Movie Report: Airplane! (1980)

Book coverWell, after I read Surely You Can’t Be Serious and watched Kentucky Fried Movie, of course I was going to watch this again (even though I just watched it in spring 2021).

I watched it without my boys this time. So I didn’t watch it with the will they get this? double-effect viewer.

And, as I said in reviewing Kentucky Fried Movie, these films do sort of represent a sea-change in what you could do with a comedy film. I mean, we’ve always had romps like Casino Royale, but the jump cut gag in there almost just for the purpose of the gag seemed to start with Airplane!. Or perhaps Airplane! had the benefit of being fresh when the home video market took off, which gave it more reliable playback and availability for cult-movie worship than you would get with a film relegated to repeated but widely scheduled showings on television or cable (whose existence predates the home video revolution, but whose widespread adoption occurred about the same time), which would lead it to being a more dominant memory than other films with similar pacing and philosophy.

It was a pleasure to rewatch it with Surely You Can’t Be Serious in mind. The book certainly explained the presence of the character played by Stephen Stucker, the wacky control tower guy, who was wacky when everyone else was playing it straight–he was an important member of the Kentucky Fried Theater troupe, and they generally just let him go nuts with improv on stage, so they sort of recreated that here.

You know, it’s been a while since I’ve seen Airplane! 2: The Sequel. It must have been on Showtime or something as I’ve seen it several times and don’t seem to have it in the Nogglestead library. Perhaps I should organize the Nogglestead video library. Certainly that would be a less daunting task than to organize the record library, the CD library, or, heaven forbid, the book library which was briefly almost organized–at least the reference and read books shelves were–about 1,200 read books ago. A project for anever day.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories