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The Damned (aka: These Are The Damned, 1963) - the final sequence of this SF chiller features a pair of Westland S-55 Whirlwind machines, which chase a 'getaway' vehicle speeding down a coast road and force the car to stop. Crewmen from the helicopters then 'kidnap' a child that had escaped from the secret military bunker. One of the circling choppers also tracks a motorboat off the Dorset shoreline. Along with director Joseph Losey's later thriller, Figures In A Landscape (1970), this British film, produced by Hammer Studios, was instrumental in forming modern cinema's familiar depiction of helicopters as symbols of oppressive government power.



Dance Of The Dwarves (1983) - Gus Trikonis relies heavily on chemistry between the stars (Peter Fonda and Deborah Raffin) in this bizarre comedy horror about a female anthropologist hiring a drunken helicopter pilot to help with her jungle search for a lost tribe of pygmies.



Bell 47 in Danger Diabolik Bell 47 J-2 in Danger Diabolik
Danger: Diabolik (1968) - Mario Bava's comicbook adventure mixes fantasy and crime with John Philip Law as the titular antihero. During an early chase, the police surveillance helicopter (a Bell 47 with pontoons), in pursuit of Diabolik's black E-type Jaguar along a coast road, carries a marksman who shoots at the robber's getaway vehicle, and makes it crash into the sea - but the cunning thief has already switched cars. In addition to the familiar Bell chopper, this sequence - somewhat inexplicably, I think - features brief shots of another helicopter (without a side door, bigger cabin, enclosed tail boom), the 1960s' Bell 47 J-2, rarely seen in movies.



Huey in Dante's Peak
Dante's Peak (1997) - "the film's heroic US geologists hire a Bell TH-1L Iroquois to fly them out to the crater of the volcano early in the film to investigate it. Later, when the volcano is actually erupting and spewing thick clouds of ash into the sky, and the citizens of Dante's Peak are running around willy-nilly in a wild panic, the 'asshole pilot', already established as being quite a mercenary, offers to fly people out of town, for thousands of dollars per person. Only the town's rich people have that kind of money so they clamber aboard and the helicopter takes off. Of course, volcanic ash gets sucked into the chopper's engine and the pilot loses control. The 'Huey' nosedives, hits the ground, then bounces (conveniently flying over the SUV carrying heroes Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton) and sails through the air where it crashes into a gas station, which violently explodes. - BILL HIERS



Hong Kong helicopter in The Dark Knight
Gotham police Bell 206 helicopter used in The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight star (2008) - this excellent sequel to Batman Begins features one of the most spectacular urban helicopter crashes yet filmed. Using a mix of real machine, CGI, and physical effects, a Gotham city police chopper (a Bell 206B, from Sun Aero Helicopters, Chicago) that's expected to provide air cavalry support for a security transport convoy, is brought down when it flies into cables above the street, causing it to spin out of control, smash into the front of a building, and hit the ground as burning wreckage in the path of an armoured vehicle. "That's not good!" exclaims the SWAT van's passenger. The film also features a Eurocopter AS-355N, which appears during the heroes' mission to Hong Kong, and there's a Bell 430, used by Bruce Wayne for his dramatic arrival to a penthouse party. Before the climactic scenes, a pair of US Army 'Huey' types fly-by, just to help establish the presence of National Guard troops within the city during a terrorist crisis.

 THE  DARK  KNIGHT  RISES

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The Dark Knight Rises - the Bat

 DARKMAN

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Darkman

Dark Skies (1996-7) - this UFO conspiracy sci-fi TV series had the original 'black helicopters' in several scenes, unmarked black Sikorskys used to transport Captain Frank Bach (J.T. Walsh) and his cronies. - BERND BIEGE



Dave (1993) - in this political comedy, a suitably painted Sikorsky S-61L stands-in for the 'Marine One' presidential helicopter bringing President Bill Mitchell (Kevin Kline) and First Lady Ellen Mitchell (Sigourney Weaver) back to the White House.
helicopter in Dave



Dawn of the Dead
Dawn Of The Dead (1979) - George A. Romero's comic zombie horror movie has SWAT cops and their friends escaping in a helicopter from the beseiged city to an out-of-town shopping mall. Later, in a struggle with the heroes, one zombie gets killed when the top of his head is sliced off by the whirling rotor blades.



