johnlink ranks AIRPLANE! (1980)

I figured I would watch this in honor of the passing of comic legend Leslie Nielsen. He was a true legend, and this was certainly his most iconic film, even if one could argue which his best was. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen most of his stuff, and I wanted to give this another go.

I watched AIRPLANE! (1980) on 12.1.10. It was my third viewing of the film, and first in at least five years. TRAILER HERE

This film is widely considered a comedic classic. Much of its humor holds up (“I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley” must be a top 10 most recognized line in cinema history). Some of it is dated, but those moments are few and far between.

What works? The inflatable pilot is as funny as ever. The callback jokes, like taking a question literally or the Shirley bit, still work. The passengers moments, surprisingly, are still all very funny.

What doesn’t? Most every flashback scene (except, perhaps, the one in the hospital) and the gay character plays as so stereotypical that it’s not funny at all.

But it is a classic for its contribution to the genre as anything. On the other hand, perhaps without AIRPLANE! we never would have had to deal with the EPIC MOVIE and DISASTER MOVIE junk that passes for spoof flicks these days.

It’s funny that this film is remembered as a Nielsen film, since he is merely a piece of the puzzle. But he, clearly, is the most vibrant piece. He plays the doctor with such seriousness, that it is impossible not to laugh. He and Robert Stack (the narrator from UNSOLVED MYSTERIES!!!) are the funniest players in this funny comedy.





~ by johnlink00 on December 1, 2010.

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