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Mr. Phillip Stevens is flying in a load of VIPs to the grand opening of his art collection when a trio of hijackers knock out the passengers with gas and try to steal the priceless cargo of art treasures. But everything goes wrong for the hijackers when the 747 crashes in the Bermuda triangle. While the passengers remain alive in the shallow water a daring rescue operation is planned to bring the plane up without breaking it in two. Written by
Adam Carpenter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joan Crawford was approached to play the role of Emily Livingston but declined, later saying, "I wanted Joel McCrea to play opposite me, and anyway, they actually asked me to fly out there with only one week's notice! Why, that is hardly enough time for makeup tests or rehearsals... and when I asked about costume fittings, they said they wanted me to wear my own clothes!" See more »
During take off, a large number of loose items (including a huge fruit buffet set up on a table) are laying about in a way that would be totally unacceptable for any airline. Even after the ditching/crash, the bowl of grapes is sitting proudly and undisturbed on its table! See more »
Gazillionaire James Stewart is shipping his collection of art to a museum and he's using his private jet to fly the collection and a few friends down to meet him in Florida.
Of course this attracts the attention of a few crooks who have a pretty well thought out plan and the copilot, Robert Foxworth, working with them. Of course all good plans go awry and they go down in the Bermuda Triangle into some relatively shallow area of the Atlantic.
Hey they could have gone down and been lost for decades like the Titanic was.
That's essentially the plot here and in true Seventies disaster film tradition you load the screen with big names, dress them fashionably and put them in harm's way. The rest of the film is devoted to their rescue.
Incidentally the footage devoted to the air sea rescue is the best thing about Airport 77. No member of the audience will not go away impressed with the U.S. Navy's capabilities in that regard.
Jack Lemmon is the pilot and in an action role which is normally against type for him, he does quite well. Almost twenty years before he supported James Stewart in Bell, Book,and Candle and now the billing is most definitely reversed.
My favorites in the film are Joseph Cotten and Olivia DeHavilland, a classy and elegant pair of passengers who so typify the glamor of old Hollywood.
Christopher Lee also performs against type, he's not the villain here in fact he turns out quite the hero among the passengers. Lee Grant is his trollop of a wife and I remember seeing this in theaters and the shouts for joy from the audience when Brenda Vaccaro punches her out.
I'm not sure which is a wilder rescue this one or that other James Stewart film The Flight of the Phoenix. There's no way any of them should survive.
But this is a Hollywood disaster epic, so all things are possible.
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