This week we discuss the Zucker/Abrahams classic Airplane!, one of the greatest comedies of all time. We discuss some of our favorite lines, characters, Brian's comedic pallet, and the similarities to the 1957 film, Zero Hour. Surely, you can't miss it...
Warning: Spoilers, adult humor, and harsh language ahead. Listen at your own risk.
2DudeReview - Episode 6: Airplane!
Additional Note: As mentioned in the podcast, here is the link to the Zero Hour/Airplane! mashup. Click here
- Discuss site, Twitter, etc.
II. First Impressions of Airplane!
III. Origin & tidbits
- Parody of disaster movies, namely the 1957 movie Zero Hour and Airplane 1975.
- Budget of $3.5 million which they made back in the first two days of its release and made $83 million at the box office and $40 million and countin in rentals.
- They basically rewrote the script to Zero Hour and negotiated the rights to create a remake so they wouldn't get sued. They purchased them for $2500.
- Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker were unable to sell the script so they ended up using their comedy troop Kentucky Fried Theatre as a launching point creating The Kentucky Fried Movie. That taught them about working on set and also that they would want to direct their next movie (which they insisted on for Airplane!).
- It was originally intended to be a movie within a movie as a sequel to The Kentucky Fried Movie but dropped that and expanded on the Airplane! story.
- Filming was done in 34 days.
- During filming, Leslie Nielsen used a whoopee cushion to keep the cast off-balance.
- They cast Robert Stack, Nielsen, Peter Graves, and Lloyd Bridges because they had never done comedy and they felt they were funnier than the comediens of that time. They all had to be persuaded. Graves thought it was tasteless crap. Abrahams made the joke in the DVD commentary, "what did he think was tasteless about pedophilia?"
- David Letterman screen tested for the role of Stryker. He was friends with the directors. Also, Bill Murray and Chevy Chase were considered for the role. Barry Manilow was also considered.
- Sigourney Weaver auditioned for the role of Elaine.
- Christopher Lee turned down the role eventually taken by Nielsen. He considered that a mistake (he also turned down the Loomis role in Halloween).
- The original line they wanted for Graves was, "Have you ever seen a grown man's cock?"
- Stephen Stucker ad-libbed all of his lines as Johnny.
- Most of the jive spoken was improvised.
- The writers and directors and members of their families have cameo roles. David and Jerry play the ground crew who smashed the plane through the window at the beginning. Their mother plays the woman applying makeup in the bathroom. Their sister is the ticket agent at the airport. Jim Abrahams mother is the woman sitting next to Nielsen. The boy in the newspaper for "Boy Trapped in Refrigerator Eats Own Foot" was the grandson of the producer. He had no idea why he wanted that picture from his second grade photo until the movie came out. Other cameos, June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley), Maureen McGovern (nun), Jimmie Walker (checks the hood of the plane), Ethel Merman (her final film before she died), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The couple at the beginning arguing over the PA were a real married couple who record announcements at LAX.
- Kareem was asked to sit in the cockpit on a European flight because the crew wanted to say they flew with Roger Murdoch.
- The scene of them on the beach was the same beach as the end of Planet of the Apes.
- The two girl scouts at the bar are actually both men.
- Reviewers pretty much all agreed it is obvious, predictable, and corny but hysterical.
IV. Our notes on Airplane
V. How rotten is Airplane? Airplane was given an % by Rotten Tomatoes. Do the following films fall higher or lower than %?
VI. Mention next film, Top Gun, plus reiterate the Web site and social media feeds
VII. Final Grade of A-F
Chad's Grade: A
Brian's Grade: A+
Karina's Grade: A