Friday, August 15, 2008

Airplane! (1980)

Airplane! 1980
Prior to 1984, the rating of PG-13 did not exist. This has frequently lead to me hastily turning off a movie at the video store where I work. One film that really shows the need for a PG-13 rating is 1980's PG rated Airplane! The rating system is not why I own this comedy classic though. The film is similar to many modern movie parody films in that it lampoons a good number of famous films.1

The film stars
Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty as a pair of lovers who have reached a breaking point and attempt to reunite on board a flight to Chicago. The film also stars Leslie Nielson as a bumbling doctor, Peter Graves as the bumbling2 pilot, and Lloyd Bridges with Robert Stack as the air traffic control operators, as well as a host of other bit parts who came and went as jokes were necessary.

Airplane! Autopilot, Julie Hagerty
This movie is full of slap stick and puns. It is, of course, the highest form of comedy. The movie also throws in a bit of absurdity that breaks out of a standard comedy.3 While it's been almost thirty years since this films original release, it hasn't dated itself beyond salvation. Its classic status has ensured its airing on basic cable long into the future.

Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Airplane!
McCroskey: Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

1. e.g., the very first shots are a parody of Jaws.
2. He may also be slightly pedophilic.
3. e.g., during one panic scene, a topless woman carrying a plate of Jell-O comes on screen and shakes both her breasts and the Jell-O for no apparent reason.

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