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Airport (1970) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Arthur Hailey (from the novel by)
George Seaton (written for the screen by)
View company contact information for Airport on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 March 1970 (USA) See more »
The #1 novel of the year - now a motion picture!
A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 5 wins & 17 nominations See more »
(62 articles)
User Reviews:
Air Plot See more (152 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Burt Lancaster ... Mel Bakersfeld

Dean Martin ... Vernon Demerest

Jean Seberg ... Tanya Livingston

Jacqueline Bisset ... Gwen Meighen

George Kennedy ... Patroni

Helen Hayes ... Ada Quonsett

Van Heflin ... D.O. Guerrero

Maureen Stapleton ... Inez Guerrero

Barry Nelson ... Anson Harris

Dana Wynter ... Cindy

Lloyd Nolan ... Harry Standish

Barbara Hale ... Sarah Demerest

Gary Collins ... Cy Jordan
John Findlater ... Peter Coakley

Jessie Royce Landis ... Mrs. Harriet DuBarry Mossman
Larry Gates ... Commissioner Ackerman
Peter Turgeon ... Marcus Rathbone

Whit Bissell ... Mr. Davidson
Virginia Grey ... Mrs. Schultz

Eileen Wesson ... Judy Barton

Paul Picerni ... Dr. Compagno
Robert Patten ... Capt. Benson - Pilot
Clark Howat ... Bert Weatherby
Lew Brown ... Reynolds
Ilana Dowding ... Robbie Bakersfeld
Lisa Gerritsen ... Libby Bakersfeld (as Lisa Gerritson)
James Nolan ... Father Steven Lonigan (as Jim Nolan)
Patty Poulsen ... Joan - Stewardess
Ena Hartman ... Ruth - Stewardess
Malila Saint Duval ... Maria - Stewardess
Sharon Harvey ... Sally - Stewardess
Albert Reed ... Lt. Ned Ordway
Jodean Lawrence ... Marie Patroni (as Jodean Russo)
Nancy Ann Nelson ... Bunnie
Dick Winslow ... Mr. Schultz
Lou Wagner ... Schuyler Schultz
Janis Hansen ... Sister Katherine Grace
Mary Jackson ... Sister Felice
Shelly Novack ... Rollings
Chuck Daniel ... Parks
Charles Brewer ... Diller
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fletcher Allen ... Dispatcher (uncredited)
Leon Alton ... Man on Dias / Man at Club (uncredited)
Merry Anders ... Mrs. Burt Ball - Passenger (uncredited)
Ricky Anderson ... William Downey - Passenger (uncredited)
Ray Andrade ... Pietro Carmona - Passenger (uncredited)
Maria Andre ... Mrs. Portola (uncredited)
Nadine Arlyn ... Jennifer Barry - Passenger (uncredited)
Ray Ballard ... Gilbert Price - Passenger (uncredited)
Larry Barton ... Rabbi Leo Bernstein - Passenger (uncredited)

Michael Bell ... Airport Bus Driver (uncredited)
Savannah Bentley ... Virginia Lopez - Passenger (uncredited)

Chuck Bowman ... New York Dispatcher (uncredited)
William Boyett ... Jack Ingram (uncredited)
Chuckie Bradley ... Dee Gilroy - Passenger (uncredited)
James Bradley ... Jack Stone - Passenger (uncredited)

Eve Brent ... Mrs. David Corman - Passenger (uncredited)
Robert Brubaker ... Dr. Nash (uncredited)
Dee Carroll ... Florence (uncredited)

