American based Federation World Airlines has just acquired a Concorde jet, which will make its inaugural commercial flight from Washington D.C. to Paris and then to Moscow as a goodwill ... See full summary »
This precursor to later "epic" 70's disaster films illustrates 12 hours in the lives of the personnel and passengers at the "Lincoln Airport." Endless problems, professional and personal, are thrown at the various personnel responsible for the safe and proper administration of air traffic, airline management and aviation at a major US airport. Take one severe snowstorm, add multiple schedules gone awry, one elderly Trans Global Airlines stowaway, shortages, an aging, meretricious pilot, unreasonable, peevish spouses, manpower issues, fuel problems, frozen runways and equipment malfunctions and you get just a sample of the obstacles faced by weary, disgruntled personnel and passengers at the Lincoln Airport. Toss in one long-suffering pilot's wife, several stubborn men, office politics and romance and one passenger with a bomb and you have the film "Airport" from 1970. Written by
The real star of the show, the Boeing 707 (a 707-348C, serial no. 19351 [503rd 707 off the production line], originally registered N324F), was leased to MCA/Universal Pictures from Flying Tiger Airlines (now merged with FedEx) for the filming of the exterior shots. After filming was completed, the aircraft returned to Flying Tiger and was later sold, going through various owners before meeting a tragic end--it crashed while on landing approach on March 21, 1989, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. See more »
At the end of the film when the hole in the aircraft is being examined, the thin, aluminum skin of the aircraft is splayed out like the petals of a flower. In actuality, the torn skin of the aircraft would be bent toward the back of the plane by the 500 mph wind blowing by. See more »
Unusually, the Universal Pictures logo animation is not shown at the beginning of this movie...it's instead shown at the end. The in-credit notice "UNIVERSAL presents" replaced the usual opening logo. See more »
I recently watched "Airport" on TCM. It was the first time I had seen it in its original widescreen format since it came out in 1970. I was surprised at how well it has held up with the passage of time. Although there have been disaster movies from the beginning of cinema in the late 19th century and one that dealt specifically with an airplane in danger ("The High and the Mighty"), this was the film that launched the modern disaster craze that produced "The Towering Inferno," "The Poseidon Adventure," and countless others including "The Day After Tomorrow." The hilarious spoof "Airplane" which poked fun at the clichés and pretentiousness of the films did much to discredit the genre until recently.
"Airport" was based on the popular best seller by Arthur Hailey. Although over two hours long, the movie moves and the viewer never gets bored. The stellar cast does an exceptional job with a standout performance by the legendary Helen Hayes. The ending is both happy and sad. So it does not cop out on several key themes of the story. Many of the roles, such as George Kennedy's Joe Patroni, are played lightly and this adds zest to the performances. When the script begins to get syrupy a new element of emergency is thrown in to pick it up and go.
Forget all the cliché-ridden disaster flicks you have seen since "Airport." You will be entertained and not feel cheated when the closing credits appear.
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