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Airport '77 (1977)

Art thieves hijack a 747, hit fog and crash into the ocean, trapping them and the passengers under 100 feet of water.



(novel), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Patroni
Stan Buchek


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 <encenoman@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

plane | art | hijacker | water | gas | See All (146) »


Flight 23 has crashed in the Bermuda Triangle... passengers still alive, trapped underwater... See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 March 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Airport 1977  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The third of four movies in the "Airport" series. See more »


Just following the opening titles, Don Gallagher and Stan Buchek walk past the stationary 747 on the tarmac. Stripes are painted along the side and continue right around the nose of the aircraft. When the aircraft is taxiing prior to takeoff at night, the nose cone of the plane is shown painted black (i.e. a different aircraft). See more »


Martin Wallace: I want to harvest the sea for food and save millions of people from starvation.
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Crazy Credits

Before the end credits, this text appears. "The incident portrayed in the film is fictional; the rescue capabilities utilized by the Navy are real". See more »


Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
Composed and sung by Tom Sullivan
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User Reviews

It's Holding, For Now!
3 December 2013 | by See all my reviews

There is a tendency to over-think films like these.

Personally, this is my favourite of the 'Airport' franchise of films. It has perhaps the best cast of names of any disaster film, including Jack Lemmon (curiously cast as a pilot), Lee Grant and Robert Foxworth (who would both appear a year later in 'Damien: Omen II' (1978)), Christopher Lee, Brenda Vaccaro, George Kennedy, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten AND James Stewart, to mention just some of the biggest names.

Also, as the poster suggests, most of the action takes place underwater. This is also where audiences do most of the over-thinking. Don't worry about it being a plane - just buy into the possibility that James Stewart's character was so stinking rich and so concerned about his passengers and his art treasures that he bothered to make it the equivalent of a flying submarine (but a fragile one)!

This is an outrageous film - there are no two ways about it - but it certainly beats the cartoon-ish sequel featuring the Concorde, which stinks to high heaven in comparison!

It also possibly provided some vital training work for director Jerry Jameson before he went on to helm the doomed 'Raise The Titanic' (1980). What can be said for this film is that it certainly didn't sink as quickly as that film did! Universal Studios actually set up a ride where paying customers could be held hostage aboard a luxury airliner, before being (fictionally) rendered unconscious and then dunked in the drink. For such an audacious and exciting-sounding ride to even be dreamt up, this film had to have been a considerable success!! And, perhaps, Brenda Vaccaro was comforted for suffering pneumonia after filming this flick by the thought that all those innocent theme park tourists were suffering a similar fate!

Anyway, aside from the Concorde sequel, this is the most outrageous of the 'Airport' films - if any of them could actually be considered realistic viewing, then that's one on me!

Watching Lee Grant acting her co-stars in circles is a great pleasure to be gained from this entry into the franchise and the special effects, although dated now, of course, are still a lot of fun to watch!

And this is a fun film, blending the heist films of the 1960s and 1970s with the purely 1970s disaster craze. For the cast and the excitement, thrills and spills alone, give this film a watch if you're looking for something that will take your mind off of things and give you a good laugh as well! I had an exam the day after I watched this and it worked wonders just to unwind by watching this kind of inconsequential drama!

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