Dawn Of The Dead (2004) - Snyder's remake of Romero's great zombie horror is enjoyably grisly entertainment, and it features appearances by a couple of helicopters. In one aerial scene, tracking the heroine's car along a suburban road, a Bell JetRanger swoops into view and banks right, off-screen. Later, when the survivors are holed up in the shopping mall, a mighty Sikorsky S-80 Super Sea Stallion passes by overhead, but does not respond to SOS messages painted on the building's rooftop.
Dawn of the Dead remake



Day After Tomorrow's bad weather report
The Day After Tomorrow (2004) - this SF disaster movie, about global warming causing a new Ice Age, features a scene where three helicopters crash in Scotland after the sudden chill of climatic change freezes their fuel lines. The digital effects used to realise this sequence are not very convincing. In another fairly spectacular, but unimaginative aerial set-piece, the crew of a TV news helicopter observe a blitz of tornado storms ripping apart some of Los Angeles' landmark buildings.

"For the movie, a fleet of Boeing CH-47 Chinooks was planned for the rescue at the end. The US Army was helping the production as best it could but, because most of the Army's domestic stocks of Chinooks were overseas at the time, they could only provide a single machine. All the rest are CGI. Also, for the shots of the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks, the US Army helped take apart a Black Hawk to fit it in front of a blue screen on an indoor set for some of the digital effects shots. Two flying examples of the Black Hawk were also provided for live-action shots." - NATHAN DECKER



Day Of Atonement (1992) - the villain of this gangster drama kills his enemies by dropping them out of a helicopter, hovering at altitude, onto the grounds of his estate.



Day Of The Animals (1977) - this nature's revenge thriller (in which solar radiation drives wildlife crazy) by William Girdler has a group of hikers dropped off in the Sierra mountains by helicopter, just before a regional quarantine is announced.



JetRanger in Day of the Dead
Day Of The Dead (1985) - chopper flights bookend this last movie in George Romero's original trilogy of zombie classics. The opening flight scene over a town controlled by the grotesque undead is very creepy. The film's ending sees the Bell 206 JetRanger parked on an idyllic beach.



The Day Of The Triffids (1981) - in the sixth and last episode of this British TV series, adapted from the classic SF novel by John Wyndham, there's the brief appearance of a Bell 47 (supplied by Bristow Helicopters), which visits the heroes' retreat in a Wiltshire farmhouse before returning to another group of survivors on the Isle of Wight.



Day The Earth Caught Fire (1961) - a helicopter appears (during the special effects shots) to get aerial press photos of London during the fog sequence.

 THE  DAY  THE  EARTH  STOOD  STILL

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The Day the Earth Stood Still helicopter

The Day The Earth Stopped (2008) - this no-budget sci-fi movie's poor-quality CGI includes a military helicopter (possibly a Black Hawk design), that's zapped from the sky by a giant alien robot.

 DEADLY  ENCOUNTER

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Deadly Encounter

Deal Of The Century (1983) - this comedy movie is directed by William Friedkin, and it stars Chevy Chase, Sigourney Weaver, and Gregory Hines.
There's a decent collection of helicopter stars, including two armed MD500s - operated by the stereotypical South American dictatorship of 'San Miguel', a Bell 206L operated by 'Luckup Industries' as VIP transport, and a Hiller FH1100 traffic news copter, which somehow survives an attack by the flying star of the film, the 'Peacemaker' (an unmanned combat air vehicle). - ALEX YOUNGS



Death Note 3 - L: Change The World (2008) - after the 'plague' outbreak in a Thailand village, a camouflage-painted Huey (armed with rocket pods) chases and attacks fleeing survivors. The low-flying chopper hovers in an off-road clearing, halts the pickup truck and then destroys it (off-screen) in an explosion. Later, there's a MBB/ Kawasaki BK 117 B-1 (licence-built Eurocopter) flying ambulance to medevac a young boy to hospital.



The Death Of The Incredible Hulk (1990) - in this final spin-off TV movie derived from the popular TV series, a Bell 206L LongRanger hovers over the airfield scenes during the climactic shootout. When the Hulk falls out of an exploding airplane, just after it takes off, he passes the airborne helicopter, on his way down to hit the concrete.



helicopter gunship in Death Race
Death Race (2008) - this remake of Death Race 2000 (1975) features a pair of Eurocopter AS355 TwinStar gunships, with rocket pods, chasing final two cars during the hero's off-track escape on the bridge from island prison. The helicopters stop one racer on the mainland dockside and circle around the vehicle in a shot copied from Birds Of Prey.



Death Race 2 (2010) - in this prequel to a remake, there's an Aerospatiale 350B Ecureuil hovering above the opening sequence of a prison riot.



