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Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 62. Airplane! (1980)

August 15, 2011

62. Airplane! [DVD] (1980)

Plot: Ex-fighter pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) became traumatized after an incident during the war, leading to his fear of flying.

Recovering his courage, Striker attempts to regain the love of his life from the war, Elaine (Julie Hagerty), now a stewardess.

In order to win her love, Striker overcomes his fear and buys a ticket on a flight she is serving on, from Los Angeles to Chicago.
When the crew and passengers fall ill from food poisoning, all eyes are on Ted to take over the controls.

Also Starring: Kareem Abdul-JabbarLloyd BridgesPeter GravesLeslie Nielsen

Written and Directed by:
Jim AbrahamsDavid ZuckerJerry Zucker
Length: 88 min
Budget: $3,500,000
Gross Revenue: $83,400,000 (USA)

The craziest flight you’ll ever take! (tagline)

Review: This movie was the start of Leslie Nielsen’s comedy career and the beginning of people other than Mel Brooks spoofing movies.

Dr: Can you fly this plane and land it?
Ted: Surely you can’t be serious.
Dr: I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.

And Airplane! is a funny movie spoof. Really funny. Now I know a lot of you young folks out there associate “movie spoofs” with movies like:

Please don’t. Because as horrendously bad as they are, Airplane proves what a great spoof movie should be. Yes, you guessed it; hilarious with great characters and funny lines.

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: David Letterman screen-tested for the role of Ted Striker. Singer/songwriter Barry Manilow was also considered for the role before Robert Hays was hired.

Sure, not all spoof movies can have Peter Graves, Lloyd Bridges, Julie Hagerty and Robert Hays to bring the right kind of comedy to the spoof, but I know Leslie Nielsen has been frequently used in other movie spoof, even in some of the bad ones.

But that just proves one funny actor can’t make a movie funny and thank god in this one, there are plenty of them.

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 63. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

CRITERIA FOR MAKING THIS LIST

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2011 10:59

    You’re exactly right regarding what spoofs can be and what they’ve become. Airplane!, the entire works of Mel Brooks, Johnny Dangerously, just to name a few- all amazing spoofs.

    • Sika permalink*
      August 16, 2011 10:59

      I’ve never seen Johnny Dangerously, but now I’m going to!

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