Released: March 5, 1970
Budget: $15 million
US Box Office: $45 million
Global Box Office: $80 million
Director: George Seaton
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jean Seberg, Jacqueline Bisset, George Kennedy
Synopsis: Air traffic controllers scramble to deal with a bomb threat and a blizzard
Best Quote: "You get me up to full throttle then throw me in reverse. You could damage my engine!"
Review: 3 stars
While probably not deserving of the ridiculous praise this movie received from the Academy (10 Oscar nods), Airport is a fine movie and is rightfully a classic in the genre.
My favorite part of the movie happens to be the crazy, criminal granny played by Helen Hayes. Whoever decided to make a rude, elderly stowaway one of the movie's heroes is a genius. She's laugh out loud funny and is unlike any movie character I've ever seen, which is saying a lot. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast kind of pales in comparison. I honestly had trouble keeping all of the male characters straight. Each of them seems to have some sort of domestic problem weighing him down. It would be one thing if these little side stories were used to build character and give weight to their other actions on screen, but the personal asides are really just a distraction that tack on an unnecessary 25 minutes to the movie.
Don't let the above convince you that I didn't like this movie, I just had to voice my few gripes about an otherwise excellent film. What makes this one a classic is how real it all feels. The steady pace and linear script allow us to really feel the progression of the events of the movie. The bad guy isn't some evil-genius or passionate terrorist like we usually see, and the good guys don't have to pull some inhuman stunt in order to survive. It's harder to make a decent movie without resorting to cheap tricks, so I was impressed.
To sum things up, anybody with at least a little bit of an attention span should check this one out. It's worth it for the little old lady.