6.6/10
15,559
178 user 67 critic

Airport (1970)

A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved.

Directors:

George Seaton, Henry Hathaway (uncredited)

Writers:

Arthur Hailey (from the novel by), George Seaton (written for the screen by)
Reviews
Popularity
2,581 ( 96)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Mel Bakersfeld
Dean Martin ... Vernon Demerest
Jean Seberg ... Tanya Livingston
Jacqueline Bisset ... Gwen Meighen
George Kennedy ... Patroni
Helen Hayes ... Ada Quonsett
Van Heflin ... D.O. Guerrero
Maureen Stapleton ... Inez Guerrero
Barry Nelson ... Anson Harris
Dana Wynter ... Cindy
Lloyd Nolan ... Harry Standish
Barbara Hale ... Sarah Demerest
Gary Collins ... Cy Jordan
John Findlater ... Peter Coakley
Jessie Royce Landis ... Mrs. Harriet DuBarry Mossman
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Storyline

This precursor to later "epic" 70's disaster films illustrates 12 hours in the lives of the personnel and passengers at the "Lincoln Airport." Endless problems, professional and personal, are thrown at the various personnel responsible for the safe and proper administration of air traffic, airline management and aviation at a major US airport. Take one severe snowstorm, add multiple schedules gone awry, one elderly Trans Global Airlines stowaway, shortages, an aging, meretricious pilot, unreasonable, peevish spouses, manpower issues, fuel problems, frozen runways and equipment malfunctions and you get just a sample of the obstacles faced by weary, disgruntled personnel and passengers at the Lincoln Airport. Toss in one long-suffering pilot's wife, several stubborn men, office politics and romance and one passenger with a bomb and you have the film "Airport" from 1970. Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The #1 novel of the year - now a motion picture!

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

25 March 1970 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Airport See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$100,489,150
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ten years after the release of "Airport", Paramount Pictures released "Airplane!" a film that mocked the Airport series, that among other items used the same type of 707 model "flying" through dry ice made "clouds." See more »

Goofs

Both the aircraft stuck in the snow, and the Rome flight use an aircraft marked with registration N324F. See more »

Quotes

Ada Quonsett: My late husband played the violin. Not professionally, but he was very good. He once played the Minute Waltz in 58 seconds.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Unusually, the Universal Pictures logo animation is not shown at the beginning of this movie...it's instead shown at the end. The in-credit notice "UNIVERSAL presents" replaced the usual opening logo. See more »

Alternate Versions

TV prints and early videotape pan and scan versions have alterations beyond simple pan and scan. On some of the multi image scenes, instead of panning to the image best serving the scene, they substitute a full screen version of that segment that was originally part of the multi image shot. Like the scene where Burt Lancaster is talking to his wife and 2 daughters all at once. The theatrical version(and present wide screen DVD) maintained images of his wife, him and both daughters separately(recent pan and scan editions temporarily letterbox or otherwise modify the theatrical composition). On the early TV and video versions, only the person talking is seen in a full screen shot used for that multi image shot(showing more image information then when it was composed as part of the theatrical multi image shot). Also, on the split screen shot of Dean Martin in a cab and Jackie Bisset getting out of the shower, the split screen is recomposed for 4:3, cropping each image to better fit. See more »

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User Reviews

Classy action
12 February 2000 | by RrrobertSee all my reviews

Airport is a film that has been unfairly tarnished by having spawned three `sequels' which were really just variations on the aviation disaster plot-line with little in common with this film. In fact there is a whole lot more to this film than aviation disaster but at no point is there the feeling of `gee I wish the plane would hurry up and crash'. Much of the running time is taken with exploring the personal dramas of the various personalities of Lincoln Airport; Mel Bakersfield (Burt Lancaster) must contend with stacked up planes and a snow-bound airport, a bitter wife, and philandering and antagonistic brother-in-law Vernon Demerest (Dean Martin). Between dealing with complaints by nearby residents and airport officials, Mel loves Tania Livingstone (Jean Seberg), the calm and efficient Airport administrator who spends her time at the airport dealing with complaining customers, customs cheats, and little old lady stowaway Ada Quonset (Helen Hayes). Meanwhile Vernon, married to Mel's sister Sarah also loves flight attendant Gwen Mieghan (Jacqueline Bissett) who has just announced her pregnancy. Much sympathy is generated for struggling older woman Inez Guerrero (Maureen Stapleton, who is excellent) who discovers that her heavily insured husband D O Guerrero (Van Heflin, also excellent in one of his last roles) who has claimed to have found demolition work in Milwaukee, has actually booked a one-way ticket to Rome. Inez frantically travels to the airport but arrives after the plane has taken off... with Vernon, Gwen and Ada amongst those on board.

The film is an classy, old-fashioned drama which does not feel at all like the wave of disaster films that followed. The acting and characterisation is good and the subplots genuinely involving. There is also an interesting use of split-screen type devices, and a nice line in comedy. A great film if you can ignore all those silly disclaimers insisting that Boeing 707s are excellent aeroplanes, etc. (Not that they aren't good planes or anything...)


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