(1977)4Mike CummingsLess than a year after the successful Israeli rescue of hostages at Entebbe, Uganda, this production portrayed the July 4, 1976, event with such convincing realism that it earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Drama. Director Irvin Kershner paces the film brilliantly, switching scenes often after Palestinian and German terrorists hijack a French plane with Israeli passengers to Uganda and demand the release of imprisoned Palestinians and members of the German Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang. One moment Uganda's president Idi Amin Dada taunts the Israeli hostages at Entebbe; another moment, the Israeli cabinet in Jerusalem debates strategy. Eventually, the camera rides along with airborne Israeli commandos on a rescue mission dubbed Operation Thunderbolt. Yaphet Kotto is superb as Amin, a strutting tyrant who sympathizes with the hijackers. Kotto's performance reveals the true character of Amin: shrewd, unpredictable, sadistic. Peter Finch is solid as Yitzhak Rabin, the native-born Israeli prime minister and outstanding military strategist who ultimately orders the Entebbe raid. Other cast members also perform with distinction, including Martin Balsam as a hostage who dares to speak up; Sylvia Sidney as a sick passenger who ends up in a hospital, then disappears; and Charles Bronson as the general who leads the commandos to victory. Of the three films made about the Entebbe raid -- the other two are Victory at Entebbe and Operation Thunderbolt -- this one is arguably the best.