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Air America (1990) Poster

(1990)

Trivia

The sequence where Robert Downey Jr. is seen hanging from a rope flying across the skies above Thailand including a Buddhist temple was done for real with Downey performing the stunt himself after director Roger Spottiswoode had rejected doing it using such alternative techniques such as blue screen or back projection.
Robert Downey Jr. did the film for two reasons, for the big paycheck and because he wanted to work with Mel Gibson who he had the previous year seen in the action movie Lethal Weapon 2 (1989).
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According to Wikipedia, "PepsiCo wanted the filmmakers to use a fictional soda rather than show opium being refined at their abandoned factory. Therefore, the producers added a line about wondering if Pepsi knew what was going on".
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The "golden BB" that Jack Neely talks about is a slang term referring to a single rifle shot that is so well-placed it can bring down a plane or other aircraft. Such shot is demonstrated in the opening of the film.
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The production rented twenty-six planes from the Thailand military for use in the movie.
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Some of the stunt fliers declined to perform some of the more difficult and dangerous flying stunts.
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The film was withdrawn from more than one hundred theaters in Germany when the Guld War started in January 1991.
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Sean Connery was originally attached to play the character of Gene Ryack which in the end was cast with Mel Gibson. Connery was deemed too expensive.
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Veteran stunt fliers aged around sixty years of age performed some more of the more difficult and dangerous flying stunts seen in the film.
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Tom Cruise, Bill Murray, James Belushi and Kevin Costner were all considered for the role of Billy Covington which in the end was cast with Robert Downey Jr.. Cruise turned the part down and Costner was deemed too expensive.
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The movie is set in 1969. The film was the second movie set in that year that actor Robert Downey Jr. had appeared in in recent years as he had recently starred in a film actually called 1969 (1988) a couple of years earlier in 1988.
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The film was made and released about eleven years after the source non-fiction book by Christopher Robbins had been first published in 1979. The book was released about ten years after the events depicted in it had occurred in 1969. The book was one of several published works by the author on the film's subject area.
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The motto of 'Air America' was: "Anything. Anywhere. Anytime."
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The character of General Lu Soong (Burt Kwouk) was allegedly based on Royal Laotian General Vang Pao.
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This film is set during the Vietnam War. In the movie "Lethal Weapon" (1987), Mel Gibson played a cop who was a Vietnam War veteran.
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Nancy Travis replaced Ally Sheedy in the role of Corinne Landroaux.
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According to show-business trade paper 'Variety', the picture utilized a "vast army of tech assistants to help carry out the stunt flying and crashes on the atmospheric Thailand locations".
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First of two movies that actors Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. (2nd) have both starred in. The second would be about thirteen years later with The Singing Detective (2003).
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The picture was filmed in three countries at forty-nine locations shooting in the USA, England, and Thailand.
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First of two movies that actress Nancy Travis and actor Robert Downey Jr. have both appeared in. The second would be about two years later with Richard Attenborough's Chaplin (1992).
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The movie at the American box-office debuted at the No. #3 rank and went on to gross around US $31 million in the USA.
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Reportedly, Mel Gibson's salary on this picture was US $7 million.
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The movie co-starred Robert Downey Jr. in a film which involved story elements relating to drugs with Downey off-screen having had a real-life drug addiction.
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Film critic Leonard Maltin has noted that this movie bears no relation to the 1998 TV series of the same name Air America (1990).
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The picture is dedicated to the film's assistant director Michael Katzin [See: Mike Katzin]. This movie was Katzin's final film.
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The picture's opening title card read: "Laos, Southeast Asia, 1969".
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The movie was filmed between October 1989 and February 1990.
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Roger Spottiswoode replaced Bob Rafelson as director.
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The movie was originally developed around 1985 with Richard Rush at the helm as director. The film was intended to be the first comedy about Vietnam but Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) beat it to the screens in 1987. Moreover, the 1979 Australian war movie about Vietnam, The Odd Angry Shot (1979), was a comedy.
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The production of the picture had to deal with three major catastrophes which were two types of natural disasters: a typhoon and two earthquakes.
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Star Billing: Mel Gibson (1st) and Robert Downey Jr. (2nd).
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