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DAVID JANSSEN SOARS IN 'BIRDS OF PREY' WITH RALPH MEEKER

Top of the vintage video classic of the David Janssen television movie BIRDS OF PREY Year: 1973
David Janssen’s Harry Walker isn’t your typical helicopter traffic reporter. A former World War II fighter pilot, Walker listens to jazz and can’t let go of the past. He meets up with former war buddy Jim McAndrew’s, played by Ralph Meeker, and they couldn’t be more different...

McAndrews, the town sheriff who literally wears patriotism on his sleeve, lives comfortably behind a newfangled computer while Walker remains in the air, and doesn’t have much purpose except for those daily reports until a bank robbery occurs that he witnesses during a routine flight.
David Janseen as Harry Walker in BIRDS OF PREY aka DUELL DER HELICOPTER Rates: ***1/2
The helicopter chase between Walker and three lean bearded athletic bad guys (played by real stunt men/stunt pilots), who wear shades and hardly speak a word, is one for the books, and is a cool, slowburn corner of 1970's Genre-Crime...

In one scene a helicopter tails a car... leading to a copter verses copter chase that gets slightly derailed when, during the forty-five minute mark, Walker rescues the young female hostage...
Classic era actor Ralph Meeker co-stars as cop Jim McAndrew in BIRDS OF PREY
And then, holed up in a cave, we learn about our maverick hero’s inner workings too much, and for too long in a melancholy third act conversation more suited to the stage than small screen...

But when things kick back into gear, and Walker chases the bad guys to an empty airstrip, you’ll forget there was ever a lull in this fast-paced made-for-TV action/adventure that, with a dash of Film Noir, you’ll want to see again and again – if not for those aerial shots alone.
David Janseen in BIRDS OF PREY aka Duell der Helikopter with Elayne Heilveil
The helicopter from BIRDS OF PREY
Opening credits of BIRDS OF PREY aka Duell der Helikopter
Opening credits of BIRDS OF PREY aka Duell der Helikopter
Opening credits of BIRDS OF PREY aka Duell der Helikopter
Opening credits of BIRDS OF PREY aka Duell der Helikopter
Opening credits of BIRDS OF PREY aka Duell der Helikopter
Groovy bad guys (real life stunt men fliers) in BIRDS OF PREY
David Janssen and Ralph Meeker in BIRDS OF PREY
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