Friday, 28 October 2016

Airplane! (1980)

"I haven't felt this awful since we saw that Ronald Reagan film."

Obviously this is a true cinematic comedy classic from what would become the Naked Gun team, a harbinger of a style of humour that will prove successful and funny, time and time again. Equally obviously, it's a spoof of the many high profile disaster movies of the '70s. And, for my hat trick of pointing out the bleeding obvious, it marks Leslie Neilsen's great career shift from square jawed straight actor to the master of deadpan absurdist comedy.

Watching it today it's very funny, of course, but also very much of its time- a world where everyone smokes, Afros abound and there are copious references to disco and a recent war which is carefully not stated to be Vietnam. The cast are universally brilliant, but the standout turns are from Lloyd Bridges and the extraordinary Nielsen. The jokes about the captain being a pederast are a little disturbing, mind.

Often, as here, there's only so much that can be said about a brilliantly successful comedy, and I admit I'm probably not getting all of the pop culture references, but this is possibly my favourite comedy film not made by the Monty Python troupe. And that's high praise indeed.


  1. "The jokes about the captain being a pederast are a little disturbing, mind". Not quite as bad as the Catholic priest seen reading 'Altar Boy' magazine!.