This is a funny movie..Happy 30th Birthday!!

Airplane just celebrated 30 years of making the world laugh. The film, released in 1980, was written and directed by the Zucker brothers (David and Jery) and Jim Abrahams. The movie is a spoof of the disaster film genre and a satirical remake of the 1957 Paramount film Zero Hour. Although it lacked what would be considered star power, it did feature Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty as Striker and Elaine (the couple the movie centers around) and the goofball comedy was one that perfectly highlighted the screwy talents of Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves and even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as one of the pilots.  

The film cost around 3.5 million dollars to produce and made well over 100 million worldwide. Airplane was not only a commercial successful, but it was surprisingly a critical smash as well. The film received the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Comedy and nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy as well as a BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay.  

  

The picture was voted the 10th-funniest American comedy on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list in 2000. It ranked 6th on Bravo’s 100 Funniest Movies. In a 2007 survey by Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, it was judged the second greatest comedy film of all time. In 2008, Airplane! was selected by Empire Magazine as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.  

It is a fairly simple love story as far as the plot goes. Striker follows Elaine onto a flight that she is a Stewardess for to convince her to get back together with him. They are basically broken up as Elaine feels Striker can’t get over the bad war memories and his fears of flying. Striker is now on the flight and figuring how he can get Elaine to pay him any mind. While inflight, the pilot gets sick and Striker is forced to command the plane and get it safely landed. In doing that, he could win Elaine’s heart back.  

Because there are so many memorable scenes and lines from the film, there are actually too many to reference. If you have not seen this movie, you owe it to yourself to do so. It led the way for movies like, Naked Gun (and its sequels) and Hot Shots (1 and Duex). It is the only reason spoof comedies like Scary Movie, Not Another Teen Movie and Meet the Spartans even exist.  

Talk about being a heavy influence on some future geniuses, Peter Farrelly said of the film: “…seeing it (Airplane) for the first time was like going to a great rock concert, like seeing Led Zeppelin or the Talking Heads. We didn’t realize until later that what we’d seen was a very specific kind of comedy that we now call the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker school.” Farrelly, along with his writing partner Bennett Yellin, sent a comedy script to David Zucker, who in return gave them their first Hollywood writing job. Farrelly said, “I’ll tell you right now, if the Zuckers didn’t exist, there would be no Farrelly brothers.” Those Farrelly brothers went on to create, Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, There’s Something About Mary, Me Myself & Irene and Shallow Hal to name a few.  

Enjoy this clip from Airplane featuring the “jive” guys. I personally didn’t need the translation…you might. 

prma