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THIS IS A HIJACK AKA HIJACK

1973 rating: ***
Although it’s the underrated Adam Roarke who, as an unlucky gambler owing bundles to the mob, comes up with the plan to hijack a private jet owned by his ball-busting billionaire employer, it’s the classic heavy Neville Brand who not only steals the show, but heads the hijacking that involves the bullying of rich snobs, and a lot of other sometimes unintentionally hilarious moments taking away from the contained intensity that might have merited a better film.

Brand makes each hostage sing children songs to make them look idiotic, and forcefully seduces their beautiful girlfriends. All the while, Roarke remains the more calculating hijacker, just wanting the plane, which is sought after by the bullet-giddy FBI down below, to land safely. And Lynn Borden plays Roarke’s girlfriend: it’s great seeing the duo from FROGS and DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY together again in a guilty pleasure that gets too sidetracked with eccentric personalities, often putting the titular heist to the background... Yet it’s still entertaining from start to finish, abandoning the mainstream thriller template for that of a gritty exploitation and ultimately synergizing into a combination of both.
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