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Airplane! (Don't Call Me Shirley! Edition)
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Product Description

Parody of airplane disaster films in which a former pilot gets his nerve back when he has to land a plane on which everyone has food poisoning.
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Media Type: DVD
Street Release Date: 12/13/2005

The quintessential movie spoof that spawned an entire genre of parody films, the original Airplane! still holds up as one of the brightest comedic gems of the '80s, not to mention of cinema itself (it ranked in the top 5 of Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 funniest movies ever made). The humor may be low and obvious at times, but the jokes keep coming at a rapid-fire clip and its targets--primarily the lesser lights of '70s cinema, from disco films to star-studded disaster epics--are more than worthy for send-up. If you've seen even one of the overblown Airport movies then you know the plot: the crew of a filled-to-capacity jetliner is wiped out and it's up to a plucky stewardess and a shell-shocked fighter pilot to land the plane. Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty are the heroes who have a history that includes a meet-cute ¨¤ la Saturday Night Fever, a surf scene right out of From Here to Eternity, a Peace Corps trip to Africa to teach the natives the benefits of Tupperware and basketball, a war-ravaged recovery room with a G.I. who thinks he's Ethel Merman (a hilarious cameo)--and those are just the flashbacks! The jokes gleefully skirt the boundaries of bad taste (pilot Peter Graves to a juvenile cockpit visitor: "Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?"), with the high (low?) point being Hagerty's intimate involvement with the blow-up automatic pilot doll, but they'll have you rolling on the floor. The film launched the careers of collaborators Jim Abrahams (Big Business), David Zucker (Ruthless People), and Jerry Zucker (Ghost), as well as revitalized such B-movie actors as Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielsen, who built a second career on films like this. A vital part of any video collection. --Mark Englehart

Customer Reviews:

    The grown man naked line has got to be the funniest line ever said in a movie. This comic gem is a parody of the disaster movies of the 70's and never stops with the gags. The main plot is about a war vet who is afraid to fly, and he is chasing after his ex-girlfriend. After the crew gets food poisoning, he is forced to fly the plain. This is the "holy grail of spoof movies!!! Fans of goofy, slapstick, parody-type comedies must see this movie. NOT TO BE MISSED!!!!...more info
  • Perfect antidote for our "United 93" world!
    I had seen "Airplane!" when it first came out and when I saw it on DVD knew I had to grab a copy. After 9/11 and the tightening of airport and airline security it was nice to see a funny, lighter film aboard an airplane and it's perfect antidote to the "United 93" world we presently live in. It's funny to think of food being the source of terror as opposed to the other disaster movies of the time where the plane itself was the danger ("Airport," "Airport 75," etc.). That alone was so funny...when was the last time you had a meal served on an airplane?

    Daresay we could use a film that pokes fun at the current situation with security although I don't know how many people would find that funny. Serious times tend to produce serious films (witness "United 93") and I don't know how well comedies like "Airplane" would do today.

    In a lot of respects "Airplane!" is a time capsule that evoked laughs for me too. I chuckled at how lax the security was in the film compared to today's super-tight security...remember curbside parking? Being able to meet people at the gates? Of course it was funny to see people being able to smoke in airports and on planes (no love lost there). Sure, some of the gags are getting a bit dated (not sure how many kids today will know who Ethel Merman is), but some of them are still just as funny. Overall the satire has held up pretty darned good as have most of the jokes. And please, don't call me Shirley!...more info
  • Very funny
    This brilliant comedy is the best film the Abrahams/Zucker team ever made. Largely a parody of the many Airport movies made in the 1970's it remains relentlessly funny, with the jokes occurring in a seemingly endless stream.

    The casting is perfect: Lloyd Bridges, Robert Hays, Julie Haggerty and Leslie Neilsen were made for the roles they play here. Best of all is Peter Graves as Captain Oveur, in a role they might have trouble getting made these days! There are so many great moments in this film but the complete confusion in the cockpit remains a favourite of mine:

    Victor Basta: Request vector, over.
    Captain Oveur: What?
    Tower voice: Flight 2-0-9'er cleared for vector 324.
    Roger Murdock: We have clearance, Clarence.
    Captain Oveur: Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?

    The DVD includes some fascinating extras, including interviews with the cast and director, which you can watch as you watch the movie as they are played in sequence (i.e. the movie cuts away and then restarts after the interview).
    ...more info
  • A Classic Comedy That Is Still Funny
    Written and directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker; Airplane! is widely considered one of the greatest comedies of all time. Unlike many comedies that are considered "classics," this is a film that is still laugh-out-loud funny and brilliant.