Dort Clark ... Dr. Henry Bron - Passenger (uncredited)
Ellen Clark ... Anne Gordon - Passenger (uncredited)
Tamar Cooper ... Carol Blake - Passenger (uncredited)
Cathleen Cordell ... Mrs. William Donovan - Passenger (uncredited)
Nick Cravat ... Nick Valli - Passenger (uncredited)
Susan Curtis ... Elizabeth Yorker - Passenger (uncredited)
Carol Daniels ... Loretta Manning - Passenger (uncredited)
Hal K. Dawson ... Ben Bradley - Passenger (uncredited)
Ed Deemer ... Co-Pilot Crowley (uncredited)
Larry Delaney ... Frank (uncredited)
John Delgado ... Ingram's Assistant - Passenger (uncredited)
John N. Denend ... Douglas (uncredited)
John Dennis ... Cab Driver (uncredited)
Kaye Elhardt ... Kay Hart - Passenger (uncredited)
John Eloff ... Jack Elliott - Passenger (uncredited)
Reginald Fenderson ... Dr. Grant (uncredited)
John Francis ... Maurice David - Passenger (uncredited)
Wilma Francis ... Elegant Woman - Passenger (uncredited)
Mark Gardner ... Richard Kalin - Passenger (uncredited)
Don Gazzaniga ... Carlo Di Tomaso - Passenger (uncredited)
Sandra Gould ... Millie Miles - Passenger (uncredited)
Neil Grant ... Roger Whitney - Passenger (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Antonio Piace - Passenger (uncredited)
Michael J. Grayson ... David Corman - Passenger (uncredited)
Larry Greenfield ... Controller #1 - Minneapolis (uncredited)
Warren Hammack ... Irwin Jansen - Passenger (uncredited)
Marc Hannibal ... Sgt. Edward Washington - Passenger (uncredited)
Harry Harvey ... Dr. Avery Smith - Passenger (uncredited)
Thomas Browne Henry ... Professor Charles Ruch - Passenger (uncredited)
Art Hern ... Charlie Kaplan - Passenger (uncredited)
Mary Gail Hobbs ... Mrs. Cary Jay - Passenger (uncredited)
Fred Holliday ... Chester Jennings - Passenger (uncredited)
Wendy Howard ... Mrs. Alan Bramson - Passenger (uncredited)
William Hudson ... Mr. Donovan - Passenger (uncredited)
Jill Jackson ... Mrs. Ben Bradley - Passenger (uncredited)
Frank Jamus ... Inspector Frank Barrow (uncredited)

Andrew Johnson ... Sterling (uncredited)
Bobby Johnson ... Red Cap (uncredited)
Dale Johnson ... James Mott - Passenger (uncredited)
Judy Jordan ... Bea (uncredited)
Walter Woolf King ... Cindy's Father (uncredited)
Robert Knapp ... Jack Dunlap - Passenger (uncredited)
Ron Koslow ... Mark Harris - Passenger (uncredited)
Paul La Capria ... Italian Boy on Plane (uncredited)
Damian London ... Praying Father (uncredited)

Celia Lovsky ... Mrs. Williams - Passenger (uncredited)
Marco López ... Harold Lopez - Passenger (uncredited)
Adrienne Marden ... Mrs. Gertrude Cochran - Passenger (uncredited)
Richard Mathews ... Controller #2 (uncredited)
David Mauro ... Mario Vitale - Passenger (uncredited)
Allison McKay ... Mrs. Irwin Jansen - Passenger (uncredited)
Eve McVeagh ... Mrs. Henry Bron - Passenger (uncredited)
Fredricka Meyers ... Zena Van Dann - Passenger (uncredited)
Belle Mitchell ... Bertha Kaplan - Passenger (uncredited)
Dallas Mitchell ... Danny (uncredited)
Michele Montau ... Rosa Di Tomaso - Passenger (uncredited)
Barbara Morrison ... Mrs. James Mott - Passenger (uncredited)
Don Nagel ... Martin Rose - Passenger (uncredited)
John Nolan ... Richard Ross - Passenger (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Waiter at Men's Club (uncredited)
Kathleen O'Malley ... Mrs. Chuck Beale - Passenger (uncredited)
Tom Pace ... David Norton - Passenger (uncredited)
Jim Parker ... Controller #3 (uncredited)
Vic Perrin ... Crabby Man (uncredited)
Joe Ploski ... Diner Patron (uncredited)
Murray Pollack ... Wellman (uncredited)
Pat Priest ... Mrs. Jerry Copeland - Passenger (uncredited)
Quinn K. Redeker ... John Reindel (uncredited)
Leoda Richards ... White-Haried Lady on Dais (uncredited)
Arnold Roberts ... Commuter at Airport (uncredited)

George R. Robertson ... Richard Stout - Passenger (uncredited)
Sondra Rodgers ... Margaret Rogers - Passenger (uncredited)
Don Ross ... John - Weatherman (uncredited)

Marion Ross ... Joan Myers - Passenger (uncredited)
Robert C. Ross ... Chuck Beale - Passenger (uncredited)
Michael Rougas ... Navigator (uncredited)
Benny Rubin ... Sam Lasky - Passenger Rubbing His Face (uncredited)
Dick Russell ... Jerry Copeland - Passenger (uncredited)
Jackie Russell ... Holly Barry - Passenger (uncredited)
Mark Russell ... PFC Bud Miller - Passenger (uncredited)
Frank J. Scannell ... Ted Fields - Passenger (uncredited)
Michael Sevareid ... Fowler (uncredited)

