't seen it - it might be up your alley. I enjoyed it - it's no masterpiece but a solid 70's entry with an amazing cast. Hey, you could do much worse!  

  - Gary Tooze


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Region 0 - NTSC


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