    This film is basically 84 minutes worth of jokes manipulated into forming a coherent plot, but here's a quick synopsis: the movie opens at an airport (obviously) and we quickly meet Elaine (Julie Hagerty), a flight attendant on her way to work. Ted (Robert Hays) has found out Elaine has left him and boards the plane to convince her to come back to him. Meanwhile, Captain Oveur (Peter Graves) meets his new co-pilot Roger Murdock played by Kareem Abdul-Jaabar, who is actually Kareem Abdul-Jaabar! Due to problems with the airline food (namely the fish), Captain Oveur and his co-pilots are rendered unconscious, leaving the plane to be manned by Elaine and Otto, the inflatable automatic pilot. The day is saved by Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen) who gets the idea to commission Ted, a pilot in the war, to take over.

    What I've just described is hardly the plot, but that gives you a general idea. You'll be laughing hysterically within the first ten minutes and there are so many great comedy bits in the film...From the opening shot (a spoof of Jaws), to the suicide of every passenger who listens to Ted, to Lloyd Bridges' "I knew I picked the wrong day to..." bits. It's all great.

    Of course, this is a film with some of the most legendary comedy dialogue of all time. And I stress the word "comedy." Truer words were, almost, never spoken.

    The jokes never stop. Every opportunity for a joke is taken, no matter what the subject is; African Americans' "jive" talk, young girls who need heart transplants, vomiting, bestiality, and pedophilia. Literally nothing is off limits. Every single thing is a joke. There's not a sincere moment in the entire movie. It works only because about 90% of the time, the jokes work.

    Viewers of Airplane! can be separated into two groups, those who find it brilliant and those who find it stupid. Whichever group you fall into, I doubt you'll be able to keep from smiling through most of it.

    GRADE: A-
    ...more info
  • Hilarious!
    'Airplane' is perhaps my favorite comedy, right up there with 'Caddy Shack' and 'Sordid Lives'!...more info
  • Great Movie!
    I purchased this movie for my husband for his birthday, and we absolutely love it! Very funny and entertaining. It's definitely a classic that you can watch over and over again....more info
  • Very Funny
    This movie is a classic. It is silly, funny, and worth owning. It is your typical 70's and 80's humor. I loved it as a kid and still enjoy owning it as an adult

    "Surely, you must be joking. No, I am quite serious, and don't call me Shirley." ...more info
  • The beginning of it all...
    If you were to point to one film that probably had the biggest impact in actually launching a genre, it might be `Airplane!', a hilarious spoof on the disaster flicks of the 70's that paved the way for the cinematic parody. Thanks to the onslaught of gags and familiar jokes (granted, not all of them hit, but with this many thrown at you at rapid fire it doesn't really matter) this film rightfully become considered a classic, and will go down in history as one of the funniest films of the 80's.

    I much prefer this to `Caddy Shack'.

    The film tells of Ted Striker, a former pilot who no longer can work up the nerve to enter the cockpit due to an accident years prior. He gets on a plane where his girlfriend Elaine is working as a stewardess in order to try and repair their fraying relationship. While in flight the crew gets sick from food poisoning and so it is up to Elaine and Ted to save the day.

    With an array of off color jokes, outlandish performances and a steady string of perfectly parodied blockbusters, `Airplane!' rarely strikes a sour note. Julie Hagerty and Robert Hays are hilarious as the two leads, but it's the supporting cast that really stands out, all of them making the most of their limited screen time and delivering memorable caricatures. Leslie Nielsen is probably the most recognizable face in the group, and he works wonderfully, but it was Peter Graves who really made me double over in laughter. It takes talent to makes something as unfunny as propositioning a young boy funny, but he makes it work.

    At times `Airplane!' goes over the top, but that is half the fun here. The script is all over the place but it manages to have a handle on itself, making for a funny and crazy yet surprisingly cohesive film. It's nice, because many parodies today completely throw any real script out the window and just deliver a series of unrelated spoofs. At least `Airplane!' holds to a plot outline, and even if it goes off the page a bit it has the smarts to wheel it back in.

    What's great about a film like `Airplane!' is that, even though it's been almost thirty years since its release it is still very, very funny today. Sure, some of the jokes are out of date, and if you haven't seen some of the movies being spoofed the gags may go over your head in places, but if you are getting the complete experience then it is an experience you will not forget. I, for one, have never even seen `Airport', the basis for this spoof, and yet I was in stitches throughout the films entirety.