Johnny Silver ... Franco Spinetti - Passenger (uncredited)
Eric Sinclair ... David Knight - Passenger (uncredited)
Cap Somers ... Commuter at Airport (uncredited)
Michael Stearns ... Donald Pyne - Obnoxious Passenger 21-D (uncredited)
Mike Steele ... Banquet M.C. (uncredited)
Ron Stokes ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Arlen Stuart ... Sally Catalano - Passenger (uncredited)
Leslie Summers ... Lynn Mason - Passenger (uncredited)
Joel Thingvall ... Teen in Terminal (uncredited)
Towyna Thomas ... Mrs. Smith - Passenger (uncredited)
Glenn Thompson ... Controller #1 (uncredited)
Bee Tompkins ... Kate Jameson - Passenger (uncredited)
Richard Van Vleet ... Passenger in Military Uniform (uncredited)
Dawn Villere ... Dawn Williams - Passenger (uncredited)
Bud Walls ... Dr. Alan Bramson - Passenger (uncredited)
Rick Warick ... Burt Ball - Passenger (uncredited)
Wally West ... Commuter at Airport (uncredited)
Vince Williams ... Cleveland Dispatcher (uncredited)
Frederick Worlock ... Frederick Williams - Passenger (uncredited)

Directed by
George Seaton 
Henry Hathaway (uncredited) (winter outdoor scenes)
Writing credits
Arthur Hailey (from the novel by)

George Seaton (written for the screen by)

Produced by
Ross Hunter .... producer
Jacques Mapes .... associate producer (as Jacque Mapes)
Gordon Cornell Layne .... associate producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Alfred Newman (music composed by)
Cinematography by
Ernest Laszlo (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Stuart Gilmore (film editor)
Art Direction by
E. Preston Ames 
Alexander Golitzen 
Set Decoration by
Mickey S. Michaels (set decorations)
Jack D. Moore (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Edith Head (costumes designed by)
Makeup Department
Larry Germain .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup
Production Management
Raymond Gosnell .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Donald Roberts .... assistant director
Harvey S. Laidman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Larry Clark Bird .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
David H. Moriarty .... sound
Ronald Pierce .... sound
Waldon O. Watson .... sound
Visual Effects by
James B. Gordon .... special photographic effects: Film Effects of Hollywood
Don Weed .... special photographic effects: Film Effects of Hollywood
Scott Dougherty .... digital restoration producer: Cinesite (uncredited)
Linwood G. Dunn .... special photographic effects (uncredited)
Cecil Love .... special photographic effects (uncredited)
Jerry Pooler .... digital restoration supervisor (uncredited)
Tiffany Smith .... digital restoration coordinator: Cinesite (uncredited)
Lightning Bear .... stunts (uncredited)
Steven Burnett .... stunts (uncredited)
Nick Cravat .... stunts (uncredited)
Carol Daniels .... stunts (uncredited)
Donna Garrett .... stunt double: Jacqueline Bisset (uncredited)
Joe Gray .... stunts (uncredited)
Don Nagel .... stunts (uncredited)
Dean Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
Bud Walls .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Yerkes .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Loyal Griggs .... second cinematographer (uncredited)
Everett Lehman .... gaffer (uncredited)
Doug Mathias .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Earl C. Williman .... rigging gaffer (uncredited)
Music Department
Alfred Newman .... conductor
Arnold Schwarzwald .... music editor
Hugo Friedhofer .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Carol Kaye .... musician: bass (uncredited)
Gus Levene .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Fred Steiner .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Lee Danielson .... technical advisor: Air Traffic Control (as Captain Lee Danielson)
John N. Denend .... technical advisor (as John N. Denend - F.A.A.)
Betty A. Griffin .... script supervisor (as Betty Abbott)
Robert Werden .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
137 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) | 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints) | Mono (35 mm optical prints)

Did You Know?

