Sunday, July 02, 2006

AIRPLANE!...Need I say More

The film Airplane! was produced in 1980. It is the spoof comedy that set the standard for all others that followed it. The famed Zucker Bros. achieved fame with this parody of all the airplane disaster flicks of the 70's. This is one of the ultimate dumb-but-funny comedies made in the 1980’s. There's no real plot. Just laughs - and plenty of 'em.

The storyline is unbelievably hilarious, all the things that could possibly go wrong on an airplane inevitably do. Ted Striker (Robert Hays) is a war veteran who decides to chase after his ex-girlfriend, an airline stewardess named Elaine (Julie Hagerty), right before her plane takes off, and he climbs aboard in order to woo her back. Once in the air the flight crew is poisoned by the chicken they had for dinner. The passengers on the plane eventually come down with the same illness as the crew. The onboard, Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen) takes care of the sick passengers as Ted tries to fly and land the plane. In a particularly funny scene, the pressure becomes so unbearable that he begins to literally sweat gallons in the cockpit.

That is basically all the film is about, the rest of the film is spent cracking jokes. Spoof films are entirely different from other movies because normally we would criticize a film if it considered its plot to be the least important element. Not so here.

Airplane!" not only was a huge success in 1980 (the year of its release), spinning off a horde of imitators and one sequel - it was also responsible for crowning Leslie Nielsen "The King of Spoof." This film today is considered to be responsible for literally inventing a sub-genre of comedy the “SPOOFS”.

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