    With memorably hilarious scenes like the acoustic sing along (I was crying, it was so funny) and that risqu¨¦ blow up doll scene, `Airplane!' is a laugh riot and a sure fire crowd pleaser to any fan of genre it helped launch. It's possibly the best of its breed....more info
  • Just Plain Funny!
    This movie is just so funny! It makes up for so many bad comedies made now. This movie was made on a small budget using some unknowns and veteran television stars. It was a stroke of genius and became a second wind for Leslie Nielson who would go on to The Naked Gun series. This movie is just a gem and is highly recommended. ...more info
  • still zany after all these years
    Airplane! deserves its place in motion picture history as of the funniest spoofs on film of seemingly just about everything and everyone under the sun--including disaster movies! The plot moves along at a good pace and the acting really holds your attention. The one liners and ridiculously silly scenarios are bound to make just about anyone laugh.

    The action begins at an airport where people are boarding a plane to Chicago. Elaine (Julie Hagerty), a stewardess on the airplane, is leaving her lover Ted Striker (Robert Hays), a shell shocked pilot with tremendous issues about his mistakes during "the war." Ted races to the airport to catch up with Elaine and even winds up buying a ticket (which is literally giving off smoke, because Ted asks for what was then the "smoking section") to get on the flight with Elaine.

    The plane fills with passengers--and some have problems designed to create hilarious scenarios throughout the film. There is a young girl who needs a heart transplant, two religious zealots, a young boy who almost gets propositioned (!!!) by the Captain Oveur (Peter Graves), the nuns on board, and many more.

    The cameos are worth the price of admission alone. Look for Kareem Abdul-Jabaar to play himself masquerading as copilot Murdock; and Ethel Merman plays shell shocked Lieutenant Hurwitz in her final screen role. Barbara Billingsley (the mother from Leave It To Beaver) plays "Jive Lady," a white older woman who understands black street language; and Jimmie Walker plays the man who wipes the windshields of the airplane before they take off. Two of the writers of the script who also directed the film, Jerry and David Zucker, play ground crewmen at the airport when the plane is getting ready to take off as well. Great!

    Initially the flight goes well although Ted and Elaine can't quite see eye to eye about staying together--the flashbacks to the times they spent together as lovers include great spoofs of classic scenes in From Here To Eternity and Saturday Night Fever. However, when people onboard get sick because of poisoned fish, trouble quickly ensues. The flight crew becomes far too ill to fly the plane; and then Ted is called upon to rise to the occasion and guide the plane to a safe landing. Soon Ted and Elaine are the only ones able to stay in the cockpit as they try desperately to land the plane in Chicago.

    The DVD sports the "long haul" version which integrates cast interviews, deleted scenes and more into the film. You even get a trivia track as well as the standard commentary track by producer Jon Davison and writer/directors Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker. One reviewer writes that they were surprised and somewhat frustrated that quite a few of the "long haul extras" cannot be viewed separately from the movie. I can't blame them; but at least the producers of the DVD tried to be creative with a new way of presenting extras. This is only a minor disappointment for me.

    Overall, Airplane! shows great forethought; and it amazes me that it was filmed in only about five weeks! The laughs never stop and the countless one liners pop out at you and make you laugh like you haven't laughed in years. Airplane also gently pokes fun at racial and social stereotypes; and the way the film goes about this makes it all the funnier. I highly recommend this film for people who love comedy film and for people who enjoy spoofs of major motion pictures.

    ...more info
  • The "One Scene"
    This movie was hilarious from start to finish. Scary Movie and the like were born from this movie right here. I never saw it in the theater. I, like many of you I'm sure, probably saw this in the very early 80's on HBO while it was being played over and over. If you were 8 or nine (and a male) like me when this was on you all know the "One Scene" that we sat eagerly by the TV waiting for. Now it seems trivial but man, that was the best movie ever then, and it is one of the funniest ever now. A must own....more info
  • Airplane -still crazy after all these years
    If you are feeling the burdens of life, if the boss, the blues, and the bills gotcha down - escape for awhile, kick back, and allow your sense of the ridiculous to come out. Put in this copy of Airplane in your DVD player and allow the kid in you to laugh at the absurdly ridiculous. You'll feel better after you did. No, this isn't art, it isn't fine cinema, but it doesn't pretend to be. It is what it is-adolescent humor and escapist entertainment. Sure, it was made awhile ago, and some of the cultural icon jokes may whiz past some younger viewers, but it still has enough comedy to catch all ages. No pompous stiff-shirted film maven would like this, but who cares? Laugh it up!...more info