A-Star helicopter in Death Race 3
Puma transport in Death Race 3

Death Race 3: Inferno (2012) - in this action movie sequel, a Eurocopter AS-350B (pictured, left: in a quarry scene at the finishing line) tracks the lethal progress of weaponised rally cars through the Kalahari Desert. A couple of Aerospatiale SA 330J Puma civilian transports are seen parked in the hanger of a South African airfield.



Death Watch (1980) - the climactic scenes of this SF drama feature two Bell 206B JetRangers used by British authorities to search Scottish countryside, on location at Mull of Kintyre, for a couple of missing TV stars.



Deep Blue Sea (1999) - Renny Harlin's thriller about smart sharks has a medevac chopper brave a heavy storm to get an injured scientist away from the floating bio-lab, but a winch cable snag results in a crash 'n' burn disaster, trapping the research scientists and other survivors in the underwater complex.



Deep Impact (1998) - Mimi Leder's disaster movie has troop-carrying helicopters over-fly the entrance to bomb-shelter "ark" caves, while TV news choppers circle above the huge traffic jams. There's one great shot of the urban exodus from tower-block helipads that has dozens of choppers swarming above the evacuated city.



The Deer Hunter (1978) - after breaking out of a Vietnamese prison camp the hero (Robert De Niro) and his fellow escapees are picked up by a helicopter, but one of them (John Savage) falls into a river. There's also good use of helicopter sound effects in an earlier scene, which tells us these men's story has shifted from their home town into a war zone.



Defence Play (1988) - in a twist on the plots of Airwolf and Firefox, Russians sabotage a top secret USAF rocket launch, and steal the hi-tech mini-helicopter called, "Dart," designed especially for recon and scouting missions.



Déjà Vu (2006) - Tony Scott's SF mystery thriller has action scenes using various US Coast Guard, FBI, and New Orleans police helicopters - including AS-350 A-Stars, and HH-65 Dolphins (AS-365 Dauphin 2), during the ferry disaster sequence, and later for the airboat chase.
Denzel's helicopters in Deja Vu



Hughes 369 in Delta Force 2
Dauphin helicopter in Delta Force 2

Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990) - this action movie sequel has an Aerospatiale SA-360 Dauphin, that is used as a gunship by the Delta Force operation, and a Hughes 369 (MD-500), operated by the corrupt military general. There are also a couple of Bell UH-1 Hueys in the movie.
Delta Force 2 helicopters



Demolition Man (1993) - the dramatic opening shot of this satirical SF actioner has Sly Stallone's super-cop carried by a paramilitary helicopter into scenes of Los Angeles on fire.



Demon Of Paradise (1987) - a cheap Filipino remake of Roger Corman's Creature From The Haunted Sea (1961), this horror thriller features a Bell JetRanger used to pluck a diver from the water.
Bell 206 in Demon Of Paradise



Demons (1985) - the most absurdly dramatic moment in Lamberto Bava's amusing zombie thriller is when a helicopter (a Bell 206 JetRanger) unexpectedly crashes through the roof of the cinema, making the survivors dive for cover!
helicopter crash in Demons



Derailed (2002) - on a hijacked train in Eastern Europe, the bad guys attempt to escape via rope ladder to a low-flying Bell JetRanger (poor quality green screen visuals), but the helicopter impacts a mountainside when the train enters a railway tunnel. Later, there's stock footage of a squadron of AH-64 Apache gunships, deployed by military authorities to derail the runaway train when it reaches a bridge. Images of a mighty Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion feature on the DVD box artwork, but (please note our disapproval!) that helicopter does not appear in this film.



Desperate Measures (1998) - a police helicopter is shot at, and damaged, by fleeing felon (Michael Keaton), pursued across a San Francisco bridge by hero cop (Andy Garcia).



Devil Hunter (aka: El canibal, 1980) - this dreary exploitation horror, by Jesus Franco, includes a failed escape (using an MBB Bo-105C Bolkow) from the island. When fired upon by a sniper, the pilot and his passenger jump out of the low-flying helicopter - which then drifts away behind a hillside and explodes off-screen in typically clichéd stunt action.
MBB Bo-105 Bolkow in Devil Hunter



The Devil's Own (1997) - a British Army SA-342 Gazelle appears in a couple of scenes during the search for IRA terrorists.



