So Wed. night I rewatched Airplane!. I’ve seen this movie several times, last time was several years ago at the beach with my nephew. Always funny, and I distinctly remember the first time seeing it in the theater (because I’m old) and never laughing harder at a movie than this one, then or since. When it came out, this movie skewered all the stupid disaster films that were all the rage at the time (the tiresome Airport series, Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure – the list went on). All the more reason to tear it down by sending the ‘genre’ up. 🙂

While there’s a few bits now that are a tad bit borderline (this was the ’70s after all) – it’s still funny through and through. And it’s one of those movies that has so many sight gags in it, you have to watch closely (or repeatedly) to catch all of them. To wit, the Peter Graves scene at the magazine rack – can you spot the obvious (and not-so-obvious)? 🙂

magazine rack

And of course the announcers arguing over the PA about the ‘white zone’ and the ‘red zone’ – and the airport cult member smackdown (remember cult people in the airports? Ah, memories….).

What is also hilarious is how many veteran actors are spoofing themselves (Peter Graves, Lloyd Bridges, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack), especially Lloyd Bridges with all his side comments and ridiculous posturing as a stressed-out airport traffic mgr. I had forgotten the scene where he slams the phone down and leans forward on his desk all intense, and the camera pans out to show an identical picture of him doing the same thing, hanging on the wall behind him – too funny!

And the cameo of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was genius, even if he’s obviously reading off a cue card at one point. And don’t forget Johnny, or the ‘Automatic Pilot’.

here’s a clip montage that only shows the tip of the iceberg – and if you have never seen this movie, get crackin’ and watch it 🙂


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