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When the pilot of a small aircraft has a heart attack and crashes his plane into the cockpit of a Boeing 747, several members of the flight crew are killed and the pilot is blinded. Miraculously, the 747 stays in the air on auto-pilot with flight attendant Nancy Prior at the controls. Ground controllers, including her boyfriend Alan Murdock, try to teach her the basics but they soon realize they will have to get a trained pilot into the cockpit. Their first attempt fails and Murdock realizes he will have to do it. Meanwhile, various passengers have their own problems including a young girl who is destined to a life saving operation. Written by
The 747 used in the film cost thirty thousand dollars per day to rent from American Airlines. All exterior shots of the aircraft (and one interior shot of Charlton Heston at the controls) were completed in two days (landing shots in Salt Lake City, aerial shots over the Wasatch mountain range in Utah, evening and early morning flight shots, and a stunt shot involving engine number one ramming into an outbuilding). The evening taxi and take-off shots were filmed as the plane, with the re-badged "Columbia Airlines" logo on the fuselage, was being delivered to Salt Lake City for the two days of filming. See more »
The Beechcraft Baron strikes the 747 from the front. This comes after Air Traffic Control has told the Baron's pilot that he is "Number two for landing behind a heavy jet." Even allowing for the Baron's pilot's discomfort & disorientation due to a heart attack, how does the small plane get turned around 180 degrees and on a collision course? See more »
The inspiration for all the clichés and spoofs to follow
I have read many of the viewer comments on this film and I can say that most were right on target so there isn't much point in my repeating what they've already said.
My main comment would be: Save yourself the time and expense to see this film and rent "Airplane!" instead. They are essentially the same film with the only real distinction being that "Airplane!" actually was intended to be a comedy.... and a damned good one at that. In fact, as I recall, "Airplane!" was named the best comedy ever made by the American Film Institute. This is quite phenomenal when you consider that it was nothing but a spoof of "Airport 1975". And this may be the one and only truly distinctive aspect of "Airport 1975". That is, it did inspire a truly great film. Otherwise, it had very few redeeming qualities.
The film is nothing but a haphazardly thrown together collection of all the film clichés that could be squeezed into the allotted run time. I recently watched it for the first time since its original release mostly out of sheer curiosity. I remembered it being bad.... as all the sequels to "Airport" were. They were all presumably made as serious films but they were all so sloppily made with such terrible scripts that you couldn't help wonder why they weren't just released as comedies in the first place. For example, as has been well documented in other viewer comments, how could anyone take Linda Blair's and Helen Reddy's roles seriously? I mean, how could they keep straight faces with the scenario and dialogue they were supposed to work with? All that was missing was a laugh track.
I am glad I read some of the IMDb comments as I was viewing "Airport 1975" on AMC because they really added to my enjoyment of the comic aspects of the film.
As I said, this was the first time I had watched it in about 30 years and in the meantime I had of course seen "Airplane!" But until rewatching "Airport 1975" I did not realize the degree to which "Airplane!" was inspired by "Airport 1975". At times, I was dumbstruck at how scene after scene were all spoofs of actual scenes from "Airport 1975". And this made the film very entertaining to me when otherwise I may have just hit the channel button on the remote after the first 10 minutes of so of the drivel that "Airport 1975" actually is.
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