Film Watch – 358. Airplane!

airplaneFast Facts

Title: Airplane!
Director: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Year: 1980
Run time: 1 hr 28 mins

Background Info

This is right up there as one of those that people love, and therefore terrifies me. I don’t always like the films that are cult classics, and Airplane! is definitely one of those. I’m vaguely aware of it, through the “don’t call me Shirley” line, but I don’t really know much of the plots or any other jokes.

Live Blog

1:25 – Epic use of drop shadow on that text. Love ye olde text graphics.
4:35 – You would think a pilot would stop before the window, even if the glo-sticks say otherwise!
8:47 – Love the idea of the plane having a bonnet.
12:15 – Golly!
14:10 – “We have clearance, Clarence.”
22:05 – What is surprising me is the references to films that I didn’t realise were that old!
30:30 – The airplane rumble they’ve got going on sounds more like bees than a plane.
34:12 – Elephant!
35:57 – I wouldn’t like that kind of drinking problem. Messy!
38:21 – “A hospital, what is it?”
41:42 – Those fish skeletons are like out of comics or something.
42:50 – The automatic pilot is my favourite bit so far.
45:42 – Seems so weird they could smoke on planes.
47:07 – “By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?”
50:19 – The “surely” line is less impressive in real life, it’s much better as a concept.
55:26 – No frills airlines haven’t changed then!
1:03:56 – What else can he have picked the wrong week to quit?
1:14:34 – The fancy flotation device is fun.
1:15:29 – I’m sure that stewardess is getting more and more hair each scene.
1:18:14 – The runway bobbing around is like Krypton Factor simulations.
1:20:29 – They didn’t need their crash positions after all then.
1:24:58 – Otto the Autopilot.


Thankfully, it was good. Funnier than I had thought it would be, and a bit shocking in places I really wasn’t expecting. I’m glad it was short because I don’t think they could have sustained it for much longer than the ninety minutes but having said that, there was a lot in there that I can see has been referenced in other things. So in that sense, it was packed! I do think Otto should have had his own spin-off show though.

Rating: 3/5


  1. Jordan F1

    The airplane rumble they’ve got going on sounds more like bees than a plane.

    You might have missed that joke. it is supposed to be the sound of propeller-driven aircraft of the 40-50’s. era. Of course, what you are seeing on screen is an old 70’s very noisy jet engined plane. But don’t worry, it took me ages to figure out the “two minutes until it’s done” joke when the guy opens up the radar screen. (It has something to do with old microwave ovens)


  2. thought Airplane would have aged so badly that it would be terrible for anyone who didn’t see it when it came out and was not able to recite the dialogue.

    Do worry Steven most of that stuff is in “jive” anyhow…


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