Saturday, September 24, 2011

Airplane!, 1980

Directed and written by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker
Starting Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Stephen Stucker, and a lot of other people

The first time I saw this movie, I insisted to my mother that we stay and watch it a second time. Loving and supportive of her son's unbridled love of comedy, she agreed.

When we first got cable, HBO showed this movie over and over. I believe I watched it 14 times.

Since then, I cannot tell you how many times I have watched this. Laughing at the same great jokes over and over again.

In one sense, it's hard to know where to start with this movie. It's so funny, so goofy, so willing to do anything for a joke, such a complete encyclopedia of comedy, that it's completely irresistible. Of course it's dated in stretches (the From Here to Eternity reference and Ethel Merman cameo most notably); of course watching Peter Graves ask the boy Joey about Turkish prisons is unbelievably politically incorrect; and so on -- but this is a really funny movie. It's worth it to have to explain the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar section because it makes me laugh out loud just thinking of it.

I had a friend who told me I couldn't marry my fiance until she saw Casablanca. One might legitimately consider the same standard for Airplane!

Of course it's in the Pantheon.

Airplane! at IMDB.

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