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Airport ’77 (1977).

September 16, 2008

The Scoop:
Ah yes, the 1970s disaster film — where old actors go to die. This time around (the third of the four “Airport” films), the old Hollywood warhorses making fools of themselves are James Stewart, Olivia de Haviland and Joseph Cotten, all with their glory days far behind them.

The plot involves a huge airliner full of important people that sinks to the bottom of the Bermuda Triangle thanks to a botched hijacking attempt. Also along for the ride with the aging vets are a host of younger stars such as Jack Lemmon, Brenda Vaccaro, Christopher Lee, Monte Markham, Lee Grant (in an absolutely insane performance) and, of course, “Airport” series stalwart George Kennedy.

All the clichés (not to mention plot absurdities) are on parade. This film is very ’70s — intensely ’70s, painfully ’70s. It’s cream puffs like this that the Zucker/Abrams/Zucker team were able to hit out of the park in “Airplane!” (1980). Becuase of them, it’s so hard now to watch these movies with a straight face anymore. In short, this is an unintentional comedy classic.

Best Bit:
Son: “Who’s that, Mommy?”
Mother: “That’s your grandpa.”
Son: “Have I ever met him?”
Mother: “Oh, once or twice.”

Side Note:
The costumes were designed by old Hollywood warhorse Edith Head, also rapidly reaching the end of her career.

Companion Viewing:
“The Poseidon Adventure” (1972) and “Airport” (1970).

Movie Mistakes.

Take a Look:
The thrilling crash scene:

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