Devil's Playground (2010) - this British apocalypse movie with freaky athletic zombies, features a damaged old (Eurocopter) SA 341 Gazelle intended as the survivors' escape vehicle from London, but the helicopter never gets off the ground.
The Devil's Playground



The Devil's Tomb (2009) - this derivative horror movie features a standard Bell 204 'Huey' used by a handful of soldiers flying on a rescue mission into a middle eastern desert. The old Huey returns at end of the film to pick-up a lone survivor Curiously, however, it's an out-of-date helicopter, as only US marines are still using Huey types overseas, where such troops now have the Bell UH-1Y 'Venom' upgrade, which looks slightly different to this film's chopper.



Bell 206L in Dhoom 2
Mil Mi-8 Hip in Dhoom 2
Dhoom 2: Back In Action (2006) - this Bollywood sequel to action movie Dhoom (2004), starts with a thief skydiving from a Bell 206L-3 Long Ranger III to rob a train in the Namibian desert. There's also a low-flying Bell 206 used by police to chase a bad guy through streets of Mumbai. Later, a police helicopter (Russian Mil Mi-8 Hip) pursues the pair of anti-hero protagonists along a mountain road. The chopper lands to deploy motorbike cops to follow suspects into a tunnel, but the runaway duo jump their bikes over the Hip, via the ramp of a car-transporter lorry parked at the tunnel's exit, and then a bomb dropped from the briefly airborne bike onto the cops' helicopter, destroys it in a big explosion. (Although this stunt sequence was set in Brazil, it was actually filmed in South Africa.)

 DIAMONDS  ARE  FOREVER

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JetRanger in Diamonds Are Forever

 DIE  ANOTHER  DAY

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Die Another Day

Die Hard star (1989) - John McTiernan's excellent hostage thriller boasts spectacular night-time rotary action as two police helicopters carrying FBI agents are blown off the rooftop of a besieged office tower block when the bad guys detonate their stash of explosives inside the building.
rooftop blast in Die Hard



Hueys landing in Die Hard 2
Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990) - set in Dulles airport, this action sequel features a pair of Hueys that carry a US Army special forces team into the area, when hi-tech terrorists seize control of landing aircraft. Later, there's a low-flying TV news chopper (Aerospatiale AS350-B) that pursues a Boeing 747 cargo jet down the runway and prevents some bad guys from escaping. The hero (Bruce Willis, reprising his role from the original movie) jumps out of the A-Star helicopter onto the wing of the plane.



LongRanger in Die Hard 3 Gazelle in Die Hard With A Vengeance
Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995) - "the heroes ride in a medevac Bell 206L-3 LongRanger at the end of the film, whilst the villain has a Gazelle that flies a little too close to some power-lines." - BILL HIERS

 DIE  HARD  4.0

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Die Hard 4

Dinocroc vs. Supergator (2010) - this low-budget monster movie is a genre sequel to Dinocroc (2004), and Supergator (2007). Two CGI/ virtual Chinook transports fly over the harbour scene (on Hawaiian locations), but the real helicopters in this movie are two Aerospatiale AS350-B2 flights (Safari Helicopters) that take-off outside the hanger on a Kauai island airfield. One of the A-Star choppers has a FLIR camera rig loaded to help with the heroes' aerial search for two giant creatures on the rampage. The DVD box artwork shows a pair of Apache gunships (as pictured) but they do not appear in this movie.
Dinocroc vs Supergator



Dinoshark (2010) - this monster movie, about a giant prehistoric fish, was produced for TV by Roger Corman, and filmed on locations in Mexico. One scene features a CGI helicopter (Eurocopter EC-135) snatched from its low-hovering position and pulled down in the creature's jaws, where it is destroyed underwater (exploding off-screen) and sends up a cloud of black smoke. In reference to Jaws, the hero remarks: "You're gonna need a bigger helicopter.""
helicopter vs monster in Dinoshark



The Diplomat (aka: False Witness, 2009) - this TV mini-series of two 90-minute movies, ends with a Eurocopter AS-350, which lands at the seafront in Sydney, where the hero confronts some Russian mobsters. The helicopter takes off, just seconds before police arrive, and the A-Star flies away from the port, along Australian coastline, intending to flee the country. Although fighter jets are scrambled to intercept the villains' getaway flight, a suitcase nuke aboard the helicopter is detonated over international waters, resulting in a mushroom cloud over the sea.



