IMDb > Airplane! (1980)
Airplane!
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Airplane! (1980) More at IMDbPro »

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Airplane! -- The persons and events in this film are fictitious - fortunately! A masterpiece of off-the-wall comedy, Airplane!

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   159,763 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 38% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Jim Abrahams (written for the screen by) &
David Zucker (written for the screen by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Airplane! on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 July 1980 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
You've read the ad, now see the movie! See more »
Plot:
A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Arguably one of the funniest films ever made See more (427 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ... Roger Murdock (as Kareem Abdul-Jabaar)

Lloyd Bridges ... Steve McCroskey

Peter Graves ... Captain Clarence Oveur

Julie Hagerty ... Elaine Dickinson

Robert Hays ... Ted Striker

Leslie Nielsen ... Dr. Rumack

Lorna Patterson ... Randy

Robert Stack ... Captain Rex Kramer
Stephen Stucker ... Johnny Henshaw-Jacobs
Otto ... Otto

Jim Abrahams ... Religious Zealot #6

Frank Ashmore ... Victor Basta

Jonathan Banks ... Gunderson
Craig Berenson ... Paul Carey

Barbara Billingsley ... Jive Lady

Lee Bryant ... Mrs. Hammen

Joyce Bulifant ... Mrs. Davis
Mae E. Campbell ... Security Lady
Ted Chapman ... Airport Steward
Jesse Emmett ... Man from India
Norman Alexander Gibbs ... First Jive Dude
Amy Gibson ... Soldier's Girl

Marcy Goldman ... Mrs. Geline
Bob Gorman ... Striped Controller (as Bobby Gorman)

Rossie Harris ... Joey
Maurice Hill ... Reporter #3
David Hollander ... Young Boy with Coffee

James Hong ... Japanese General
Howard Honig ... Jack

Gregory Itzin ... Religious Zealot #1
Howard Jarvis ... Man in Taxi

Michael Laurence ... Newscaster

David Leisure ... First Krishna
Zachary Lewis ... Religious Zealot #3

Barbara Mallory ... Religious Zealot #2

Maureen McGovern ... Nun
Nora Meerbaum ... Cocaine Lady
Mary Mercier ... Shirley

Ethel Merman ... Lieutenant Hurwitz
Len Mooy ... Reporter #1
Ann Nelson ... Handing Lady (as Ann M. Nelson)
Laura Nix ... Mrs. Hurwitz

John O'Leary ... Reporter #2

Cyril O'Reilly ... Soldier
Bill Porter ... Hospital Contortionist

Nicholas Pryor ... Mr. Hammen

Conrad E. Palmisano ... Religious Zealot #4 (as Conrad Palmisano)
Mallory Sandler ... L.A. Ticket Agent

Michelle Stacy ... Young Girl with Coffee

Robert Starr ... Religious Zealot #5
Barbara Stuart ... Mrs. Kramer
Lee Terri ... Mrs. Oveur

Kenneth Tobey ... Air Controller Neubauer
William Tregoe ... Jack Kirkpatrick
Hatsuo Uda ... Japanese Newscaster

Herb Voland ... Air Controller Macias

Jimmie Walker ... Windshield Wiper Man

Jill Whelan ... Lisa Davis

Al White ... Second Jive Dude
John David Wilder ... Second Krishna (as John-David Wilder)
Windy ... Horse

Jason Wingreen ... Dr. Brody
Louise Yaffe ... Mrs. Jaffe
Charlotte Zucker ... Make-up Lady

David Zucker ... Ground Crewman #2

Jerry Zucker ... Ground Crewman #1
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Larry Blake ... Upside-Down Man (uncredited)
Susan Breslau ... Ticket Agent (uncredited)
William Duell ... Reporter #1 (uncredited)

Sandra Lee Gimpel ... Girl Scout in Bar (uncredited)

Leslie Hoffman ... Passenger in Terminal (uncredited)

Bill Kirchenbauer ... Captain Geline (uncredited)
Joyce Mandel ... Woman on Flight (uncredited)
Paula Marie Moody ... Girl Scout in Bar (uncredited)

Kitten Natividad ... Bouncy Topless Woman on Plane (uncredited)
Robert Nevin ... Other Doctor (uncredited)

Patrick Reynolds ... Third Krishna (uncredited)
Leoda Richards ... Passenger (uncredited)
Herb Vigran ... Reporter #2 (uncredited)

