A Thousand Heroes

  • 1994
  • 1 HR 35 MIN
  • NR
  • Disaster, Docudrama

A THOUSAND HEROES is a behind-the-scenes retelling of the real-life disaster of United Airlines Flight 232, the Denver-to-Chicago 747 hop that went awry somewhere in the skies over Iowa. Shot in 1992, this routine made-for-television movie focuses almost exclusively on ground crew activity. Gary Brown (Richard Thomas), a maverick fire official in Sioux...read more

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A THOUSAND HEROES is a behind-the-scenes retelling of the real-life disaster of United Airlines Flight 232, the Denver-to-Chicago 747 hop that went awry somewhere in the skies over Iowa. Shot in 1992, this routine made-for-television movie focuses almost exclusively on ground crew

activity.

Gary Brown (Richard Thomas), a maverick fire official in Sioux City, Iowa, is seeking to consolidate civil defense programs, local fire departments, and Air National Guard disaster relief efforts into a single coordinated plan to deal with major acts of God. Although he's labeled a media hog and

political turncoat by old-boy hard-liners, his fortunes change in a one-on-one confrontation with National Guard honcho Jim Hathaway (James Coburn). Brown persuades Hathaway to join him in an uneasy alliance, realizing Brown's dream of a Disaster Preparedness Committee.

Two years later, on July 19, 1989, a commercial jetliner loses pressure simultaneously in three engines; its pilot, Captain Haynes (Charlton Heston), is directed to the tiny Siouxland Gateway Airport. Leaping into action, Brown and Hathaway marshal the fire rescue, survivor evacuation, military,

medical, and air traffic control arms of the Committee. They endure their trial by fire, and in the end are credited with saving the lives of more than two-thirds of the flight's passengers, which is heralded as a phenomenal accomplishment. Bonded by their ordeal, Brown and Hathaway make peace.

So pedestrian as to be almost comforting, the film visits all the disaster-flick stations of the cross. Yet the climaxes still hit their marks, and the movement of machines and personnel is impressive by television standards. What's missing, of course, is the advanced matte-screen effects which

later enlivened the air disaster sequences in ALIVE and FEARLESS; this would-be spectacle is somewhat sedate by comparison. (Violence.)

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  • Released: 1994
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A THOUSAND HEROES is a behind-the-scenes retelling of the real-life disaster of United Airlines Flight 232, the Denver-to-Chicago 747 hop that went awry somewhere in the skies over Iowa. Shot in 1992, this routine made-for-television movie focuses almost e… (more)

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