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Air Force One (1997)

aka Air Force One

"The fate of a nation rests on the courage of one man."

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 124 mins · English, Russian · R (USA)


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Small President James Marshall
Small Ivan Korshunov
Small Vice President Kathryn Bennett
Small Grace Marshall
Small Major Caldwell
Small General Ivan Radek
Small Prison Guard #2
Small Alice Marshall
Small Chief of Staff Lloyd 'Shep' Shepherd
Small Secret Service Agent Gibbs
Small Defense Secretary Walter Dean
No_movie_poster National Security Advisor Jack Doherty
No_movie_poster Deputy Press Secretary Melanie Mitchel
No_movie_poster Colonel Axelrod
No_movie_poster Lt. Colonel Ingraham
Small Andrei Kolchak
No_movie_poster Sergei Lenski
No_movie_poster Igor Nevsky
Small Boris Bazylev
No_movie_poster Vladimir Krasin
No_movie_poster Major Perkins


No_movie_poster Jerry Goldsmith Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Michael Ballhaus Director of Photography
No_movie_poster David V. Lester Executive Producer
Small Wolfgang Petersen Director
No_movie_poster Richard Francis-Bruce Editor
Small Marc Abraham Executive Producer
No_movie_poster Gail Katz Producer
No_movie_poster Armyan Bernstein Producer
No_movie_poster Andrew W. Marlowe Author
No_movie_poster Jonathan Shestack Producer
No_movie_poster Thomas A. Bliss Executive Producer
Small Wolfgang Petersen Production
No_movie_poster Richard Francis-Bruce Editing


"The fate of a nation rests on the courage of one man."

"Impenetrable. Invincible. In Trouble."

"Harrison Ford is the President of the United States."


An American and Russian joint military operation results in the capture of General Ivan Radek (Jürgen Prochnow), the dictator of a rogue terrorist regime in Kazakhstan that had taken possession of former Soviet nuclear weapons. Three weeks later, a diplomatic dinner is held in Moscow to celebrate the capture of the Kazakh dictator, at which President of the United States James Marshall (Harrison Ford) expresses his remorse that action had not been taken sooner to prevent the suffering that Radek caused. He also vows that his administration will take a firmer stance against despotism and that they will never negotiate with terrorists.

President Marshall, along with his wife Grace (Wendy Crewson), daughter Alice (Liesel Matthews), and several of his Cabinet and advisors, board Air Force One to return to the United States. U.S. Secret Service agent Gibbs (Xander Berkeley), acting as a mole for a group of six Radek loyalists led by the sadistic Egor Korshunov (Gary Oldman), sneaks them onto the plane disguised as journalists. Once in flight, Gibbs kills several Secret Service agents guarding the plane's armory, allowing Korshunov and his men to seize control of the plane. When the attackers start a firefight, the pilots attempt to land the plane at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. However, the pilots are killed, and the terrorists take control, diverting the plane towards Kazakhstan. Secret Service agents take Marshall to an escape pod in the cargo hold, while the rest of the passengers are taken hostage by the hijackers. Believing the President has escaped, the hijackers plan to use his wife and daughter as leverage.

At the White House Situation Room, Korshunov contacts Vice President Kathryn Bennett (Glenn Close), threatening to kill a hostage every half hour until Radek is released. Meanwhile, the U.S. military locates the escape pod but finds it empty. Unbeknownst to the hijackers, President Marshall, a retired military aviator, veteran of the Vietnam War, and Medal of Honor recipient, stayed aboard the plane to rescue everybody. He contacts the White House via satellite phone, reminding Bennett not to negotiate with the terrorists. The hijackers request mid-air refueling after Marshall forces a fuel dump and secures the hostages. Marshall sends a fax to the White House, instructing the tanker to force the plane low enough for the hostages to parachute to safety. When Korshunov discovers the deception, he forces the plane away from the refueling tanker, causing the fuel to ignite and destroy the tanker. He captures Marshall and the remaining advisors before they escape.

With Marshall and his family held hostage, Bennett is forced to contact Russian President Petrov to endorse Radek's release. Korshunov and his men celebrate as the event is broadcast over the plane's speakers, and Marshall escapes. While Marshall's advisers deal with the remaining terrorists, Korshunov takes Grace to the plane's parachute ramp, and dumps the remaining parachutes. Marshall arrives, and the two fight. Korshunov loses his weapon, and is garrotted with the parachute chord. Marshall then belays his earlier request to release Radek, who is killed attempting to flee custody.

Marshall directs Air Force One towards friendly airspace unaware that MiG-29s piloted by Radek loyalists follow them. Escorting U.S. F-15s counterattack, but the shrapnel from explosions, and machine gun rounds, destroys Air Force One's tail controls, rendering landing impossible. Marshall pilots Air Force One out toward the Caspian Sea to prevent civilian casualties, and a nearby patrolling U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command MC-130E Combat Talon is called in to rescue Marshall and the others via zip-line. After his family's evacuation, Marshall, Gibbs, and Major Caldwell (William H. Macy) remain on the plane, with time for only one to be rescued. Caldwell tells Marshall to go, but Gibbs pulls a gun, kills Major Caldwell and a PJ, and attempts to save himself on the last remaining zip-line. Marshall overpowers him, attaches himself to the line, and unhooks it from the plane before it crashes into the water. The MC-130E crew reel in the President, and Marshall is reunited with his family.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1997-07-25 : United States of America

DVD : 1998-02-01

DVD : 1998-02-10