7.8/10
178,262
446 user 135 critic

Airplane! (1980)

PG | | Comedy | 2 July 1980 (USA)
A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick.

Writers:

(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,157 ( 16)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A faulty computer causes a passenger space shuttle to head straight for the Sun. Can Ted Striker save the day and get the shuttle back on track - again?

Director: Ken Finkleman
Stars: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Incompetent police Detective Frank Drebin must foil an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II.

Director: David Zucker
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, O.J. Simpson
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Lieutenant Frank Drebin discovers that his ex-girlfriend's new beau is involved in a plot to kidnap a scientist who advocates solar energy.

Director: David Zucker
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Frank Drebin comes out of retirement to help Police Squad infiltrate a gang of terrorists planning to detonate a bomb at the Academy Awards.

Director: Peter Segal
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy
Hot Shots! (1991)
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A parody of Top Gun (1986) in which a talented but unstable fighter pilot must overcome the ghosts of his father and save a mission sabotaged by greedy weapons manufacturers.

Director: Jim Abrahams
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Cary Elwes, Valeria Golino
Spaceballs (1987)
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Planet Spaceballs' President Skroob sends Lord Dark Helmet to steal planet Druidia's abundant supply of air to replenish their own, and only Lone Starr can stop them.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a black Sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

"Rambo" parody in which Topper Harley leads a rescue team into Iraq to save Iraqi war prisoners and all of their previous rescue teams.

Director: Jim Abrahams
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Lloyd Bridges, Valeria Golino
Top Secret! (1984)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Parody of WWII spy movies in which an American rock and roll singer becomes involved in a Resistance plot to rescue a scientist imprisoned in East Germany.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Val Kilmer, Lucy Gutteridge, Peter Cushing
Ghostbusters (1984)
Action | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A spoof of Robin Hood in general and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) in particular.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis, Roger Rees
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Roger Murdock (as Kareem Abdul-Jabaar)
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Stephen Stucker ...
...
...
...
...
Craig Berenson ...
Paul Carey
...
Edit

Storyline

Still craving for the love of his life, Ted Striker follows Elaine onto the flight that she is working on as a member of the cabin crew. Elaine doesn't want to be with Ted anymore, but when the crew and passengers fall ill from food poisoning, all eyes are on Ted. Written by FilmFanUk

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What's slower than a speeding bullet, and able to hit tall buildings at a single bound? See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 July 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kentucky Fried Airplane  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$83,400,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$130,000,000, 31 December 1981
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's title in Argentina was "And where is the pilot?" (in Spanish: "¿Y donde está el piloto?") See more »

Goofs

Although the plane clearly has jet engines, the engine noise heard inside the cabin throughout the film is of a piston-engined propeller plane. This engine noise is taken from the film Zero Hour! and is a long-running gag: Airplane! is a spoof of disaster films such as Zero Hour and Airport. See more »

Quotes

Randy: Can I get you something?
Second Jive Dude: 'S'mofo butter layin' me to da' BONE! Jackin' me up... tight me!
[Subtitle: I ATE SOMETHING THAT IS MAKING MY INSIDES CRAMP UP]
Randy: I'm sorry, I don't understand.
First Jive Dude: Cutter say 'e can't HANG!
[Subtitle: MY BUDDY HERE SAYS HE CAN'T TAKE THIS FOR MUCH LONGER]
Jive Lady: Oh, stewardess! I speak jive.
Randy: Oh, good.
Jive Lady: He said that he's in great pain and he wants to know if you can help him.
Randy: All right. Would you tell him to just relax and I'll be back as soon as I can with some medicine?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Introducing Otto as Himself (over picture of the inflatable autopilot) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Edición Especial Coleccionista: Superhero Movie (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Notre Dame Victory March
Written by Michael J. Shea, J.H. O'Donnell and John F. Shea
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Arguably one of the funniest films ever made
6 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

"Airplane!" is, was and always shall be the master of spoof movies. It is single-handedly responsible for literally inventing a sub-genre of comedy. It is the ultimate Silly Movie. A satire of the disaster movies of the 1970s, particularly the "Airport" series, nothing makes sense and it doesn't need to. There's no real plot. Just laughs - and plenty of 'em.

