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Airwolf: Season 1

4.4 out of 5 stars 139 customer reviews

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(May 24, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Keep your eyes to the skies for non-stop action as the complete Season One of Airwolf soars on to DVD for the first time ever! Jan-Michael Vincent stars as Stringfellow Hawke, a reclusive renegade pilot who's assigned to top-secret missions for the CIA by the mysterious "Archangel" (Alex Cord). Hawke's weapon of choice is the high-tech battle helicopter of the future, Airwolf. Loaded with cutting-edge surveillance equipment and unbelievable firepower, Airwolf takes Hawke and his friend Dominic (Ernest Borgnine) around the globe in search of dangerous international spies and criminals. Ride along with guest stars Lance LeGault, James Whitmore Jr., Shannen Doherty and David Carradine on all 11 episodes, including the thrilling two-hour pilot, of this amazing action-adventure series.


Hip spy shows with covert agencies within agencies--like Alias and 24--are missing only one thing: A super-duper armor-plated helicopter with "nuclear-tipped shrike missiles." In the action series Airwolf, a mysterious national security agency called the Firm constructs a "Mach-one-plus chopper that can kick butt," only to have it stolen by the nefarious scientist who designed it (David Hemmings, Blowup, Barbarella). Desperate, the Firm turns to Stringfellow Hawke (Jan Michael Vincent), a soulful, cello-playing, art-loving, eagle-watching, guilt-ridden master pilot. Hawke refuses to help unless the Firm searches for his brother, who went MIA in 'Nam. Of course, he succeeds in his mission, but until the Firm fulfills its side of the bargain, he keeps the chopper--but also agrees to fly covert missions in exchange for tips about government efforts to retrieve Airwolf.

This elaborate setup proves surprisingly durable. The combat scenes in Airwolf are clumsily edited, but the scripts--though firmly in the cheesy techno-thriller vein of Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy--are pleasantly zippy. While Vincent may have gone on to a straight-to-video career (appearing in such sterling titles as Hidden Obsession, Indecent Behavior, and Animal Instincts), he’s a persuasive and sexy pilot; he's got the same kind of rangy, athletic physicality that makes Kevin Costner convincing as an athlete. Add to this mix the ever-zesty Ernest Borgnine (Marty, The Wild Bunch) and it's clear why Airwolf outlived the similar series Blue Thunder. Most episodes feature international skullduggery with foreign agents trying to steal Airwolf and sell it to the Soviets or Libya, but there are enough clever details to keep you from objecting to the larger absurdity of the all-powerful helicopter. Guest stars include Shannen Doherty (Beverly Hills 90210) and David Carradine (Kill Bill). It's too bad Hemmings didn't become a regular; his sadistic, lecherous traitor gave the two-hour pilot some real juice. --Bret Fetzer

Product Details

  • Actors: Jan Michael Vincent, Ernest Borgnine, Alex Cord
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2005
  • Run Time: 1184 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007YMWFK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,032 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Airwolf: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The DVD release of "Airwolf: Season One" will likely prove to be a mixed blessing for its fans.

The Series and Its Premise:

Airwolf's first season (eleven episodes from 1984) cleverly developed the series' dark (and sometimes heavy-handed) perspective on Cold War espionage in which the Libyans and Russians were portrayed as the scheming, black-hatted villains, while U.S. covert intelligence (known as "the Firm" in this series) was viewed as heroic, white-hatted cowboys, despite having its own ambiguous motives.

Caught in the middle are brooding ace pilot & reluctant hero Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent) and his loyal co-pilot, Dominic Santini (Ernest Borgnine), who have hidden away the most awesome aerial assault weapon on earth: Airwolf. The enigmatic fate of Hawke's long-lost brother, St. John, who disappeared years before in Vietnam, motivates Hawke to strike a thieves' bargain with the Firm's director, Archangel (Alex Cord): Hawke & Santini will keep Airwolf stashed and fly it on secret missions for Archangel until the Firm can conclusively prove St. John's fate.

