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Birds of Prey (1973)

David Janssen , Ralph Meeker , William A. Graham  |  NR |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Janssen, Ralph Meeker, Elayne Heilveil, Harry Klekas, Sam Dawson
  • Directors: William A. Graham
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 12, 2005
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A3454Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,714 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Birds of Prey" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Harry Walker (Janssen), ex-military pilot, works for a radio station in Salt Lake City as an adventurous traffic-helicopter reporter. While on his rounds he observes a bank robbery taking place and the abduction of a female teller. He follows the criminals as the race away in their car, and then as they transfer to a helicopter for an exciting aerial chase. Watch the non-stop action as Walker is quickly running out of fuel and has to find a clever way to refuel and not lose the criminals and their frightened hostage. Bonus Features: Digitally Re-mastered| Scene Selection| Bios| Previews. Specs: DVD5; Dolby Digital; 81 minutes; Color; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - NR; Year - 1973; SRP - $9.99.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Three Little Fishies where are you? April 20, 2006
By Drago
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of the integral pieces of this film is the 1940's music soundtrack. For example, Harry Walker's (Jansen) favorite song is "Three Little Fishies". At one point in the chase, he can be seen singing along with the record. In this travesty of a DVD, he's singing along to some xylophone solo. Until somebody "fixes" the DVD, I'll have to stick with my home recording that KABC hacked up to fit in the commercials.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
My only disappointment with the this DVD is that the original soundtrack music has been altered (I will assume for licensing purposes). This results in two anomalies: the soundtrack is out of sync in some portions of the film and the first-time viewer of this film may wonder why the main character is waving his hands in 2 of the film sequences. The flight sequences (stunt flying) will be appreciated by any helicopter pilot; however, I miss the original music. If I could buy an un-altered copy I would gladly do so.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What did they do to the original? December 8, 2005
By Selqet
One of the most interesting aspects of the original was that the WWII veteran used a lot of swing band jazz titles as dialogue, which wasn't as corny as it sounds when coupled with the flying action and the matching WWII era song soundtrack. Why would they undo that?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wish they kept the 3 fishes October 17, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
i watched it today and i was disappointed that the songs had been changed, the dialog seemed different, it even seemed to be missing a flying sequence.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How sad - they lost the music February 10, 2007
I was looking forward for so long to seeing this terrific movie again. I saw it when originally presented in '73 and loved it.

When the saw that the disc was out I was all over it. Imagine my dismay when I found that they deleted the original soundtrack. It ruined the movie for me. Sure the action sequences are good - and Jansen is at his best - but without the original music it's nothing.

Avoid this version until they correct the travesty. How much could Three Little Fishies cost anyway?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been a better transfer October 13, 2005
I didn't catch this movie is its original TV run in 1973 but instead saw it on a local re-run in 1978. (It was also one of the first things I ever recorded on my new--and hyper-expensive--Panasonic VHS recorder.)

I was touched by the movie's theme about a man who, wistful for his days as a World War 2 fighter pilot in the Flying Tigers, slogs along as a chopper pilot doing traffic reports for a radio station.

Suddenly, witnessing a bank robbery in progress, he has a chance to become a hero again. The Hero As Wounded Romantic is a role that David Janssen played to perfection, as anyone who has seen HARRY O will agree.

As the young woman taken hostage by the bank robbers, Elayne Heilveil very nearly steals the movie from the rest of the cast, and I'm disappointed that she didn't seem to do that much after making this movie.

One thing I found annoying was the fact that some of the music in the original run was replaced by some other stuff, probably because of clearance difficulties. In particular, the original ended with a poignant rendition of "I'll Get By" playing over the end titles; that's been replaced by a much less touching instrumental.

As far as the digital transfer is concerned, it's not terrible, but it's not that great either. Also, there are brief biographies of Janssen and co-star Ralph Meeker, but nothing about Heilveil.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, messed up soundtrack though... July 9, 2007
I remembered this movie for years and was excited to see it on DVD. Unfortunately they changed the soundtrack and that's too bad. But the movie is very exciting and some of the best helicopter flying you'll ever see in the movies.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 70's action film June 11, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I remember seeing this movie as a child and couldn't wait to get it on tape. I recorded it years ago on VHS from TV with the correct soundtrack "Little Fishies" song. I got it prerecorded on VHS in the 80's and was disappointed to find the soundtrack had been altered for no apparent reason as described in other reviews. I just ordered this DVD version even though the soundtrack is apparently still is still a very good David Janssen movie and a classic action film from 70's TV (I believe it was a made for TV movie). Great story line and helicopter chase sequences, the ending is still a heartbreaker (I'll not give it away!). If you've never seen this, it is definitely worth the price and I'm glad I've found it available on DVD. If you've seen it before and don't think you want it with the altered soundtrack, it is still worth the price as it is a great movie...I think at this point the original version is probably lost forever...except for those of us lucky enough to have recorded it off TV and still have our old VHS tapes!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Cheesy Dialog but David Janssen Shines!
As a long time fan of the late, great David Janssen, I thoroughly enjoyed his performance in this film. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Geraldine
2.0 out of 5 stars Why the Music Is Different
This movie was released in 1973 primarily for TV, not a theatrical release. With respect to acting, cast and production quality it was done on a very limited budget, so it is... Read more
Published 7 months ago by D. L. Masamitsu
2.0 out of 5 stars Butchering the Music ruined the Subtext of the Movie
This is a film with fine acting by the late David Janssen. He plays an ex WW II pilot who has never quite been able to escape the war or the World War II era. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Quentin Rakestraw
4.0 out of 5 stars Must-have cult movie
This is not a digitally remastered edition, it looks like it was digitized from a worn out VHS cassette. Read more
Published 17 months ago by SkyMaster
4.0 out of 5 stars Neat Flick...!
Too bad this is no longer available here. It was great when I saw it on TV back in the 70's. Others here are commenting on the music, and I agree... Read more
Published on September 18, 2009 by Allen Seaman
4.0 out of 5 stars Birds of Prey
The chopper pilots are fantastic. It could have used the original song in the title sequence. Jannsen was a good actor.
Published on October 3, 2008 by A. Winkowski Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars birds of prey review
Pretty good helicopter movie. Great flying scenes. Worth watching if you are an aviation buff. Real pilots will be able to recognize some mistakes, but it's still worth watching... Read more
Published on September 14, 2008 by Keith Pendergast
5.0 out of 5 stars An Action Movie in the Air
Being a fan of Famed Actor David Janssen, I saw the movie a while ago and bought my own copy. This is a story of a Newspaper helicopter "Eye in the Sky Traffic Reporter" who while... Read more
Published on March 12, 2008 by Joseph M. Benitez
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Janssen flick
Luckily I have never seen the original version of this movie so I never missed "Three Little Fishes"?
I enjoyed it though very much !!
Published on October 16, 2007 by Brad Lloyd
3.0 out of 5 stars only so much possible in an helicopter !
Would have liked the storyline to have been a little more developed. It relies a bit on flashbacks to fill it out. Only so much possible in an helicopter I suppose ! Read more
Published on October 13, 2007 by miel22
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