Shepherd (John Quentin), an anarchist, saboteur and murderer, and his three accomplices are besieged by police in the British embassy in a Scandinavian country where they are holding the Ambassador and two of his servants as hostages.
The British Military Attache, Captain Barnes (Jeffry Wickham), receives a demand from the kidnappers for the release of six gunmen being held in an English prison, plus air transport to a secret dropping zone, all of which Barnes agrees to.
At a nearby airport, a Boeing airliner is coming in to land. Four passengers, led by Ray Petrie (Ian McShane), hijack the aircraft and hold all crew and passengers hostage. The pilot (Norman Bristow) deliberately skids the aircraft during his landing, buckling the wheels and making a lengthy repair job necessary.
Colonel Tahlvik (Sean Connery), Head of National Security, is put in charge of operations and subjected to intense pressure from all sides to give in to the hijackers’ demands and allow the kidnappers safe conduct to the airport. But he is entirely opposed to allowing them to get away with their act of terrorism.
The suspense becomes needle-sharp as Tahlvik manoeuvres his hazardous and painstaking operation trying to save the lives of the crew, the passengers, and the Ambassador (who is already living on borrowed time owing to his weak heart).
The photography is outstanding, especially during the mid-air chase involving two small aircraft as they race between snow-capped mountains and fjords.
The aircraft in the hijacking is a Boeing 737-200 in the livery of Mey-Air – a Norwegian charter airline owned by and named after the owner, Norwegian finance expert and shipping magnate, Hans Otto Meyer.
Knut M. Hansson
Frimann Falck Clausen