The Mystery of D.B. Cooper is a Documentary about one of the biggest aeroplane heists in history. It was November 1971 and a man known as DB Cooper hijacked a plane flying out of Portland, Oregon. How did he do it? A stranger boarded a plane and handed a note to a female flight attendant advising that a hijacking was about to occur. The flight attendant quickly learnt that the stranger was not mucking around as his briefcase contained explosives. After demanding a large ransom involving cash, DB Cooper was successful with the heist and parachuted out of the hijacked 727 at 10,000 feet over Washington State. No trace of him was ever found. A massive manhunt was conducted by many people including the military, FBI and even Boy Scouts. In the present day, the case is still the only unsolved act of air piracy in American history. Sure, there are many suspects and theories but not enough to ever bring the case to a full closure.
This documentary rehashes the main event, re-enacted by actors and narrated by the real people who were present during the heist, including flight attendants and even the pilots. The film also includes interviews from various people who feel they know who the real DB Cooper is. There are even interviews with people who have written books about the heist or those who have devoted their lives to looking for clues trying to close the case. Several facts and evidence are also shown and discussed throughout the film.
The pacing of this documentary for the most part was quite pleasing. I did notice the runtime and found it a slight struggle as the documentary attempted to wrap up and deliver a conclusion. Visuals are great and the quality of interviews were also very pleasing. As a true story, I will confess, I had no idea about this heist, so I found watching this documentary from the start to finish extremely fascinating and insightful.
Overall, those who enjoy documentaries about unsolved true stories will certainly find this pleasing. A story of a man who conducted a heist on a large plane and then parachutes out with no trace of him is certainly a story that fascinated me. It is unfortunate that the documentary can’t reveal all the details and that the final conclusion will be left up to its viewers. Pacing for the most part is pleasing and the quality of this documentary, including the film’s visuals and interviews, are also quite positive. Overall, this documentary comes highly recommended.
The Mystery of D.B Cooper (2020) is Available in Australian Cinemas from December 3rd!
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Review Written by Peter Walkden