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Victory at Entebbe (1976)

In 1976, terrorists hijack an Air France airplane, and divert it to Uganda, where they demand to exchange their hostages for fellow terrorists held in Israeli jails.


Marvin J. Chomsky (as Marvin Chomsky)


Ernest Kinoy
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Helmut Berger ... Wilfried Böse
Linda Blair ... Chana Vilnofsky
Kirk Douglas ... Hershel Vilnofsky
Richard Dreyfuss ... Colonel Yonatan 'Yonni' Netanyahu
Helen Hayes ... Etta Grossman-Wise
Burt Lancaster ... Shimon Peres
Elizabeth Taylor ... Edra Vilnofsky
Theodore Bikel ... Yakov Shlomo
David Groh ... Benjamin Wise
Anthony Hopkins ... Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Christian Marquand ... Captain Dukas
Jessica Walter ... Nomi Haroun
Harris Yulin ... General Dan Shomron
Allan Miller ... Nathan Haroun
Bibi Besch ... German Woman
Learn more

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An Air France airplane is hijacked by the P.L.O. due the large number of Israeli and Jewish passengers. We follow the action both with the hostages as they cope with confinement and threatened death, and the Israeli cabinet and military that must try to get them out. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They considered every possibility - and then did the impossible ! See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


It was in production at about the same time as Raid on Entebbe (1976), another television production about the same incident. The shows aired on American television less than a month apart. See more »


Shimon Peres continually mispronounces Yonatan Netanyahu's nickname. It's Yoni with a long o to rhyme with Joanie. He pronounces it to rhyme with Johnny. See more »


[Mrs. Wise is staring at one of the terrorists]
Benjamin Wise: Mother, you have to sit around for the take-off.
Etta Grossman-Wise: He has a box.
Benjamin Wise: Who has?
Etta Grossman-Wise: It's tinned. It's between his feet. It says dates. Why would anyone travel with a box of dates? You could carry anything in that box: a gun, a bomb...
Benjamin Wise: Mother!
Etta Grossman-Wise: We should have travelled El Al.
Benjamin Wise: They were all booked.
Etta Grossman-Wise: I don't like Athens.
Benjamin Wise: I know. Very bad security in Athens.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1998 VHS release from Warner brothers cuts out 60 minutes of footage. See more »


Version of Raid on Entebbe (1976) See more »

User Reviews

Famous event about flight from Tel-Aviv to Paris via Athens was hijacked and forced to land in Entebbe with very good cast
24 October 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is one of 3 American/Jewish productions based on the notorious happening . Passable though a little boring dramatization based on a true story about a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by commandos of the Israel Defense Forces . An Air France flight is hijacked by the PFLP and German terrorists (Helmut Berger , Bibi Besch) the plane has about 100 Jewish passengers. This is the true as well as exciting story of a daring Israeli commando assault on the Entebbe Airport in Uganda to free hostages of a terrorist hijacking . The plane is grounded in Uganda but Israelis would not negotiate . Crew and passengers were kidnapped by dictator Idia Amin (this version Julius Harris plays Ugandan dictator Idi Amin) . The Jewish passengers were separated and held hostage in demand to release many terrorists held in Israeli prisons . The movie then shows how less than 500 soldiers (led by Colonel Yonatan 'Yonni' Netanyahu : Richard Dreyfuss ,he was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, the future Israeli prime minister) actually flew so far and rescued the passengers in one of the most successful Military operations in history. The implacable operation is executed by expert Israeli commandos , they carry out the rescue of passengers held hostage by terrorist at Uganda's Entebbe Airport in 1976 . The world watched , The world waited , and then the world cheered . The film is based on the true facts and follows the events since the flight's takeoff and until the hostages' return to Israel.

A compelling but slow-moving actioner all the more gripping because true . It is packed with thrills , drama , suspense and nice interpretations . The commander of the Israeli paratroopers, Lt Col Yonatan Netanyahu was the only member of the platoon to die during the actual raid when he was struck in the back by a sniper's bullet. All main star cast gives passable acting as well as support cast , such as : Helen Hayes , Elizabeth Taylor , Theodore Bikel , Anthony Hopkins , Linda Blair , Christian Marquand , Jessica Walter , Harris Yulin and Bibi Besch . Brief appearance by two great actors Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster as Shimon Peres . This is sixth of seven films that Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster made together . Special mention to actor Julius W Harris , he is awesome though overacting , he plays Ugandan President Idi Amin . Actor Godfrey Cambridge was selected to the play the role of General Idi Amin Dada, but died on the set from a heart attack early in the filming , then Julius took over the part , in the other production, "Raid on Entebbe (1977)," Yaphet Kotto plays Idi Amin. Both these actors played the Villains in the James Bond film "Live and Let Die (1973)" , Kotto the head villain and Harris his henchman . The motion picture was professionally directed by Marvin Chomsky (Holocaust)but in TV style . This is one of 3 American/Jewish productions based on the known deeds . The shows aired on American TV less than a month apart. It was in production at about the same time as Raid on Entebbe (1976) , another TV production about the same incident filmed by Irvin Kershner with Charles Bronson , Yaphet Kotto , Martin Balsam , Horst Buchholz , John Saxon , Jack Warden and Sylvia Sidney . Furthermore , Jewish production titled ¨Operation Thunderbolt¨ by Menahem Golan with Assaf Dayan , Klaus Kinski and Sybil Danning .

The picture is well based on real events , they are the followings : Operation Entebbe was a mission carried out by commandos of the Israel Defense Forces (I(IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on 4 July 1976. A week earlier, on 27 June, an Air France plane with 248 passengers was hijacked, by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Revolutionary Cells, and flown to Entebbe, the main airport of Uganda. The local government supported the hijackers and dictator Idi Amin personally welcomed them. The hijackers separated the Israelis and Jews from the larger group and forced them into another room. That afternoon, 47 non-Israeli hostages were released. The next day, 101 more non-Israeli hostages were allowed to leave on board an Air France aircraft. More than 100 Israeli and Jewish passengers, along with the non-Jewish pilot Captain Bacos, remained as hostages and were threatened with death .The IDF acted on intelligence provided by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad . This threat led to the planning of the rescue operation. These plans included preparation for armed resistance from Ugandan military troops.The operation took place at night. Israeli transport planes carried 100 commandos over 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to Uganda for the rescue operation. The operation, which took a week of planning, lasted 90 minutes. 102 hostages were rescued. Five Israeli commandos were wounded and one, the unit commander, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, was killed. All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed, and thirty Soviet-built MiG-17s and MiG-21s of Uganda's air force were destroyed. Kenyan sources supported Israel, and in the aftermath of the operation Idi Amin issued orders to retaliate and slaughter several hundred Kenyans present in Uganda. Operation Entebbe, which had the military codename Operation Thunderbolt, is sometimes referred to retroactively as Operation Jonathan in memory of the unit's leader, Yonatan Netanyahu. He was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister of Israel. The narrator of the film states at the end of the film that it's unknown what happened to Dora Bloch -played by Sylvia Sidney-, who had been taken to the hospital. It was later learned that she was murdered in Kampala. Her remains were found outside of Kampala in 1979 and were flown to Israel for burial.

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Release Date:

13 December 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Victory at Entebbe See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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