A supersonic airborne disaster. In order to survive a flight headed for the Moscow Olympics, passengers of the Concorde must endure aerial acrobatics to dodge missiles and survive a device that decompresses the plane.
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
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 »
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 »
A masterpiece; but not the "grandaddy" of disaster films -- the "grandson," maybe!
The "grandaddy" of aviation disaster films would be The High and The Mighty, starring John Wayne. Airport, however, brought such films into the jet age, and did so in a manner which was at once dramatically exciting, and hilarious! This is a very funny movie!
Burt Lancaster is perfection as Mel Bakersfield, the harried, overworked, wife-harassed General Manager of a great Midwestern Airport, Lincoln International (actually Minneapolis-St. Paul International). They must have actually filmed during a blizzard, or spent a lot of money making it look like they did.
Helen Hayes, as the stowaway Ada Quonset, and George Kennedy, as the rough-and-tumble maintenance chief Joe Patroni, provide most of the humor. The scene with Hayes, Seberg, and Lancaster, where Mrs. Quonset is being interviewed regarding her procedures for stowing away on airliners, is one of my favorite comedy scenes! Joe Patroni's simple, brute-force way of making things happen makes me proud to be an American! The plot is standard, yet we get to care about all the characters, and we get a pretty good sense of closure at the end of the film!
A real challenge to any filmmaker would be to re-make this film and bring it up-to-date, without insulting the intelligence of aviation film buffs like me!
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