7.7/10
214,295
528 user 128 critic

Airplane! (1980)

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

Writers:

Jim Abrahams (written for the screen by), David Zucker (written for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,055 ( 667)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

You've read the ad, now see the movie! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Abrahams met his wife on the film. She's the blonde extra walking by Robert Hayes at 3 minutes. See more »

Goofs

Wires visible on the exterior airplane model in at least one scene. See more »

Quotes

Shirley: I haven't felt this awful since we saw that Ronald Reagan film.
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

In the network TV version, the abortion exchange between the man and woman on the PA system is removed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: Scary Sherry: Bianca's Toast (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Everything's Coming Up Roses
Written by Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne
Performed by Ethel Merman
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User Reviews

 
A hilarious gem!
13 March 2003 | by mattymatt4everSee all my reviews

This is voted as one of the funniest comedies of all time, and it deserves that honor! The film is filled with hilarious gags! Sure, in every one of these campy farces, there's usually a few gags that are way too silly. In this case, it was the "drinking problem" gag and that annoying gay man who works on Lloyd Bridges' staff. But when I can actually count on my hand how many gags didn't work, that's a good sign. The majority of the film sent me into a frenzy of laughter! One of my favorites is when the blow-up auto-pilot runs out of air and Julie Hagerty blows it back up again. You'll have to see the movie to find out why it was so hilarious! I also got a great kick out of the running gag in which every passenger who listens to Robert Hays ends up killing themselves. This is definitely the Zuckers and Abrahams in top form! Unfortunately, I haven't seen a great spoof in years. The "Scary Movie" films were pretty good, but incredibly lewd and crude. And obviously the Zuckers and Abrahams have much better eyes for satire than the Wayans brothers. I caught "Scary Movie" on cable and watched it a second time, and I didn't laugh nearly as many times as I did the first time. I can watch "Airplane" 200 times and still laugh like there's no tomorrow! The film was made back when comedies didn't go strictly for sex and toilet gags to make an audience laugh. This was back when writers used to employ this quality called "wit." "Kentucky Fried Movie" had some racy gags, but even those were witty for the most part. There is a certain rhythm in every gag that helps make the film work. For example, Lloyd Bridges starts out by saying "I think I picked the wrong day to quit smoking." Then he says he picked the wrong day to quit drinking. And when he finally says "I picked the wrong day to quit amphetamines," I was laughing my head off! So basically, you watch a film like this and feel the urge to mail a copy of the video to the Wayans Brothers and whatever crackheads wrote "Not Another Teen Movie," along with a note saying "THIS is how to make a spoof!"

There are so many other gags worth mentioning, including the "Saturday Night Fever" sendup, which is definitely one of the best comic moments caught on film! That scene also contains my favorite line: "I told the guy next to me to pinch me to make sure I wasn't dreaming." After that voice-over, we see the guy next to Robert Hays repulsed and walking away from him. Another great example of perfect comic timing and delivery!

If you want to get some authentic belly laughs--I'm not talking chuckles, but actual LAUGHS!--you must check out "Airplane." Trust me, movies don't get much more original or funny than this!

My score: 9 (out of 10)


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 July 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kentucky Fried Airplane See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$83,453,539

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$83,453,539
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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