‘Airplane!’ Review: And Don’t Call Me Shirley!

Posted in The Screening Room by - January 15, 2015

This entry in the Staff Writers Top 5 comes from Jacob Campbell and I am extraordinarily happy that this film made the list. This is a hilarious film that has become a comedy classic. Surely, you’ve seen it.

This spoof of the airport series of disaster movies relies on ridiculous sight gags, groan-inducing dialogue, and dead-pan acting. Jim Abrahams single handedly created a comedy style that would be imitated for the next 20 years. Airplane! pulls out all the clichés as alcoholic pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays), who has developed a fear of flying due to wartime trauma, boards a jumbo jet in an attempt to woo back his stewardess girlfriend (Julie Hagerty). Food poisoning decimates the passengers and crew, leaving it up to Striker to land the plane, with the help of addict air traffic controller (Lloyd Bridges) and Striker’s vengeful former captain (Robert Stack). As the film progresses, we meet all of the disaster movie passengers like the nun who just happens to have a guitar, a sick little girl who apparently needs a heart transplant, a frightened old lady, and two African-American travelers whose “jive” has to be subtitled. Leslie Nielsen portrays the plane’s doctor, launching a new phase of the actor’s career that carried him through the next two decades in several similarly comedic roles.

We talk all the time here at Kulture Shocked about how it’s hard to review good movies, and easy to just shred bad movies. That mantra puts this film in a precarious situation. It is so intentionally bad that it can’t be shredded because  that’s its comedic genius. Which pushes Airplane! towards  the “hard to review good movie category” due to the fact that there’s no content to talk about, there’s no message, no theme. Airplane! is simply the perfect distraction film due to its great comedy and non-heavy content.

If for some reason you haven’t seen Airplane! I suggest you correct that. A fantastically funny film that does not disappoint!

Final Say: Watch It

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