Movie Night in Canada: William Shatner and the Kidnapping of the President

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      As we continue on our mission to boldly go where most movie viewers have never gone before, by asking film industry professionals for their recommendations for obscure, forgotten, or underrated Canadian cinematic gems, we received a recommendation from someone we would have never expected to get one from in a thousand light years.

      Would you believe that person was William Shatner?

      You'd be forgiven if you didn't. We didn't. But yes, it's true.

      You see, one of our writers, Doug Sarti, scored an interview with the legendary Shatner prior to his speaking engagement at UBC on Saturday.

      At the end of the interview, the ever-intrepid Sarti managed to squeeze in a question to ask Shatner what would be his pick for a Canadian film.

      "Oh gosh," Shatner said, "I did one a long time ago there: The Kidnapping of the President. How’s that for an obscure Canadian film?"

      For those of you who don't know the film (which is basically everyone), The Kidnapping of the President is a 1980 Canada-U.S. political thriller, based on the 1975 novel by Toronto author Charles Templeton.

      On a diplomatic visit to that foreign land of Canada, the U.S. president (played by Hal Holbrook) is held captive by a South American terrorist (Miguel Fernandes) in a truck filled with explosives. It's up to Secret Service agent Jerry O'Connor (Shatner) to rescue the president.

      Van Johnson stars as the vice-president, with Ava Gardner playing his wife.

      Sarti then asked Shatner why he recommended it.

      "Because I’m in it!" he replied with a laugh.

      Well that's certainly reason enough to watch it.

      For more from Shatner, here's Sarti's article.

      And stay tuned for recommendations in our Movie Night in Canada series. Watch long and prosper.