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Airplane! (1980)

tomatometer

98

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 56
Fresh: 55 | Rotten: 1

Though unabashedly juvenile and silly, Airplane! is nevertheless an uproarious spoof comedy full of quotable lines and slapstick gags that endure to this day.

100

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0

Though unabashedly juvenile and silly, Airplane! is nevertheless an uproarious spoof comedy full of quotable lines and slapstick gags that endure to this day.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 288,276

My Rating

Movie Info

This spoof of the Airport series of disaster movies relies on ridiculous sight gags, groan-inducing dialogue, and deadpan acting -- a comedy style that would be imitated for the next 20 years. Airplane! pulls out all the clichés as alcoholic pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays), who's developed a fear of flying due to wartime trauma, boards a jumbo jet in an attempt to woo back his stewardess girlfriend (Julie Hagerty). Food poisoning decimates the passengers and crew, leaving it up to Striker to

PG,

Comedy

,

Oct 24, 2000

Paramount Pictures

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Airplane!

September 23, 2011:
Robert Hays Airplane! Interview
Surely you're going to read Hays' thoughts on the comedy classic's Blu-ray release.
December 28, 2010:
National Film Registry Adds The Empire Strikes Back, Airplane!, and More
The National Film Registry has added another 25 films, and the latest batch includes a "Star Wars"...

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All Critics (56) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (1) | DVD (29)

The gags aren't exactly clever, but there are a lot of them, and the cutting finds a fast, effective tempo.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The fact that the movie doesn't work as well today as it did in 1980 in no way diminishes its importance in recent motion picture history.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

From the clever Jaws take-off opening to the final, irreverent title card, laughs come thick and fast.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Psycho ground controllers (Stack and Bridges), laff-a-second pace, and bludgeoning innuendo make this the acceptable face of the locker-room satire.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is sophomoric, obvious, predictable, corny, and quite often very funny. And the reason it's funny is frequently because it's sophomoric, predictable, corny, etc.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (2)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Airplane! is more than a pleasant surprise, in the midst of this dim movie season. As a remedy for the bloated self-importance of too many other current efforts, it's just what the doctor ordered.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[VIDEO ESSAY] The film's mixed bag of cultural references spill out faster than you can catch them.

March 17, 2014 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

From takeoff to landing, this whacked-out parody is a loopy flight of fancy.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

There's hardly a second that passes without an assault by a wickedly accurate spoof, cringe-inducing pun or inspired sight gag, and the years have not diminished the film's dumb appeal.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Directors Abraham and both Zuckers create one of the few comedies that can guarantee almost a laugh a minute...

September 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Charmingly dated, but still immeasurably funny.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

Rapid-fire spoof with sexual jokes and cartoon violence.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A hyper spoof of disaster films.

August 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Entering imto Mel Brooks' turf, the first lampoon of the disaster-in-the-air subgenre (such as the prepoterously Oscar nominated Airport) is silly but funny, with many good sight gags, campy one-liners and slapstick comedy.

March 15, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Most of the jokes are groan-worthy, and some are downright racist.

September 22, 2008 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm | Comments (86)
LarsenOnFilm

Is it the best comedy ever made? I don't know, but it surely is the funniest.I stand by that. And don't call me Shirley.

July 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Seanax.com
Seanax.com

Surely as good as modern comedy gets?...and don't call me Shirley.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Surely, this is essential. Maybe, but don't call me Shirley, etc.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Although the gags aren't entirely consistent, it's inspired stuff. And whatever you do don't switch off during the closing credits.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Loaded with slapstick silliness and schoolboy wordplay, featuring tongue-in-cheek performances by familiar television personalities, and mostly just plain goofy.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Brilliant, still funny airplane disaster movie parody. Started new comedy career for Nielsen.

February 23, 2008
Video-Reviewmaster.com

Still the funniest and most inspired of the madcap genre spoofs. For every dumb or tasteless joke that doesn't fly, a dozen land directly at Laugh Central.

October 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

Some of the humor has become very politically incorrect 25-plus years later. And God love it for that.