It was helmed by the ZAZ trio (Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker), whose dedication to making the audience laugh is surprisingly adamant. Recent spoofs may have left a bad aftertaste in your mouth, but it seems to be a universal agreement: "Airplane" is the funniest film of its genre ever made. (Closely followed by "The Naked Gun" - also penned by the ZAZ trio - perhaps.)

The plot: Ted Striker (Robert Hays) is a war veteran-turned-cab-driver who decides to chase after his girlfriend, an airline stewardess named Elaine (Julie Hagerty), who has dumped him in order to pursue a new life. Right before her plane takes off, Ted climbs aboard, hitching a ride in order to woo her back into a relationship again.

When the aircraft is in midflight, both pilots become very ill after eating their meals. Eventually many passengers begin to show symptoms of a rare disease, apparently transmitted by the food. Onboard, Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen) takes care of the sick passengers as Ted - an ex-fighter pilot from the war - decides to try and land the plane. If he messes up they will all die, and in a particularly funny scene, the pressure becomes so unbearable that he begins to literally sweat gallons in the cockpit.

That is essentially all the film is about, but most of its duration is spent cracking jokes. Spoof films are entirely different from other movies because normally we would criticize a film if it considered its plot to be the least important element. Not so here. This is a truly brainless piece of celluloid - a movie that doesn't try to be anything that it isn't. From the opening credits - that cleverly spoof "JAWS" - to the closing we realize that this is an altogether unique film going experience.

The movie's biggest laughs come through unexpected flashbacks, such as when Ted remembers where he first met Elaine in a crummy bar ("...it was worse than Detroit..."), and begins to disco-dance a la John Travolta from "Saturday Night Fever" (complete with Bee Gees soundtrack blaring in the background and the famous Travolta pose). Then, later, we are taken back to when Ted was hospitalized after the war, and finds out that he was responsible for the death of six men. "Seven, actually," he is informed, which adds to the pain of the moment for him.

Though this movie is very funny, many jokes misfire. If you're not pop culture savvy and you don't remember Mrs. Cleaver from TV's "Leave it to Beaver", the humor is going to go over your head. But unlike many comedies, "Airplane!" offers something unique for each person. I know that as a film lover, I picked up on many movie in-jokes that some people might not recognize. And then there were the gags that I first missed but picked up after a second viewing, or when someone explained them to me, or both. And I'm sure there are many yet that I'm not aware of. It seems that every time I watch it, there's something else to laugh at that I missed previously.

"Airplane!" not only was a huge success in 1980 (the year of its release), spinning off a horde of imitators and one sequel - it was also responsible for crowning Leslie Nielsen "The King of Spoof." Prior to "Airplane!" Nielsen had been a veteran of more serious productions, stemming back to playing cowboys on "The Mickey Mouse Club" and other embarrassing attempts at acting. However, Nielsen later claimed that he had always wanted to do a comedy, even when he first started acting seriously with projects such as the classic "Forbidden Planet" (one of the best science-fiction films ever made). He later reunited with the ZAZ trio for "The Naked Gun" trilogy, appeared in similar spoof films over the years such as "Wrongfully Accused" and "Scary Movie 3," and had his iconic comedy shtick ripped off by many screen veterans - most noticeably by George Gaynes in the unbearable "Police Academy" (1984).

When it comes down to a single evaluation, "Airplane" is simply the best spoof film ever made. It's like a MAD Magazine parody come to life. There are the occasional misfires, but unlike many other spoof film imitators, this one contains far more hits. The deadpan acting is genius and everything else fits into place, resulting in what may arguably be one of the absolute funniest films ever conceived and put on the big screen. And if you decide to watch the movie, don't blink - you might miss a gag or two. The "Police Academies" will come and go but "Airplane!" will never be forgotten.


196 of 228 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 446 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

'Black Panther' Star Winston Duke and Guillermo del Toro

Black Panther star Winston Duke takes us behind the scenes of Marvel's record-breaking movie, and Guillermo del Toro reminisces about Pan's Labyrinth's past Oscar success.

Watch the show