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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>
Airport '77 has the best pitch of the series, though it never quite makes enough of it: this time a private plane filled with art treasures and millionaire passengers (it's so high-tech it even has an optical video disc player!) en route to the opening of James Stewart's new museum are hijacked by art thieves. Just to add to their woes, while flying low to avoid radar they crash into an oil rig and end up submerged on an unstable ocean ledge in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle while the 747 does a very bad impersonation of a submarine. Since the Navy can't lower the ocean, the only thing to do is to raise the Titanic sorry, raise the Jumbo Jet
Unfortunately it never quite makes enough of it, with so much time setting up the plot and the characters that the movie's half over before the plane hits the water and there's less time for plot twists or surprises than you'd like. It doesn't help that, hijackers aside, the passengers are a generally likable bunch of old Hollywood and beloved TV stars - Felix Unger (Jack Lemmon), Dracula (Christopher Lee), Kolchak (Darren McGavin), Hooky from Zulu (James Booth), Rick Deckard's boss (M. Emmett Walsh), Buck Rogers (Gil Gerard), Scarlet O'Hara's rival (Olivia De Havilland) and the guy who fingered Harry Lime (Joseph Cotton) among them with only Christopher Lee's saintly marine biologist and his drunk wife Lee Grant offering much in the way of dramatic conflict. Still, despite a few plot holes (you'd think someone from the oil rig they crashed into would report it) it passes the time professionally enough and it's hard to dislike.
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