With this bold premise, and backed by Sylvester Levay's memorably techno-styled score, the series kicked off the first season with its best episode ever: the movie-length "Shadow of the Hawke," featuring Hawke's fiery showdown with Airwolf's psychotic creator, Charles Henry Moffett (David Hemmings) in the Libyan desert. Flashbacks to scenes from this particular episode would hauntingly reverberate throughout the series.
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First, some people seem concerned with the packaging and the menu and the extra content. The packaging is cheap, the menu is pathetic, and the extra content does not exist. Personally, I don't really care, but if that sort of thing bothers you, there you go. My thinking is, if Universal is being cheap to make it more cost-effective to release somewhat obscure TV shows, I'm cool with that--bring on The Equalizer!

Next, the acting and writing is not as bad as many shows of the time--or today--but there is certainly far, far better. Related to this was the drift away from the moodiness of the first season in subsequent seasons--like Keanu Reeves, Jan-Michael Vincent is probably best left to act to his strengths, such as they are, which appears to be what he was doing in the first season to good effect. I always thought, and still do, that the perfect accompaniment to a super-helicopter built by a secret government agency is a moody pilot extraordinaire who lives in a remote cabin in the mountains. Far-fetched though it is.

OK, so is this DVD worth getting? I never questioned buying it myself, but even so, I was a little concerned whether it would be as enjoyable to watch now as when I was younger. The answer is, not quite, but close enough. And it's all about the helicopter, so I'd say not to bother getting this if you weren't a fan of Airwolf to begin with, or don't like helicopters. This show is about Airwolf, a completely impossible helicopter that is still way cool. The switches flip, the buttons are pressed, the eerie howling noise begins with the muted whop-whop of the rotors, and off goes this gorgeous, dangerous, awesome machine to do good deeds around the world.

My father taped all the Airwolf shows when they first ran...
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Format: DVD
I was wondering when they would put this show on DVD. This was the very last show of my childhood that had not been put on DVD. The A-Team, the incredible Hulk and Nightrider have been sold for a while now. I was afraid this wouldnt take place. If you dont know anything about the show just think about the good 80's shows and that's what this one is also. The helicopter in the show is awesome. I remember as a child I would be playing and imagining that I was flying it with my friends. Yea I know it sounds rather corny now since I'm 27 however it was neat back then.... he he. I work with kids now and I love showing them the old stuff to let them know what a good TV show really is like. The difference now in regards to Action shows is that today kids cant watch them. They are too violent. These shows are some what violent also, however, they dont cross the line and are still family oriented. Bottom line is, if you havent seen it, still buy it. Its great. If you have seen it, I dont have to say anything else.
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Format: DVD
What impresses me about Airwolf's first season is the movie-like nature of the plots and action.
The series is not as dated as many of its contemporaries for these reasons:
The locations are remote, not urban (deserts, lakes & valleys)
Plots involve government intelligence and foreign threats
The helicopter is still more advanced than anything out there

Who didn't want to be a pilot when watching Stringfellow Hawke fly high into the Soviet Union to rescue an intelligence mole, or South America or Mexico? And didn't you find yourself humming that tune now and then? I sure did.

The first season has James Whitmore Jr., Lance LeGault, Walter Gotell, David Hemmings, Zora Lampert, Ismael Carlo and David Carradine, all in memorable roles. This is the season that saw Airwolf captured by Libyan operatives, hunted by the CIA and struck by missiles. In the finale, when Airwolf flies through a B-52 bomb run, Lance LeGault turns a particularly memorable role as the government operative hunting Airwolf.

Although this set contains the full first season, the extra goodies we've come to look for on DVDs are sadly scarce. However, I have a magazine on this site called "The Wolf's Lair" that has them. It's a great complement to this set. Look for ASIN B0009JBJC0 or go to [...]
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