Directed by
Jim Abrahams 
David Zucker 
Jerry Zucker 
 
Writing credits
Jim Abrahams (written for the screen by) &
David Zucker (written for the screen by) &
Jerry Zucker (written for the screen by)

Hall Bartlett  screenplay "Zero Hour" (uncredited)
John C. Champion  screenplay "Zero Hour" (uncredited)
Arthur Hailey  screenplay "Zero Hour" (uncredited)
Arthur Hailey  teleplay "Flight Into Danger" (uncredited)

Produced by
Jim Abrahams .... executive producer
Jon Davison .... producer
Howard W. Koch .... producer
Hunt Lowry .... associate producer
David Zucker .... executive producer
Jerry Zucker .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Elmer Bernstein 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph F. Biroc (director of photography) (as Joseph Biroc)
 
Film Editing by
Patrick Kennedy 
 
Casting by
Joel Thurm 
 
Production Design by
Ward Preston 
 
Set Decoration by
Anne D. McCulley 
 
Costume Design by
Rosanna Norton 
 
Makeup Department
Edwin Butterworth .... makeup artist
Joan Phillips .... hair stylist
Rob Bottin .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Bob Stein .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Maurice Vaccarino .... unit production manager
Lindsley Parsons Jr. .... executive production manager: Paramount (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Daniel Attias .... dga trainee (as Dan Attias)
Kenneth D. Collins .... second assistant director (as Ken Collins)
Arne Schmidt .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Jeff Clark .... sign writer
Tom Crowl .... assistant property master
Wally Graham .... construction coordinator
Mike Higelmire .... lead person
Joseph E. Hubbard .... set designer (as Joe Hubbard)
Steven M. Levine .... property master (as Steven Levine)
David Jonas .... production illustrator (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
David E. Campbell .... sound re-recording mixer (as David Campbell)
Jeff Clark .... assistant sound editor
Bill Henderson .... sound re-recording engineer
David J. Hudson .... sound re-recording mixer (as Dave Hudson)
Dennis Jones .... boom operator
Tom Overton .... sound recording mixer
John T. Reitz .... sound re-recording mixer
James Troutman .... sound editor (as Jim Troutman)
Alan Bernard .... sound (uncredited)
Terry Chambers .... sound editor (uncredited)
Jeremy Hoenack .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Jayme S. Parker .... sound editor (uncredited)
Donald C. Rogers .... technical director of sound (uncredited)
Ronald L. Stirling .... boom operator (uncredited)
David A. Whittaker .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
John Frazier .... special effects
Chris Walas .... special projects
 
