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Passenger 57 poster
Passenger 57 theatrical poster
Written by Story
Stewart Raffill
Dan Gordon
David Loughery
Dan Gordon
Directed by Kevin Hooks
Produced by Dan Paulson
Lee Rich
Dylan Sellers
Starring Wesley Snipes
Bruce Payne
Tom Sizemore
Bruce Greenwood
Alex Datcher
Elizabeth Hurley
Ernie Lively
Robert Hooks
Music by Stanley Clarke
Cinematography by Mark Irwin
Editing by Richard Nord
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release Date November 6, 1992
Rated R
Run time 84 min.
Budget $15,000,000
Grossed $44,065,653 (domestic)

Passenger 57 is a 1992 American action film. The film was released on November 6, 1992. It was directed by Kevin Hooks. The film was written into a story by Stewart Raffill & Dan Gordon and was written into a screenplay by Gordon and David Loughery.

In this film, ex-police officer turned airline security expert John Cutter (Wesley Snipes), who is haunted by the death of his wife in a convenience store robbery, has received a job offer by an old friend, Sly Delvecchio (Tom Sizemore), as vice-president of a new counterterrorism unit for the airline company he works at, Atlantic International Airlines. When Cutter boards a plane to go to Los Angeles for his job interview, a group of terrorists hijacked the jet to break out their leader, a ruthless international terrorist named Charles Rane (Bruce Payne). Cutter now battles Rane and his henchmen from the plane and on the ground.

Despite being regarded almost unanimously as one of the worst Die Hard scenario films for poor dialogue and acting (although most praised Bruce Payne's performance), Passenger 57's financial success made Snipes a popular action hero icon.


International terrorist Charles Rane, known as "The Rane of Terror", is caught by the FBI and local authorities just before he can receive plastic surgery to alter his features. The FBI make plans to return Rane to Los Angeles aboard a passenger aircraft for him to stand trial.

John Cutter is a former police officer, haunted by the death of his wife in a convenience store robbery, and has taken to training self-defense to flight attendants, including Marti Slayton. After one class, Cutter is approached by an old friend, Sly Delvecchio, who offers Cutter to be the vice-president of a new counterterrorism unit for his company, Atlantic International Airlines. Cutter is reluctant, but Delvecchio and the company's president Stuart Ramsey convince him to accept the offer.

Cutter boards as the 57th passenger on an Atlantic International flight to Los Angeles, where Marti is one of the flight attendants. Rane and his two FBI escorts are also aboard. After the flight takes off, several men in Rane's employ posing as flight attendants and passengers kill the FBI agents, release Rane and secure the plane. Cutter, in the lavatory at the time, manages to use the plane's cellular phones to warn Delvecchio to the situation, but Cutter is soon discovered by one of Rane's agents. Cutter overpowers the agent and takes his weapon; he then uses the agent as a shield to confront Rane. Rane is indifferent, and shows his ruthlessness by taking a passenger as hostage, and then killing him without mercy. Cutter realizes he's outmatched, and with Marti, escape to the plane's cargo hold, dispatching Vincent, another of Rane's men there, disguised as a caterer. Cutter dumps the plane's fuel, forcing Rane to order the pilots to land at a small Louisiana airfield. Cutter jumps from the plane once it has landed, but Marti is caught by Rane and kept aboard.

Rane contacts the field's tower and demands that the plane be refueled, or he will start killing the hostages; he does offer that he will release half of the passengers should they comply. Rane also asserts that Cutter is one of his own men turned against him. Cutter is found by the local sheriff Chief Biggs and taken into custody. Biggs gives the go-ahead for refueling, and as the passengers are freed, Rane and his men escape from the plane, having given orders to those still on board to kill the rest of the hostages if their plans are interfered with. Cutter recognizes the passenger release as a diversion, and escapes from the sheriff, and chases Rane and his men into a local county fair. The FBI arrive and assert Cutter's true identity to Biggs. Cutter is able to kill one of Rane's men and get into a fight with Rane before police arrive and capture him.

Back at the tower, Rane asserts that if he does not contact the plane and is given flight clearance, his men aboard have been instructed to kill the rest of the hostages. The FBI arrange to return Rane to the plane, escorted by two agents, with plans to have a sniper take down Rane and allow the FBI to storm the plane to save the hostages. Instead, the sniper is Vincent, who fires at the escorts and previously killed the original sniper. Vincent is killed in the gunfight, not before Rane boards the plane and it starts to taxi. Rane orders the pilots to take off, while Cutter, with Biggs' help, manages to jump onto the speeding plane before it takes off. Inside, Cutter deals with more of Rane's men, before getting into a fight with Rane. Their fight blows out one of the plane's windows, causing the bulkhead door to blow out due to explosive cabin decompression. Cutter manages to get Rane to the door and forces him out; Rane falls out of the plane and plunges to his death. The plane quickly returns to the airfield, where the FBI secure Rane's remaining agents and the remaining hostages are freed. Amid congratulations and celebration, Marti and Cutter make their quiet escape into the distance hand in hand.

Cast and characters[]

Atlantic International Airlines[]


FBI/Local Police[]

  • Robert Hooks as FBI Agent Dwight Henderson
  • Ernie Lively as Chief Biggs
  • Michael H. Moss as Agent Manning

Box office and reception[]

Passenger 57 was released on November 6, 1992, and opened at #1 rank in 1,734 theaters. The opening weekend grossing was $10,513,925. The film's final domestic grossing was $44,065,653. Passenger 57 is one of the films that launched Wesley Snipes' career in the action genre. Because of this film's success, Wesley Snipes was cast in lead roles of other features, including Money Train, Drop Zone, Demolition Man, The Art of War and the Blade Trilogy.

The film received mixed to negative reviews. Critics praised Wesley Snipes's and Bruce Payne's performances but panned the script. It currently holds a "rotten" 23% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Marcus Trower, of Empire magazine, stated that Bruce Payne was "a brilliantly disconcerting madman. With his flowing blond Jesus locks, armor-piercing stare and casual sadism, he makes Hannibal Lecter look like a social worker – and like Anthony Hopkins's serial killer, part of the man's menace is in the apparent contradiction between his articulate, well-spoken English and his off-hand brutality." The Radio Times stated that Payne and Snipes both gave 'charismatic turns' in the film. The New York Times stated that Payne brought a 'tongue-in-cheek humor to the psychopathic fiend' that he played. A reviewer for People's magazine stated that "Bruce Payne steals the plane—and the movie".

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