Buy Now: BIRDS OF PREY
In 1973, American filmmaker William A. Graham directed a television film called Birds of Prey. The action movie centers around former WWII fighter pilot Harry Walker who now works as a helicopter traffic reporter and is clearly disinterested in his job. But his monotonous lifestyle will soon be challenged and Walker will welcome it with open arms. While in the air, he witnesses a bank robbery that he immediately reports to police captain and his former brother in arms Jim "Mac" McAndrew (Walker calls him McAndrews) who is in disbelief at first, suspecting Walker of pranking him. That turns out to be incentive enough for Walker to take matters into his own hands.
What follows is a thoroughly thrilling chase. And while the robbers may change their means of transportation, Walker never ceases to be behind them every step of the way. David Janssen (who starred in the tv show The Fugitive) delivers one of his finest performances as Walker, whose relationship with McAndrew (Ralph Meeker) forms the emotional core of Graham’s fast-paced movie. With a screenplay written by Robert Boris, Birds of Prey is a prime example of making an impressive action film shot on location on a small budget in a pre-CGI era, featuring helicopter stunts that were seemingly impossible to pull off. But pull them off they did and the result is astounding.