428 user 131 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.


(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


The craziest flight you'll ever take! See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 July 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kentucky Fried Airplane  »

Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)


$83,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) dates the ill-fated Flight 209 to Chicago depicted here to 5th March 1980. See more »


When Ted Striker is receiving the balls to start juggling during his solo dance, you can see a crew member's hand tossing him the balls to the left of the screen. See more »


Rumack: I won't deceive you, Mr. Striker. We're running out of time.
Ted Striker: Surely there must be something you can do.
Rumack: I'm doing everything I can... and stop calling me Shirley!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Broken Age (2014) See more »


Stayin' Alive
Written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb
Performed by The Bee Gees
Courtesy of RSO Records
Published by Stigwood Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A hilarious gem!
13 March 2003 | by (Jersey City, NJ) – See all my reviews

This is voted as one of the funniest comedies of all time, and it deserves that honor! The film is filled with hilarious gags! Sure, in every one of these campy farces, there's usually a few gags that are way too silly. In this case, it was the "drinking problem" gag and that annoying gay man who works on Lloyd Bridges' staff. But when I can actually count on my hand how many gags didn't work, that's a good sign. The majority of the film sent me into a frenzy of laughter! One of my favorites is when the blow-up auto-pilot runs out of air and Julie Hagerty blows it back up again. You'll have to see the movie to find out why it was so hilarious! I also got a great kick out of the running gag in which every passenger who listens to Robert Hays ends up killing themselves. This is definitely the Zuckers and Abrahams in top form! Unfortunately, I haven't seen a great spoof in years. The "Scary Movie" films were pretty good, but incredibly lewd and crude. And obviously the Zuckers and Abrahams have much better eyes for satire than the Wayans brothers. I caught "Scary Movie" on cable and watched it a second time, and I didn't laugh nearly as many times as I did the first time. I can watch "Airplane" 200 times and still laugh like there's no tomorrow! The film was made back when comedies didn't go strictly for sex and toilet gags to make an audience laugh. This was back when writers used to employ this quality called "wit." "Kentucky Fried Movie" had some racy gags, but even those were witty for the most part. There is a certain rhythm in every gag that helps make the film work. For example, Lloyd Bridges starts out by saying "I think I picked the wrong day to quit smoking." Then he says he picked the wrong day to quit drinking. And when he finally says "I picked the wrong day to quit amphetamines," I was laughing my head off! So basically, you watch a film like this and feel the urge to mail a copy of the video to the Wayans Brothers and whatever crackheads wrote "Not Another Teen Movie," along with a note saying "THIS is how to make a spoof!"

There are so many other gags worth mentioning, including the "Saturday Night Fever" sendup, which is definitely one of the best comic moments caught on film! That scene also contains my favorite line: "I told the guy next to me to pinch me to make sure I wasn't dreaming." After that voice-over, we see the guy next to Robert Hays repulsed and walking away from him. Another great example of perfect comic timing and delivery!

If you want to get some authentic belly laughs--I'm not talking chuckles, but actual LAUGHS!--you must check out "Airplane." Trust me, movies don't get much more original or funny than this!

My score: 9 (out of 10)

52 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Classic!! your favorite scene(s)? Picked the wrong week to quit smoking! amer9001
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