Tough, but troubled Captain Pete Douglass (the always dependable David Janssen in sturdy stalwart form) has his hands full dealing with both a fierce snow storm and dangerous convict Greco (delightfully overplayed with lip-smacking maniacal relish by Marjoe Gortner), who's being transported to prison on board Douglass's passenger jet.
Director Robert Butler keeps the entertaining story moving along at a brisk pace and generates a good deal of tension. The overwrought script by Austin Ferguson, Dick Nelson, and Andrew J. Fenady piles on the cheesy melodrama something thick: Douglass's sick wife undergoes an operation at a hospital for a possibly cancerous tumor, cantankerous disgraced doctor Joseph Manheim (a wonderfully grouchy and dynamic portrayal by Ray Milland) gets a chance to redeem himself, and so on. The bang-up cast of familiar faces helps a lot, with especially stand-out work from Christopher George as macho copilot Stan Burkhart, Don Meredith as happy-go-lucky cowboy engineer Mike Fuller, Lynda Day George as spunky senior stewardess Kathy Armello, Margaret Blythe as Stan's sweet old flame Susan MacKenzie, Broderick Crawford as the rugged, but ailing Marshal Riese, Christopher Norris as eager rookie stewardess Cindy Nelsen, and Hari Rhodes as the noble Belson. Richard Markowitz's crisp cinematography provides a pleasing polished look. William P. Jurgensen's robust score hits the rousing spot. A fun flick.
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