Air Force One (1997)

R   |    |  Action, Drama, Thriller

Air Force One (1997) Poster

Communist Radicals hijack Air Force One with The U.S. President and his family on board. The Vice President negotiates from Washington D.C., while the President, a Veteran, fights to rescue the hostages on board.

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  • Harrison Ford and Wolfgang Petersen at an event for Air Force One (1997)
  • Harrison Ford at an event for Air Force One (1997)
  • Harrison Ford at an event for Air Force One (1997)
  • Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman in Air Force One (1997)
  • Harrison Ford at an event for Air Force One (1997)
  • Harrison Ford in Air Force One (1997)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Wolfgang Petersen


Andrew W. Marlowe

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User Reviews

16 July 2002 | bob the moo
The way America wishes they were
During a flight, Air Force One is taken over by terrorists. The security forces rush the president to the escape pod but he stays to help his family. However with the terrorists making great demands and starting to kill hostages on the plane the President has to make contact with the ground but also take on the terrorists.

It's not an original idea – Die Hard on a plane. But hang on we've done Die Hard on a plane at least a few times in Passenger 57 and Executive Decision so how can we do it again? By putting it on air force one of course. So the President becomes John McClane and Gary Oldman is the usual Brit playing Euro-trash terrorist. The difference between this and Die Hard is that here the action is a lot more stilted and underplayed – which is a surprise for an action movie. However it does manage to have a good tension so it's still good.

It adds interest by having the action in the ground along with the political fighting in the White House over control of the situation. It isn't an earth shattering script but it is good enough to get you carried away easily. The only downside is that you can nearly always see where the formula is going at any one time.

The cast is good and is deep. Ford has the age to play a President but the action status to give him that fighting edge. Oldman is no stranger to hamming up his bad guys and doing iffy accents and here turns in a so-so performance as a cartoon terrorist. The support cast is good – even if they have little to do. Glenn Close, Dean Stcokwell et al don't have much to do but talk loud but do it well. Macy, Berkeley, Prochnow and other big names add weight but have few lines.

Overall this is a big Hollywood blockbuster that no doubt helped America feel good about itself. It sticks close to the formula but the action is slick and quite tense and makes for an enjoyable, if unoriginal, 2 hours.

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Did You Know?


Kevin Costner, who was originally supposed to lead the film, made his start in films as a regular of director Lawrence Kasdan, appearing in Silverado (1985) and as the body in The Big Chill (1983). Harrison Ford's breakthrough roles were written by Kasdan: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).


Major Perkins: Quick head count! One, two, three, four, five. Move out!


They show the fax being sent and arriving at the fax machine at the White House, but it shows no one seeing it or it being passed along to members of the Cabinet. However, this was for dramatic effect, and presumably, someone read the fax off camera after the scene cut away.

Crazy Credits

Per Marshall's comment to her, the aide who helps him with the fax machine (portrayed by Messiri Freeman) is listed in the credits as "Future Postmaster General".

Alternate Versions

The US TV version is edited for content, including: the opening scene has less shots of Russians being shot, the scene where Gibbs shoots three secret service agents is at a different angle (the camera is on him the entire time, instead of showing bullets hitting the agents), a terrorist wacking a secret service agent in the face with his weapon, Egor shooting a communications officer, Egor shooting the co-pilot (no blood), Egor shooting Doherty, Marshall breaking one of the terrorists' neck (removed completely), Egor's death (his neck doesn't snap), Radek's death (we never actually see him getting shot), the PJ's death (it's framed so there's no blood splattering on the wall), Caldwell's death (it's framed so we don't see blood), and numerous swearing.


Written by
Eugène Pottier (as Eugene Pottier) and Pierre Degeyter


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Action | Drama | Thriller

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