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Sunday December 3rd 2023

Air Force One | 1997

Air Force One location: Mansfield Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio
Air Force One location: the ‘Russian’ prison: Mansfield Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio

A scenery-chewing Russian terrorist (the new Nationalist breed, not the old Commie type) hijacks America’s First Plane with President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) on board.

Air Force One location: the Ebell of Los Angeles, West Eighth Street, midtown Los Angeles
Air Force One location: the President’s ‘Russian’ speech: the Ebell of Los Angeles, West Eighth Street, midtown Los Angeles

For the early sequences, a second unit captured shots of Red Square in Moscow, but Harrison Ford stayed in Los Angeles to make his Russian speech, at the Ebell Of Los Angeles, 743 South Lucerne Boulevard, off Wilshire Boulevard, midtown. The complex, comprising a women's club and the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, is a frequent film location which you can see in Forrest Gump, The Addams Family, Ghost and many more productions.

Air Force One location: Red Square, Moscow
Air Force One location: the real Russian opening: Red Square, Moscow

Similarly, 'Moscow Airport' is actually Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Plenty of other locations can be found in Ohio, where ‘Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany’ is Rickenbacker International Airport, Columbus. Permission to use airports determined the locations for much of the rest of the film.

The opening scenes use University Circle and Cuyahoga County Courthouse, Cleveland, as ‘Moscow’ government buildings. The ‘Presidential Palace, Kazakhstan’ is Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, while the vast ‘Russian’ prison, in which General Radek (Jurgen Prochnow) is incarcerated, is Mansfield Reformatory,Mansfield (also used for exteriors for The Shawshank Redemption).

And although its lawn was recreated in a park in Los Angeles, it is the real White House in Washington DC in the long shots.