Recently the world witnessed yet another hostage situation – this time in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Finally in a happy ending, the Bangladeshi troops cleared the cafe, killed the gunmen, and freed the hostages. We thought it’s the right time to look at some of the best Hollywood hostage movies, as they bring out the pain and misery of these victims held captive against their wishes.
Here are 8 Hollywood hostage movies that make us revisit them again and again:
1. Die Hard
This has to be at the top – one of the best action movies of all time. NYPD detective taking on a building loaded with bad guys to save the hostages including his wife. Did you know that every action hero from Arnold to Stallone turned down the role of John McClane until Bruce Willis said Yes! We are happy indeed, as it’s impossible to imagine anyone else play it.
2. The Silence of the Lambs
The cold and chilling Hannibal Lecter make this a must watch film. But the real plot revolves around the kidnapping of a senator’s daughter by an eccentric serial killer Buffalo Bill. Bill throws his victims in a pit before he kills them! Why? So he could make a costume out of their skin. FBI agent (Jodie Foster) teams up with Hannibal to save her.
Aah this one’s an all time favourite. Even today it stands tall amongst road thrill films, where an entire bus in LA is taken hostage by Dennis Hopper who puts a bomb on it. And the bomb will go off if the speed goes below 50kmph. Keanu Reeves gets on board the bus to save the hostages, helped by Sandra Bullock.
This film made Liam Neeson as we know him today – the action hero. He is former CIA operative Bryan Mills, whose daughter gets abducted by Albanian crooks for prostitution. But they soon find out they messed up with the wrong person. Neeson himself wasn’t confident about it, but it went onto become a massive worldwide hit – followed by 2 more sequels.
This is a Coen Brothers classic and one of the best films in the 90s. A failed car salesman Jerry Lundegaard gets his own wife kidnapped to steal money from his rich father-in-law. A hilarious dark comedy you can’t afford to miss.
6. Dog Day Afternoon
One of Al Pacino’s best performances in this flick from the seventies. He plays a nervous first-time criminal who tries to rob a bank to pay for …wait what! His lover’s sex change operation. Really1 Who comes up with such plots. Well the robbery attempt goes horribly wrong and turns into a hostage situation with grand media attention.
7. Man on Fire
Directed in typical flashy, kinetic style by the late Tony Scott, Denzel Washington plays a former CIA agent turned bodyguard who goes on a violent rampage when the girl he’s protecting (Dakota Fanning) is abducted. Who could forget one of cinema’s more inventive uses of a bomb in THAT explosive interrogation scene? Washington said that the only two actors to stop him in his tracks in all his years of acting were Gene Hackman in Crimson Tide and Dakota Fanning in Man on Fire. She was 10 years old at the time of filming and is scarily good.
8. Phone Booth
Oh this one’s a beauty. Imagine a man held hostage in a phone booth – by a voice! Colin Farrell is Stu Shepard, a cunning publicist, cheating on his wife, lying to his clients and more. He always calls from a public payphone, but one day the phone rings back, and he takes the call, only to be trapped inside the booth. The situation boils into a whole breaking news kinda situation.