February 20, 2006 Full Review Source: FulvueDrive-in.com
FulvueDrive-in.com

Audience Reviews for Airplane!

ZAZ team show that cinema, it's not just telling stories, but too, criative, popular, extreme funny gags, visual or not, that never will get old, it doesn't matter in what year was written or how many times was heard. Withou forget the brillant and unforgettable hilarious performance of Leslie Nielsen, 'the Oliver of Spoofs'. Fresh.
April 19, 2013
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

The mother of all parody films showing all the trademarks of the infamous Zucker Abrahams Zucker team's humor and already setting up their later "Naked Gun" fame. Every stereotype of airplane catastrophe movies is so deliciously deconstructed and mocked it's just priceless. This may even be the movie with the highest joke rate ever, even if not all of them work you just can't stop laughing at how ruthless, random, politically incorrect and silly all this is. A joy ride even after all these years. Hilarious times ten.
October 18, 2012
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

Please like this movie everybody who hasn't seen Airplane yet... "I just wanted to tell you good luck because were all counting on you". It's fun and its silly. It's just one of those movies almost no one could hate. It will surely make you laugh, maybe even laugh out loud, but wont necessarily make you wet yourself with laughter. It comes out at you begging for belly laughs but it doesn't help you deliver sometimes. To make up for the flaw, it's actually a decent parody movie filled with undeniable charm and very likable characters that burst with quotable lines. It's a good ride and a top tier for disaster movies and "shirley" if you watched this already. You must have enjoyed it.
January 22, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

This is probably the mother of all spoof films, and, despite eing a tad dated, and having a few gags that fall a little flat, it's still one of the funniest and best of its kind.

The fiilm is a spoof of 70s disaster films, specifically the Airport series, and it follows a former fighter pilot named Ted who has a fear of flying after suffering war related trauma. He boards a plane containing his former love Elaine (a stewardess) in a desperate attempt to try to win her back. The flight takes a turn for the worse when a lot of the crew and passengers suffer from an outbreak of food poisoning, and Ted his forced to confront his fears and past if he wants to save the day.

This has an awesome ensemble cast featuring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, and Ethel Merman. They all do a great job, and it's pretty difficult to say who really steals the show, as they all have their great moments.

Probably the most notable thing about htis film is the humor. It is of the absurdist and surreal varieties, and often very silly. Also, many of the jokes are delivered in dry deadpan fashions (both aurally and visually), which I thought made it even funnier. Furthermore, while this film has a bare bones plot, it's pretty much all about the jokes, as there are as many as possible shoved into this film. Seriously. It might take several viewings to catch everything, but that shouldn't be seen as a bad thing, especially when this is such a joy to watch.

Something that really caught my attention was the music. It's by Elmer Bernstein, and it's very fitting and plays up the melodramatic stuff it's spoofing nicely, but it's also super catchy and actually works as real music on its own and not just as the soundtrack for a silly comedy. It's some very solid and impressive work.

This is really essential viewing. Unfortunately a lot of the spoof films that this influnced aren't of the same quality, and the same goes for some of the other things made by ZAZ, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is still an endlessly entertaining and brilliant work.
September 18, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Capt. Oveur: Ok give me Hamm on 5 and hold the Mayo.
    – Submitted by Ron S (9 months ago)
    1. Handing Lady: Nervous?
    2. Ted Striker: Yes. Very.
    3. Handing Lady: First time?
    4. Ted Striker: No, I've been nervous lots of times.
    – Submitted by Jake B (13 months ago)
    1. Ted Striker: What a pisser.
    – Submitted by russell b (14 months ago)
    1. Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious.
    2. Dr. Rumack: I am serious and don't call me Shirley.
    – Submitted by Dutch E (16 months ago)
    1. Dr. Rumack: I just want to tell you both, good luck. We're all counting on you.
    – Submitted by Shishira B (21 months ago)
    1. Capt. Oveur: [newspaper that has the headline] 'Boy Trapped In Refrigerator Eats Own Foot.'
    – Submitted by Tony C (22 months ago)
View all quotes (30)

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