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Birds of Prey (1973) DVD

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Product Description

Birds of Prey (1973)

Director:

 William A. Graham

Writers:

 Robert Boris (screenplay), Robert Boris (story)

Stars:

 David Janssen, Ralph Meeker, Elayne Heilveil
 
Harry Walker (David Janssen) is a helicopter traffic reporter in Salt Lake City who's never quite gotten over the time he spent flying during World War II -- a former combat pilot, he sees the world passing him by amid complacency and his own life reduced to boredom and bittersweet nostalgia for the best of times, when he was working for a cause that mattered (and therewere causes that mattered). He chances on a brutal armored car robbery and helps the police give chase, and suddenly finds himself in the thick of the action when the robbers -- who have taken a woman hostage -- switch from a getaway car to a chopper. And when the getaway chopper tries to ram him, that's all it takes to get Walker into a cross-country aerial pursuit into the Utah desert in a duel to the death. 

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Product Reviews

  1. GREAT AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY!!! 4 Star Review

    Posted by on Sep 10th 2016

    WAS STATIONED IN UTAH IN THE USAF WHEN THEY FILMED THIS. WISH I WOULD'VE KNOWN THEN, SO AS TO CATCH A GLIMPSE OF THE FILMING. ENJOYED THE FILM BECAUSE OF THE CHOPPER FLYING/PHOTOGRAPHY, THE FACT THAT I'M FAMILIAR WITH MOST OF THE AREAS USED IN THE FILM, AND HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED THE WORK OF THE LATE DAVID JANSSEN. ALSO, IT'S THE ONLY FILM I'VE SEEN ELAYNE HEILVEIL IN SINCE A 1975 EPISODE (S5E6) OF THE T.V. SERIES, "EMERGENCY!". AND WHO CAN FORGET THE LATE RALPH MEEKER, WHO, BESIDES HIS MOVIES, APPEARED IN COUNTLESS T.V. SERIES THAT I GREW UP WATCHING. ALL IN ALL, I'VE REALLY ENJOYED WATCHING THIS FILM AND ADDING IT TO MY VIDEO LIBRARY.


  2. WWII Veterans vs NAM Veterans...in civvies in 1973 ! 4 Star Review

    Posted by on Sep 27th 2015

    This movie was made for TV by CBS for their own series of weekly first-run films on Tuesday( or was it Thursday) nights during the early to mid 1970s. This adventure/drama was filmed in 1973, on location in and around Salt Lake City, Utah. There are two veteran stars; Ralph Meeker Hollywood tough guy of the 1950-60s era, and; David Janssen, TV and Movie star, best known for the hit series "THE FUGITIVE" in the mid-60s. Janssen has top billing as a former WWII Flying Tiger pilot twenty five years on in a career flying anything with wings, suffering two failed marriages, and now a lowly traffic reporter helicopter pilot for radio station KBEX of Salt Lake City. Meeker is a former pilot buddy of Walker who has made a career as a police officer. The two pick with each out he over nostalgia..Walker hangs on to the past..his best memories..while his friend has put those things behind him and embraced the modern technology of computers and police science..of 1973 anyhow!
    The plot is pretty simple beyond this background...in the course of his duties as a traffic reporter, Walker witnesses the robbery of an armored bank car and taking of a female bank employ as a hostage. As they escape in an automobile, he gives aerial directions to police units in pursuit. Until that is, the criminals transfer to a helicopter to escape the police ground units. They just did not include a former fighter pilot in his helicopter getting involved ! NOW the ACTION begins! The aerial photography is great..especially for the days before computer generated effects. That's really two helicopters buzzing about the buildings in the city and the chase continues out into the desert lands and canyons of Utah. All in color. And the photography from the choppers clearly shows that the stars are actually in the flying machines in the air, not hanging in front of a green screen effects background! This movie has long been on the list of aviation fans as "The Helicopter Movie"...and not available to North American viewers since the early 80s on hard to find VHS cassettes. Until "BLUE THUNDER" came along in 1984, there was no other movie with such action. In my opinion, "BT" was a fitting sequel to this film. I saw it only twice on TV in the 70s, and searched for years to no avail, till ZEUS DVDS obtained a copy. A pretty good copy, seeing it was mastered from a copy of an original 35mm film that was around thirty years old. You can see where the commercials were once intended to be inserted- but they are not here, so it's not a dub from a broadcast showing.
    Wrapping up, of course Harry saves the day, but the plot has a few twists and jogs in it with a conclusion that fits it well! One slight complaint about this version of the movie..the opening music, Big Band of the 30s-40s, has been altered from the original....hey, I really liked the film, so I remembered the music! The uninitiated viewer would not notice, but you might notice star David Janssen singing along to the original music, "Three Little Fishies".....not to the jazzy instrumental we hear! Later in the chase over the desert lands we hear it again..and again Walker is singing to the wrong song! I suspect it might have been a royalties/licensing thing after 40 some years. $$ ALWAYS TALK$ !
    Hey, that just bothered me...if you like chase, cops and robbers, and aviation films, this will fit your pistol, just fine!



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