THE EXCELLENT EIGHTIES: The Kidnapping of the President (1980)

Editor’s Note: We first reviewed this Canadian political thriller on February 7, 2021, as part of our unpacking of Mill Creek’s B-Movie Blast 50-Film pack. It’s back again — with new, second take — as part of their Excellent Eighties 50-Film pack. Hey, it’s a Hal Holbrook flick, so we must!

I love my wife so much. I mean, Hal Holbrook is her idea of a crush. So is Gerald McRaney. In fact, so is pretty much anyone that dated the Designing Women. That means that she actually sat and watched this movie, just to see Hal play the President who gets involved in, well, a kidnapping.

At least he has Secret Service agent Jerry O’Connor (William Shatner) — the Canadian side of this American/Canadian production, one imagines — to save his life.

For some reason, this movie reunites two Golden Age MGM stars, as Ava Gardner and Van Johnson — who were in 3 Men in White and Two Girls and a Sailor together — play the Vice President and his Second Lady. As for the First Lady, she’s played by Elizabeth Shepherd from Tomb of Ligeia.

Director George Mendeluk went on to make Doin’ Time, a movie I’ve been trying to find for a long time, and Meatballs III, which is the one where Sally Kellerman plays porn star Roxy Doujor. Strangely, Maury Chaykin is in that movie as well.

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