Although the ages of the characters are not discussed in the film, the actors portraying Vernon Demerest (Dean Martin) and Gwen Meighen (Jacqueline Bisset) had a huge age disparity, with Martin (age 52) being almost exactly double Bisset's age (age 25) at time of filming.See more »
Continuity: At the end, the 707 lands with only the landing lights illuminated. When they come to a complete stop at the end of the runway, all exterior lights (wing markers, beacons, etc.) are illuminated.See more »
Joe Patroni:Okay. But you keep those dinky toys out of my hair and away from this plane for 15 minutes, maybe less. I'll DRIVE it out.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Universal Story (1995) (TV)See more »


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44 out of 56 people found the following review useful.
Air Plot, 18 February 2004
Author: clydestuff from United States

In 1968, Arthur Hailey's best selling novel Airport was a fixture atop the best seller's lists. It was an intricate detailed telling of the inner workings of fictional Lincoln International Airport trying desperately to function during one of the worst snow storms in decades. Hailey had researched the book for five years, and as he weaved his soap opera storyline magic, we gained a fascinating behind the scenes look of airport operations, why airlines function the way they do, and a detailed look at the stressful lives of air-traffic controllers. It was these details that made the novel great. Hailey wrote his characters with substance, digging deep into their personalities, motivations and psyche, so that we always understood their actions and reactions. The basic plot lines may have been high class soap-opera but the book as a whole was one of great substance and readability.

In 1970, Hailey's book hit the big screen as an all star glitzy Hollywood production. Unable to put the complex details of Airport operations onto the big screen, director and writer George Seaton gave us all melodrama and not much technical details. As Hollywood spectacle it's fun to watch and taken on that level you won't mind giving it a look. If you've read Hailey's novel, you'll probably be disappointed.

Of course in a film such as this with enough plots to make six movies, you are bound by the unwritten law of Hollywood to have a recognizable all star cast. So get your pens and pencils out and get ready to draw a chart. Headlining Airport are Burt Lancaster as Mel Bakersfield the airport manager, and Dean Martin as his Mel's brother-in-law and a philandering pilot, Vern Demerest. Lancaster is easily the better of the two. He has this aura about him that makes us believe he could be running a Metropolitan Airport. Martin is not quite as successful as Lancaster. He is Dean Martin playing Dean Martin pretending to be the aforementioned playboy pilot. Heck, though, he makes the character a likable enough guy that you won't mind it a bit. Another disappointment is that Martin and Lancaster only have one brief scene together. It would have been nice if Seaton would have added a few more, just so we could watch two legends work together.

Jean Seberg plays Tonya Livingston, an airline representative who has designs on Mel despite the fact that Mel is still married. We believe her as the airline rep., but the chemistry between Seberg and Lancaster never really clicks. If the relationship were gone into in more detail then perhaps one would feel differently. Unfortunately that's one thing this film is in short supply of is important details.

Next up in our role call is Jacqueline Bisset, who plays stewardess and Mistress Gwen Meighen who also happens to be pregnant (Captain, we have an extra passenger on board). As Gwen, Bisset gives us one of the more believable characters in this film, making us understand her feelings for Vern enough that though she never says it we see her love for him. George Kennedy provides comedy relief as Joe Patroni, an ace airline mechanic brought in to remove an airliner mired in the snow and blocking a key runway. Helen Hayes is on hand as an airplane stowaway. Though she may look like a sweet little old lady, don't be fooled. Having won an Oscar in 1932 for The Sin of Madelon Claudet, she would pick up another on thirty eight years later as a supporting actress for her role as Ada Quonsett.

The very best in this film though are Van Heflin as D.O. Guerrero, a down on his luck, out of work construction worker, who hatches a chilling desperate plan to change the financial fortunes of his family. As his wife Inez, Maureen Stapleton may not have copped the Oscar, but should have. Her portrayal of Inez has some of the more touching moments in Airport.

One of the other great stars of Airport is the snow storm itself. In scenes filmed by Ernest Lazlo and directed by Henry Hathaway, the outdoor settings of snow blanketing the airport are so realistic; you'll be going to the closet to grab a coat. Alfred Newman's lush score blends right into the goings on, and his opening title overture will suck you right into the film.

Ross Hunter was the producer on airport. His involvement in glitzy Hollywood soap operas of the past such as Imitation of Life, Madame X, would help to explain much of the goings on in this film. On another note, I was unimpressed with Edith Head's costume design for the stewardesses. They are unattractively bland, and seem almost matronly.

Airport will never be confused with great film making. None the less, it is still highly watchable entertainment. It gives us a lot of plots, a lot of stars, a lot of snow and a some suspense. And for all that you get my grade which is: B

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