Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Marshall McLuhan's statement that the "media is the message" might well be amended by this film to say the "media creates the message." When two prisoners escape from jail and hole up in the apartment of a well-off yet middle-class family -- now held hostage -- the more forward of the two escapees calls the local television station, requesting that they broadcast his demand for a plane to get himself and his cohort out of the country. Once this concession to the power of the televised media is given, the rest follows logically behind. In essence, the television director brings his crew in to film the entire hostage crisis, but hardly satisfied with real-life drama as it unfolds, he proceeds to "direct" the drama for the camera crew, at one point even handing a gun back to the crook so his film coverage will not be interrupted. When a doctor (the apartment owner) removes a bullet from a guard whom the convicts brought with them, the director has him put the bullet back in so it can be filmed as it is taken out -- the world of "instant replay" taking on a reality that overcomes all logic. Needless to say, even when the convicts manage to escape from the building, the television crew is the first to catch up with them, recording every movement "live."
doctor/nurse, escape, hostage, newsperson, prison, publicity, ransom, television