Original ‘Airplane!’ Movie: Some Favorite Scenes

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Airplane! Control TowerOne of our all-time guilty pleasure movie comedies starred a bunch of unheralded veterans, a few no-names and featured more great one-liners – “Surely you can’t be serious?” “I am serious and don’t call me Shirley” – than you could possibly remember.

1980’s Airplane! successfully parodied the wave of disaster movies like The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure that were all the rage in the early ’70s. But most of all, the directing and writing team of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker skewered Airport 1975, including the latter’s unintentionally silly subplots.

Watch the original Airplane! trailer

Airplane! opened July 2, 1980, and starred Leslie Nielsen who had previously been known for playing dramatic roles in such ’50s films as Ransom! and Hot Summer Night. Dozens of TV roles followed as did his role as the ship’s captain in The Poseidon Adventure.

Following the success of Airplane! he went on to enjoy a hugely successful second life as a comedic actor in such films as The Naked Gun series and Spy Hard.

Other stars included TV staples Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves and Robert Stack and, of course, Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty, who played the movie’s romantic leads. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is in several memorable scenes and there are great cameos featuring Barbara Billingsley and Ethel Merman.

Watch the classic “I speak jive” and many other hilarious scenes from the original Airplane movie

“Get a hold of yourself!”

“Can you fly this plane and land it?”

Nielsen was born Feb. 11, 1926. He died at age 84 on Nov. 28, 2010.

Let’s take a moment to tip our caps to Airport 1975‘s all-star cast which included Charlton Heston, George Kennedy, Karen Black, Helen Reddy, Linda Blair, Larry Storch and Norman Fell among others.

Watch the Airport 1975 trailer. (The voiceover is priceless.)

Stream or purchase the movie here.

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  1. Tigger
    #1 Tigger 14 February, 2021, 15:33

    he also was funny as Mr. Magoo, wacky in Wrongfully Accused !

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