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Airplane! Details


This spoof of the series of disaster movies relies on ridiculous sight gags, groan-inducing dialogue, and deadpan acting -- a comedy style that would be imitated for the next 20 years. Airplane! pulls out all the clichés as alcoholic pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays), who's developed a fear of flying due to wartime trauma, boards a jumbo jet in an attempt to woo back his stewardess girlfriend (Julie Hagerty). Food poisoning decimates the passengers and crew, leaving it up to Striker to land the plane, with the help of a glue-sniffing air traffic controller (Lloyd Bridges) and Striker's vengeful former captain (Robert Stack), who must both talk him down. Along the way, we meet a clutch of stock disaster movie passengers like the guitar-strumming nun, a sick little girl, a frightened old lady, and two African-American travelers whose "jive" has to be subtitled. Leslie Nielsen portrays the plane's doctor, launching a new phase of the actor's career that carried him through the next two decades in several similarly comedic roles. The trio of directors Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker, and David Zucker responsible for the film would eventually go on to solo careers, but not before making David Zucker and David Zucker. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

  • Release date:January 1, 1980


Robert Hays
as Ted Striker
Julie Hagerty
as Elaine Dickinson
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
as Murdock
Lloyd Bridges
as McCroskey
Peter Graves
as Capt. Oveur
Leslie Nielsen
as Dr. Rumack
Robert Stack
as Kramer
Lorna Patterson
as Randy
Stephen Stucker
as Johnny
Gregory Itzin
as Religious Zealot #1
Howard Jarvis
as Man in Taxi
Barbara Billingsley
as Jive Lady
Marcy Goldman
as Mrs. Geline
Nora Meerbaum
as Cocaine Lady
Maurice Hill
as Reporter 3
Al White
as Second Jive Dude
James Hong
as Japanese General
Conrad Palmisano
as Religious Zealot #4
Allison Caine
Jonathan Banks
as Gunderson
Jim Abrahams
as Religious Zealot #6
Frank Ashmore
as Victor Basta
David Leisure
as First Krishna
Howard Honig
as Jack
Mary Mercier
as Shirley
Barbara Mallory
as Religious Zealot #2
Jerry Zucker
as Ground Crewman #2
Jason Wingreen
as Dr. Brody
Nicholas Pryor
as Mr. Hammen
Ted Chapman
as Airport Steward
Robert Starr
as Religious Zealot #5
Ann Nelson
as Handing Lady
Craig Berenson
as Paul Carey
Jill Whelan
as Lisa Davis
Herb Voland
as Air Controller Macias
Ethel Merman
as Lt. Hurwitz
Michelle Stacy
as Young Girl with Coffee
John O'Leary
as Reporter #2
Charlotte Zucker
as Make-Up Lady
Kenneth Tobey
as Air Controller Neubauer
Louise Yaffe
as Mrs. Jaffe
David Zucker
as Ground Crewman #1
Cyril O'Reilly
as Soldier


Jim Abrahams
Jerry Zucker
David Zucker
Jon Davison
Jerry Zucker
Jim Abrahams
David Zucker
Joseph Biroc
Elmer Bernstein
Composer (Music Score)
Ward Preston
Production Designer
Hunt Lowry
Associate Producer
Jim Abrahams
Executive Producer
Jerry Zucker
Executive Producer
David Zucker
Executive Producer
Anne McCulley
Set Designer
Rosanna Norton
Costume Designer
Bruce Logan
Special Effects
Arne Schmidt
First Assistant Director
Jesse Wayne
Joel Thurm
Betty Moos
Assistant to the Director