Airport ’77

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Secret location of the Atlantic Ocean’s drain

There’s a big art show get-together happening at Jimmy Stewart’s (So, the character’s name is Phillip Stevens,  Jimmy Stewart will always just be Jimmy Stewart to me) palatial home and he’s flying in all kinds of friends, family and associates from Dulles Airport (in 1977!). With his vast wealth, he has built an entirely custom aircraft complete with comfortable seating, a bar, office space, bedrooms and a couple of art thieves (did I mention that he is also transporting art and art objects worth millions aboard the same plane?) Well, the whole thing is supposed to be about an art show, but it’s just an excuse for three guys to crash a plane in the Bermuda Triangle.

Airport ’77 gets the ’77 in its name to distinguish it from the previous film, Airport ’75, which was released in – you guessed it …

1974.

In ’75 a small plane hits a larger 747 in midair killing some of the flight staff and, get this, blinding the pilot – that’s random. From there on it’s a less funny version of ‘Airplane’. 

In ’77, art thieves gas everyone on board and take control of the plane. They fly the huge plane very low over the ocean in order to avoid radar, but with heavy fog, wind up hitting an off shore oil rig which sends them skipping along the water.

Before anyone comes to, the plane sinks to about 100 feet below the surface (which is actually a reasonable depth as long as they remained over the continental shelf).

From this point onwards, it’s full-on disaster film. Trapped passengers. Limited oxygen. Unstable structure. Leaking water. And, most importantly, we learn that there is some infidelity as Lee Grant (Damien’s stepmother in The Omen II), wife of Christopher Lee (Dracula / Sauroman), is apparently having something on the side with Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers). Perfect.

Of course almost everyone gets out OK. Dracula does take a door to the face as he attempts to Scuba dive to the surface, and there are a couple other random deaths as the plane threatens to fall off the edge of the continental shelf and into a real abyss.

ImageThis film pulled in an outrageous cast for such a boring film idea (although better than the Open Water films). Those were the good old days, I guess, with star-studded masterpieces like It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and The Cannonball Run. You just don’t get that kind of talent together any more.

 

My verdict: It was better than Dolemite, but not as funny.

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2 comments on “Airport ’77

  1. NotAPunkRocker says:

    One day I am going to figure out a way to watch all the Airport movies in a row. Just because.

    🙂

  2. Not a bad idea – I mean… it’s a terrible idea, but I like it. The problem is getting them. They’re not exactly the stuff of prime time network viewing. And I wish my DVR would include ‘disaster’ as one of the genres it will browse.
    Let me know how it goes if you do that. I’d love to have a guest column!

    -Jack

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