Airplane (1980)


Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked? 

David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrams directed this popular  slapstick film about Ted Striker (Robert Hayes, who also played the father in The 1990s Homeward Bound films), an ex fighter pilot  who has a fear of flying which means he cannot hold down a proper job. As a result his girlfriend Elaine Dickinson (Julie Taggerty) leaves him. Hoping to win her back Striker boards the flight from Los Angeles to Chicago.

After the dinner is served on board most of the passengers on board fall seriously ill. One of the unharmed, fellow passenger Dr Rumack (Leslie Neilson) concludes that the crew has food poisoning. It is in Striker’s hands to land the plane in Chicago and to get the woman he loves back. I’m pretty sure pretty much everyone has seen this film at some point or another so I won’t write any more about the plot.

This film makes me laugh the many times I’ve seen it. The way it parodies that of the disaster film genre, alongside all its slapstick comedy and gags. The use of flashback, particularly by Hayes’ character to convey to the bored passengers of his first meeting with Elaine adds to the comedic effect. Leslie Neilson brings a particularly awesome foil with his character presence. The only bit that I was disappointed by was the fact it seemed to seem shorter than its eighty eight minute screening time.

A great film with lots of laughs and is a real pick me up when you are feeling down. Now I must get round to watching the sequel ..

My rating: 4/5

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