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Operation Thunderbolt
Operation Thunderbolt
Actors: Yehoram Gaon, Gila Almagor, Assi Dayan, Klaus Kinski, Sybil Danning
Director: Menahem Golan
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Military & War
PG     2003     2hr 4min

This classic of Israeli cinema is now a 25th anniversary special edition two-DVD set! The action-packed story of the incidents at Entebbe is a gripping thriller that only real life could write!


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Movie Details

Actors: Yehoram Gaon, Gila Almagor, Assi Dayan, Klaus Kinski, Sybil Danning
Director: Menahem Golan
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Military & War
Studio: Sisu Home Ent.
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/01/2003
Original Release Date: 01/27/1978
Theatrical Release Date: 01/27/1978
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 4min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: Arabic, English, German, Hebrew
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Thrilling and true
A Viewer | USA | 07/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In 1976, Palestinian and German terrorists hijacked an Air France flight and forced it to land in the African town of Entebbe, where they were welcomed and protected by Uganda's then-dictator, Idi Amin. Releasing all the non-Israeli passengers, the terrorists threatened to kill the rest unless dozens of their comrades were released from Israeli prisons. Rather than submit to blackmail, the Israeli army secretly flew thousands of miles to Entebbe and freed more than 100 hostages in a daring nighttime raid to the cheers of most of the world.

"Operation Thunderbolt," now available on DVD, was filmed in Israel with the full cooperation of the Israeli government, and is an exciting re-creation of the events of those tense days. We see the full scope of the story, from the original hijacking to the passengers' captivity in Uganda to the agonized debates at the highest levels of the Israeli government over a diplomatic vs. a military solution.

All the characters speak their own languages, so the film is a linguistic hodgepodge of Hebrew, Arabic, German and English; fortunately, the DVD includes subtitles. It also contains a documentary on the real events surrounding the rescue, which is almost as compelling as the film itself.

"Operation Thunderbolt" is the thrilling and true story of how one small country refused to let their people be killed by terrorists and took action to prevent it. People who claim that Israel is a "terrorist state" should see the film and be reminded who the real terrorists are."
Retelling a Victory
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 05/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Operation Thunderbolt (Mitvse Yonatan)"

Retelling a Victory

Amos Lassen

I doubt that many of you remember the high jacking incident of 1976 when an Air France plane was flown to Uganda and the Israeli army flew into Entebbe and rescued the passengers. "Operation Thunderbolt" is the Israeli movie of the undertaking and shows how everything came together to make victory possible. The film focuses on the leader of the operation, Jonathan Netanyahu who was the only casualty,
This is not a Hollywood film and not an action film per se and is a much better movie than the ones put out by Hollywood on the same topic. It is true to the tactics, techniques and training of a counter-terrorism squad and is the presentation of an actual event by the participants complete with the impact of the families of those who were directly involved. When the Israelis were held hostage and faced with death, only other Israelis came to their rescue. When the mission was over and the hostages returned, there is great joy and celebration.
The movie was filmed in Israel with the complete cooperation of the Israeli government and it is an exciting recreation of what happened during those tense days (I was there and I remember it all to well). We get the full scope of the story from the high jacking itself to the passengers being held captive in Uganda to the debates at the highest levels of Israeli government as to whether a military or a diplomatic approach was best. This is a thrilling movie based on a thrilling story of how one tiny country refused to allow terrorists to murder their people and how they took action to prevent it. This film should dispel any notions that Israel is a terrorist state.
An interesting aspect of "Operation Thunderbolt" is that the characters speak their own languages and parts of the film are in German, Arabic, English and German but there are subtitles. The DVD version also has a documentary of the real events and several other bonuses as well.
Who's Who in Israeli cinema and stage appear in the film as well as other notables from the German and Arabic movie industry. The music by Dov Seltzer is absolutely beautiful. "Operation Thunderbolt" was nominated for the Academy Award as best foreign film when it was released and it certainly deserves that distinction.
Jo Jo
Jo Jo | USA | 04/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is an awesome movie. You have to read the subtitles but it is the closest movie, by far, to what really happened. It bothered me to see Yoni die at the end, even though I knew it was going to happen. Yoni was the driving force of this mission and he didn't get to see the finished product. A great man was lost that day, but this was his goal, to see those people rescued, no matter what. 101 people are alive due to this daring rescue. Just shows everyone the guts that Israel had and has"
Operation Thunderbolt
Lawrence M. Krauser | Washington, DC United States | 02/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie, a much better adaptation then the garbage flick put out by Hollywood, "Rescue at Entebbe", is very true to the tactics, techniques, and training of a counter-terrorism unit. If you want slick action, smooth lines, excellent special effects, and brilliant camera work this movie is not for you. If you want the presentation of an actual event as supported by the participants, many of whom gave their advice and recollections to the making of this movie (one of whom is now the IDF Chief of Staff); complete with the impact on the families of those who went into harms way, then you will find this movie of great interest.
It boiled down to this: when Jews were held hostage and faced with death it was only the Jews (Israelis) who came to their rescue. The fact that when the doors were kicked in and the dogs were taken down the memorable phrase is, "They're ours!"
When the mission is over, and the hostages returned, you see joy and celebration, and the cost to the families who lost their loved ones. You also see the heroes coming off the plane and heading off to their next assignment.
Historical Note: Yonaton is buried in Jerusalem, next to him is the grave of the General who sent him on the mission. Israeli soldiers are buried in the order they die. Benyamin Netanyahu, his brother, eventually became Prime Minister of Israel, after commanding the same commando unit."