Dirty Harry (1971) - in this cop thriller directed by Don Siegel, there's a Bell 206 flying inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) to a San Francisco helipad, and then the police helicopter goes on daylight patrol over the city, where the JetRanger's crew spot a sniper on a high-rise building. The helicopter swoops down to scare the psycho killer off the rooftop, but the cops lose track of him.
JetRanger in Dirty Harry



Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry

JetRanger in Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974) - Vic Morrow is the top cop in this chase movie's helicopter pursuit of a gang of thieves' getaway car, using low-flying stunts in a Bell 206 JetRanger, while attempting to force the Dodge Charger of ex-racing driver (Peter Fonda) off the road.
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry poster artwork

 DISASTER  ON  THE  COASTLINER

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Disaster on the Coastliner

 DISTRICT  9

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District 9

District 13: Ultimatum (aka: Banlieue 13: Ultimatum, 2009) - this futuristic action thriller sequel features three Bell 214 helicopters in the sequence where commando police land atop residential tower blocks in a targeted ghetto.

 DOCTOR  WHO  (TV & movies)

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Hughes 269 in Doctor Who

Dog Soldiers (2002) - in early scene of this British action horror film, an Army helicopter drops troops in the Scottish highlands on a special military training exercise that ends in many deaths when the soldiers are attacked by werewolves.



Domino (2005) - Tony Scott's action drama about a rebellious heiress turned bounty hunter (played ironically by the fragile Keira Knightley), ends with a gun battle between rival mobsters in a Las Vegas skyscraper, and stray bullets hit the cops' Eurocopter AS-350 A-Star that's circling the tower. The helicopter crashes in the street and promptly explodes.



Doom (2005) - Andrzej Bartkowiak's sci-fi actioner based a popular shoot 'em up video game, features a hi-tech super-helicopter in a brief CGI sequence, transporting a squad of space marine commando types from their home base to a teleportation portal.



Agusta A119 in Doomsday
Super Frelon helicopter in Doomsday
Doomsday (2008) - this sci-fi action thriller features an Army 'Huey' type helicopter, used for the military retreat from Scotland. Next, there's an Agusta A119 Koala, which carries the heroine (Rhona Mitra) northwards from London. Later, the new Prime Minister flies, with troops, in an Aerospatiale SA 321J Super Frelon (armed with a door gun), for a meeting with the heroine. Finally, a battered Chinook transport airlift flies over the ruined city of Glasgow.



Do Or Die (1991) - this Andy Sidaris adventure features a helicopter attack on the heroines' jeep, which is dealt with by an anti-aircraft rocket launched from a walking stick gizmo! The movie also has a visit to a quarter-scale model plane airshow, featuring a nifty 'air cavalry' gunship.



Double Identity (2009) - set in eastern Europe, the plot this espionage thriller owes a debt to Alfred Hitchcock's classic North By Northwest (1959), as an American doctor (Val Kilmer) is mistaken for a spy in Bulgaria.

A pair of Mil Mi-24 'Hind' gunships appear on the DVD box artwork, but there are no helicopters in the movie.

There's no debriefing before its rapid induction into Rotary Action's HALL OF SHAME.

Double Identity DVD box art

 DRAGON  WARS

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Dragon Wars

Dreamcatcher (2003) - Lawrence Kasden's film of the Stephen King novel, concerns four psychic heroes fighting off an extraterrestrial invasion of Earth, and features a spectacular helicopter air strike by Apache gunships against the crashed alien spaceship. In a later scene, a crazy military chief (Morgan Freeman) pilots a Hughes 500 armed with a machinegun, and strafes the wooded grounds of a reservoir station to shoot another soldier (Tom Sizemore), but the chopper is hit by return fire, so it crashes and explodes (off-screen).



Dreamscape (1983) - this sci-fi psychic thriller features a briefly seen Bell 206B JetRanger III helicopter as transportation for the President of the United States.




Drop Zone (1994) - this action movie is directed by John Badham, and it stars Wesley Snipes. The featured helicopter is a Bell 206B JetRanger that lands on a boat in Miami harbour.



Dune (1984) - no helicopters appear in David Lynch's magnificent space adventure, but this film has a rare screen appearance for an ornithopter flying machine based on flapping wings instead of rotor blades.

Frank Herbert's Dune (2000) - a TV serial remake of Lynch's epic SF drama features even more screen time for winged 'thopters than the original movie, and these bird-wing style flying machines are realised with first class digital effects for the aerial scenes.

Sequel miniseries Children Of Dune (2003) continues the space opera and features yet more superb CG visual effects of airborne golden ornithopters.
Dune ornithopter



Dus (2005) - this overlong and tiresomely macho Bollywood action thriller, features a brief helicopter stunt during the operatic finale in Canada, as one of the super-cop heroes drives a car-bomb away from the stadium, and gets airlifted to safety from the moving vehicle, just before the runaway jeep falls into a ravine and promptly explodes.

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