Airplane! (1980) Reviewed

AIRPLANE! ( 1980 )
Required viewing by now for anyone who likes gag-filled comedy. Far better than the overrated The Kentucky Fried Movie, also written and directed by the filmmaking team of Jim Abrahams and brothers, David and Jerry Zucker. I wonder if anyone has attempted to count the number of gags packed into Airplane!?. It would seem that a parody of seventies disaster movies would look mighty dated these days but most of the jokes still work, including the Saturday Night Fever bit with stars, Julie Hagerty and Robert Hays. The cast of supporting characters is too amazing to list here in its entirety, but suffice to say that Robert Stack, Leslie Nielsen, Peter Graves, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ethel Merman (as a psych-ward patient who thinks he’s Ethel Merman) all make appearances. For better or worse Nielsen would sculpt a new career around this type of comedy, peaking with Police Squad! (the quickly canceled cult TV show) and its cinematic spin off, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad. The Zucker/Abrahams team would never top this, despite a few minor hits like Hot Shots! Jerry Zucker went on to direct Ghost. Airplane! was followed by an inferior sequel. ***

~ by Number5ive on November 16, 2008.

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