Made for television, Hostage Flight fomented a well-publicized controversy when first aired by NBC on November 17, 1985. On a domestic flight headed for Detroit, 65 passengers are held hostage by four international terrorists. The demands of the hijackers are simple: Release their imprisoned leader or the hostages will be executed one by one. Only after innocent blood is shed do the outraged passengers form a united front to rebel against their captors, and, ultimately, to take justice in their own hands. The film's original ending found the passengers, having staged their own "trial" of the hijackers, doling out punishment in a gruesome manner (and a highly unlikely manner, given the limited head-space on a typical jetliner). This denouement proved too horrifying for the NBC executives, who demanded that a modified ending be filmed (though the original climax was shown when the film was released outside the United States).