I decided to start my adventure through the book “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die” with one of my favorites, the 1980 comedy film “Airplane!” starring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, the late Leslie Nielsen, and Peter Graves. “Airplane!” is a comedic movie that aims to parody disaster films that had come out around this time. It is a movie where the actors are all constantly acting seriously, except Stephen Stucker’s character Johnny, but the movie never takes itself seriously, making the humor even greater. When watching this movie you can see that it is basically just your typical dramatic movie characters put into very comedic situations, most of them involving the plot and the plane itself, and having them use their flawed movie logic to interact and with one another and try to solve the problem they are in.
The film delivers an abundance of laughs that are very cleverly written and don’t ever seem to be as obvious as they should be. Most of the jokes are hidden in their very deadpan and serious acting making this movie one that you can see many times and still catch a new joke that you didn’t before. I even found some new jokes watching it today, which was about my 20th time watching it. The movie is definitely hilarious, but you do have to be ready for some pretty lame jokes, I would recommend having a sense of humor while watching this movie.
The writing of this film is probably one of the wittiest things one will ever see. they did a great job of having the actors stay completely serious while the world around them went crazy. I thought to myself while watching this movie “This is terribly witty writing with serious acting” (I was talking with a British accent in my head, which is weird). The writing especially shines when the characters take everything literally or misinterpret what the other characters are saying, “Surely, you can’t be serious.” “I am serious, and Don’t call me Shirley.” The movie has plenty of jokes like that one and does a great job of keeping them coming, while still trying to keep up a plot.
The plot is definitely nothing to write home about, but they do a good job of keeping it up throughout the comedy. the basic plot (with no spoilers!) is ex-army pilot Ted Striker’s (Robert Hays) girlfriend Elaine (Julie Hagerty) has decided to leave him, she’s a stewardiess (had to look that word up to figure out how to spell it.) who requests a flight that will take her away from him, and he decides to follow her on the plane to get her back. The problem with this is during his flying days in the army he was semi-responsible for a failed mission that killed nearly all of his team. He has never been on a plane since and is extremely scared to go in the air again. disaster ensues when the people who ate the fish get sick and they need Ted to fly the plane. Will he get over his fears and help them fly the plane? Will he ever get the love of his life Elaine back? Can anyone be funnier than Leslie Nielson? I guess you’ll have to figure it out b watching “Airplane!”
I recommend this movie to anyone who likes jokes and thinks they have at least a little bit of a sense of humor. It definitely goes for the comedy and isn’t a movie that will ever win an academy award (because they don’t like comedy for some reason), but it is still a great movie that you definitely need to “see before you die.”
P.S. This is my first blog posting and also my first written movie critique, so if you have any constructive criticism (not you suck, jerk) I would love to hear it! Thanks and hope you enjoy.