Visual Effects by
Max W. Anderson .... visual effects
Robert Blalack .... visual effects: MPI
Chris Casady .... visual effects: VCE
Donald Hansard Sr. .... process supervisor (as Donald Hansard)
Bill Hedge .... visual effects: Magic Lantern
Richard O. Helmer .... miniature special effects
Peter Kuran .... visual effects: VCE
Bruce Logan .... director of photography: special effects
Jamie Shourt .... visual effects: MPI (as James Shourt)
Paul Gentry .... director of photography: miniatures (uncredited)
David Merritt .... model maker: MPI (uncredited)
Christopher S. Ross .... special effects miniatures (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Bruce Paul Barbour .... stunt performer
Sandra Lee Gimpel .... stunt performer
Leslie Hoffman .... stunt performer
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt coordinator (as Conrad Palmisano)
C.D. Smith .... stunts
Leigh Walsh .... stunt double
Janet Brady .... stunts (uncredited)
Steven Burnett .... stunts (uncredited)
Roger Creed .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Paula Dell .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Gene LeBell .... stunts (uncredited)
Paula Marie Moody .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt double: Lloyd Bridges (uncredited)
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt double: Robert Hays (uncredited)
Esther Palmisano .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Nick Palmisano .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Mary Peters .... stunts (uncredited)
Diane Peterson .... stunts (uncredited)
Dar Robinson .... stunts (uncredited)
Russell Saunders .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Rick Seaman .... stunts (uncredited)
Greg Walker .... stunts (uncredited)
Jesse Wayne .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jamie Anderson .... assistant camera
Brink Brydon .... gaffer: effects unit
Jerry Deats .... grip: effects unit
Bill Decker .... grip
Larry Gilhooly .... gaffer
M. Todd Henry .... assistant camera (as Todd Henry)
Norman Lang .... electrician
Danny Marzolo .... electrical department
John Monte .... still photographer
Nick Papanickolas .... grip
Pete G. Papanickolas .... griplogy (as Pete Papanickolas)
Frederic J. Smith .... camera operator (as Frederick J. Smith)
Gary R. Wostak .... electrical department (as Gary Wostack)
Edmond Wright .... grip
Greg Langham .... lamp operator (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Susan Arnold .... additional casting
Wallis Nicita .... additional casting (as Wally Nicita)
Gretchen Rennell .... additional casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Aggie Lyon .... costume supervisor
Victoria Snow .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Bryan McMahan .... colorist: mastering
Scott K. Wallace .... assistant editor (as Scott Wallace)
Norman Alexander Gibbs .... dialogue: Jive (uncredited)
Al White .... dialogue: Jive (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Allison Caine .... vocal effects advisor
Jeff Carson .... music editor
Kathy Durning .... music editor
Carl Fortina .... music coordinator
David Spear .... orchestrator
Dan Wallin .... score mixer
Dan Goldwasser .... soundtrack producer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Glenda Baker .... transportation
Tom Baker .... transportation
Frank Khoury .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Adam Culunga .... craft service
Michael Finnell .... generally in charge of a lot of things (as Mike Finnell)
Nancy Hansen .... script supervisor
Adolf Hitler .... worst boy (credit only)
Steve Kramer .... airport arrangements
Tom Mahoney .... choreographer
Sam Mattingly .... unit publicist
Dave Miller .... first aid
J.L. Mitchell .... wrangler
Betty Moos .... supervisor of production administration
Dan Perri .... title designer
Huey Redwine .... stand-in
Art Sarno .... unit publicist
Dick Webb .... wrangler
Larry Wilson .... magic consultant
Laurie Abdo .... secretary: Howard W. Koch (uncredited)
Raechel Donahue .... voice artist (uncredited)
Sheri Maruno .... secretary: Howard W. Koch (uncredited)
Dennis Park .... auditor (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Laurie Abdo .... grateful acknowledgment
Jason Black .... grateful acknowledgment
Susan Breslau .... grateful acknowledgment
Nancy Cocuzzo .... grateful acknowledgment
Danice Hertz .... grateful acknowledgment
Erika Hiller .... grateful acknowledgment
Peter Ivers .... grateful acknowledgment
Kim Jorgensen .... special thanks
Dick Lowry .... grateful acknowledgment
Sheri Maruno .... grateful acknowledgment
Dennis Park .... grateful acknowledgment
Pat Proft .... special thanks
Karen Rasch .... grateful acknowledgment
Richard Raynis .... grateful acknowledgment
Robert Reilly .... grateful acknowledgment
Christopher S. Ross .... grateful acknowledgment (as Chris Ross)
Terry Shagin .... grateful acknowledgment
Sheila Sullivan .... grateful acknowledgment
Paul Turner .... grateful acknowledgment
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Flying High!" - New Zealand (English title), Philippines (English title), South Africa (English title) (imdb display title), UK (alternative title)
"Flying High!" - Japan (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
Runtime:
88 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:NRC (original rating) | Australia:M (re-rating) (2002) | Canada:AA (Alberta/Ontario) | Canada:PG (British Columbia/Manitoba) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-12 | Iceland:L | Ireland:12 | Netherlands:AL | Norway:12 (original rating) | Norway:11 (video rating) | Russia:12+ | Singapore:NC-16 | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Sweden:11 | UK:15 | UK:PG (2001 re-rating) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:12A (theatrical re-release) (2013) | USA:PG (Certificate #25740) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In the scene with Johnny and Steve McCroskey, McCroskey says "Get me someone who won't crack under pressure." Johnny responds "How about Mister Rogers?" If you look carefully that was dubbed in after. 'Airplane!' was shot in August 1979. Stephen Stucker (Johnny) actually said "How about Mamie Eisenhower." The former First Lady died a few months later (in Nov. 1979) so the producers corrected it by dubbing in "Mister Rogers" out of respect for the Eisenhower family.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The plane is flying on a path that starts on the west coast and heads for Chicago, implying that the plane most likely starts in California or somewhere near there. However, the airport where the flight starts and the one where the plane lands are clearly the same airport.See more »
Quotes:
[repeated lines]
Steve McCroskey:Johnny, how 'bout some more coffee?
Johnny:No, thanks!
See more »
Soundtrack:
Stayin' AliveSee more »

FAQ

What is the movie based on?
See more »
179 out of 209 people found the following review useful.
Arguably one of the funniest films ever made, 6 June 2004
Author: MovieAddict2016 from UK

"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.

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