512 user 129 critic

Airplane! (1980)

PG | | Comedy | 2 July 1980 (USA)
3:30 | Trailer
A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick.


Jim Abrahams (written for the screen by), David Zucker (written for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
564 ( 5)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Stephen Stucker ... Johnny Henshaw-Jacobs
Otto ... Otto
Jim Abrahams ... Religious Zealot #6
Frank Ashmore ... Victor Basta
Jonathan Banks ... Gunderson
Craig Berenson Craig Berenson ... Paul Carey
Barbara Billingsley ... Jive Lady


Drowning his sorrows after that botched mission during WWII, the traumatised former fighter pilot with a fear of flying, Ted Striker, still hasn't got over his old flame and flight attendant, Elaine Dickinson. Determined to win her back, Ted boards a domestic flight from Los Angeles to Chicago, only to come face-to-face with a severe case of in-flight food poisoning that is threatening everyone's lives. Now, with most of the passengers and the entire cockpit crew down with the food-borne illness, Striker has no other choice but to confront his inner demons and take over the control of the ungovernable aircraft with the help of a gruff air-traffic controller and his former commander. Can Ted land the plane and save them all? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spoof | airplane | cockpit | plane | pilot | See All (298) »


The IN-FLIGHT comedy that airlines won't show!! See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The credits add the words "So there." to the end of the anti-piracy warning at the end of the film. The directors said in the DVD commentary that the FBI rang them to indicate their disapproval of this, and asked for these words to be removed and the film re-issued. However, the film had already been distributed widely at this point and re-calling all copies was not feasible. See more »


The main plot point in this movie is that the entire cockpit crew is incapacitated as a result of food poisoning from them all eating the fish served as one of the choices for the in-flight meal. However, FAA regulations at the time prohibited both pilots from eating the same meal, specifically to prevent problems like this. The rule has been changed to allow same-meal choices on domestic, but not overseas, flights. One of the pilots should have ordered the steak. See more »


Johnny: [to Mrs. Oveur] Where did you get that dress, it's awful, and those shoes and that coat, jeeeeez!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thirteenth President of the United States ...... Millard Filmore See more »

Alternate Versions

In the TV version, an alternate version of the scene with the woman's breasts wiggling is shown featuring a woman in a tight red and yellow striped t-shirt and drum sound effects accompanying her moving breasts. Whistling is also heard. See more »


Spoofs Terror in the Sky (1971) See more »


Theme From Jaws
Written by John Williams
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User Reviews

Dad joke heaven
21 May 2020 | by MGPT80See all my reviews

Quite simply one of the best laugh-out-loud movies ever made. The unapologetic Dad jokes and dry satire are eternally enjoyable and the movie has not lost any of it's bite over the years. Eminently quotable and amongst the best in its class.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

2 July 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kentucky Fried Airplane See more »


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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