Ground Control

Overview

Ground Control follows the reluctant return to work of Jack Harris (Keifer Sutherland), a retired air traffic controller who is still haunted by his role in a probably unavoidable plane crash that has left him guilt-ridden and professionally gun shy. When a Phoenix airport fighting budget cutbacks calls him in for emergency duty, he begins experiencing flashbacks to the night of the disaster, all while trying desperately not to lose concentration even for the single moment it would take to cause a fresh disaster....
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Overview

Ground Control follows the reluctant return to work of Jack Harris (Keifer Sutherland), a retired air traffic controller who is still haunted by his role in a probably unavoidable plane crash that has left him guilt-ridden and professionally gun shy. When a Phoenix airport fighting budget cutbacks calls him in for emergency duty, he begins experiencing flashbacks to the night of the disaster, all while trying desperately not to lose concentration even for the single moment it would take to cause a fresh disaster. He is supported by a seasoned supervisor (Bruce McGill) but challenged by a cocky young controller (Robert Sean Leonard) who not so privately questions his mettle. All must put aside their differences and band together when stormy weather and failing equipment puts another flight in harm's way. The tension mounts as a resourceful mechanic (Henry Winkler) tries to paste together the outdated circuitry and give the skeleton crew technical support beyond their professional cunning. Ground Control also stars Kristy Swanson and Kelly McGillis.
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Special Features

Standard; Ultra Stereo; Digitally mastered; Interactive menus; Scene access; Trailer; Spanish, English & French subtitles; Cast information
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
For a straight-to-video release with little financial means, Ground Control is a surprisingly tense and reasonably realistic attempt to portray the profession that gives its practitioners an athlete's rush while also turning them prematurely gray. That a rusty, shell-shocked retiree has no place among them is abundantly clear, but Keifer Sutherland rises to the challenge -- because he's the hero, naturally. Ground Control contains way too many sweaty flashbacks by anyone's standards, but the script is sleekly frantic enough that it doesn't need such a crutch. A movie like this requires an eyeball-rolling conglomeration of mishaps in order to ratchet up the suspense, but it's believable that a second-tier airport might indeed hamstring its equipment through scrimping to the point that a situation like this could arise. The methods the characters use to circumvent their navigational equipment seem plausible, as well, in addition to providing genuine excitement. The actors show commitment to the material beyond their desire to collect a paycheck, which might seem like the only motivator in a film that was never likely to get wide distribution. Sutherland is especially convincing in a rare understated performance. Ground Control would doubtless collapse under scrutiny from real air traffic controllers, but as a piece of pop entertainment for laymen, it's a nice underdog treat.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/27/1999
  • UPC: 031398701439
  • Original Release: 1999
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Region Code: 0
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:29:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 32,772

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kiefer Sutherland Jack Harris
Robert Sean Leonard
Kelly McGillis
Kristy Swanson
Karl Bury
Michael Gross
Margaret Cho
Charles Fleischer
Farrah Forke
Henry Winkler
Bruce McGill
Technical Credits
Richard Howard Director
Edward R. Abroms Editor
Mark Amin Executive Producer
Peter Block Co-producer
Talaat Captan Original Story, Producer
Dean Fronk Casting
Henner Hofmann Cinematographer
Robert Moreland Original Story, Screenwriter
Marion Oberauner Executive Producer
Donald Paul Pemrick Casting
Michael Perry Production Designer
Vince Ravine Producer
Ronald Schmidt Associate Producer
Mark Shepherd Screenwriter
David Tripet Associate Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Index
1. Crash Site [5:38]
2. Main Credits [2:50]
3. Phoenix [3:38]
4. Promise [3:45]
5. Non-Event [2:33]
6. Orientation [4:27]
7. Sectors [4:34]
8. Field Test [3:11]
9. Rough Air [4:45]
10. Situation [4:30]
11. Good Luck [3:21]
12. Questions [3:21]
13. Outage [3:20]
14. Requisition [4:12]
15. Waiting [2:59]
16. Dish [4:30]
17. Landings [2:39]
18. Phase One [3:58]
19. Alternating Thrust [4:13]
20. 138 Souls [4:11]
21. Lost [2:12]
22. Positive Contact [3:49]
23. Fast Ball [2:52]
24. End Credits [3:32]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   The Cast
      Kiefer Sutherland
      Kristy Swanson
      Michael Gross
      Kelly McGillis
      Henry Winkler
      Robert Sean Leanard
   Subtitles
   Play Trailer
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