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A routine flight turns into a major emergency as passengers and crew succumb to food poisoning - is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane? If that sounds vaguely familiar, it's because 'Airplane' was a send-up of this forerunner of the 1970s disaster movie..Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Arthur Hailey co-scripted this adaptation of his "story" (actually his play, the uncredited "Flight Into Danger") along with director Hall Bartlett and producer John C. Champion about an airliner crippled mid-flight when the crew and most of the passengers are stricken from bacteria-laced fish. Dana Andrews plays a war-scarred ex-fighter pilot haunted by his record in WWII who is the only person aboard adequately prepared to land the plane; he gets his radio instructions via land from Sterling Hayden, who just happened to be Andrews' wartime adversary! Mediocre in all aspects, but still thoroughly engrossing and enjoyable. The plot and characters should be recognizable to fans of the 1980 satire "Airplane!"...however this one is already spoofy as all get-out (though it doesn't mean to be), starting with that grave narration. Linda Darnell's role as Andrews' estranged wife and reluctant co-pilot is a scream (she has no faith in her nervous husband, yet near the finish glows with wifely pride). Andrews and Hayden act it to the hilt, while the dialogue becomes entrenched in a kind of quotable inanity ("He can't land that plane in this soup!"). Nothing to take seriously, but fun nevertheless. *** from ****
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