‘Skyjacked’ still flies high

Screenshot from the main title of the 1972 movie Skyjacked shows a Boeing 707-373C airliner gracefully banking to the right above a cloud bank.
A Boeing 707-373C receives screen credit in the “Skyjacked” main title.

I watched “Skyjacked” last night for the first time since I saw the film in 1972 — and it holds up amazingly well. The aerial cinematography almost puts it in the same league as “Strategic Air Command.” Indeed, the Boeing 707 pretty much is the film’s co-star, its soaring shape ideally suited to the wide Panavision aspect ratio.

“Skyjacked” shuns effects shots, except for a few rear-projection setups. As a result, its overall feel is much more realistic than even the original “Airport,” which suffered from comedically obvious aircraft miniatures made painfully apparent in 70mm Todd-AO.

National Guard F-100s in Russian paintjobs fill in for MiGs.