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Airplane!

 

Year: 1980 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker 
Starring: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen  
An image from Airplane!
Review:

Do not watch Airplane! in a confined space. Do not watch Airplane! near anything sharp. Do not watch Airplane! on the edge of a cliff. You will hurt yourself. The film with the officially highest joke ratio of any film ever is coming to a big screen near you. You will laugh, you will laugh and you will laugh some more. That is, if you can stop laughing first.

Unlike most spoofs you will not be out of the loop if you have not seen the 1970s disaster movies Airplane! is based on. This is because it is not slyly referential. It is funny. It is funny to a degree which has to be seen to be believed. Its silliness knows no bounds, whether it is the airport announcers bickering about where to park or picking the wrong day to quit sniffing glue, but it is extremely clever silliness and is never silly for the sake of it.

It has been described the Citizen Kane of spoof films, but this is unfair. Some people do not like Citizen Kane. If you do not like Airplane! you must be dead. That is the truth. How can anyone not enjoy the suicidal qualities of Ted Striker’s reminiscing, or a ten year old girl who likes her coffee black, like her men?

Airplane! showed people that films could just be funny, and funny all the way through. Amongst its other altruistic offerings were the comedy genius of Leslie Nielsen and the first, and best, abuse of the previously sacred area of the end credits (including Adolf Hitler as ‘Worst Boy’). Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker have left a legacy of comedy for audiences everywhere by making a film that is simply side splittingly funny. Enough said.

Peter Lefort

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Screenings of this film:

1983/1984 Summer Term (16mm)
1997/1998 Autumn Term (35mm)
2006/2007 Autumn Term (35mm)