Airplane

Airplane Movie Poster

"What's slower than a speeding bullet, and able to hit a tall building at a single bound?"  Airplane was a satirical, slap-stick comedy released in 1980.  In other parts of the world, the movie was titled Flying High.  The movie borrowed some things from past movies, including a movie called Zero Hour (1957) and another called Airport 1975.  The movie was a great financial success and is still considered one of the funniest movies ever released.  The movie starred Robert Hays as Ted Striker, Julie Hagerty as Elaine Dickinson, Leslie Nielsen as Dr. Rumack, Lloyd Bridges as Steve McCroskey, Robert Stack as Captain Rex Kramer, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as Roger Murdock.  A sequel was released in 1982 with cast additions like William Shatner.

In the original movie, Ted Striker is a shell-shocked, retired fighter pilot who is afraid to fly.  His girlfriend, Elaine, is a flight attendant, and his shenanigans force her to leave him.  In an attempt to win her back, Striker boards a plane.  When everyone on board, including the pilots, become incapacitated from a sickness they get from eating tainted fish, Elaine is forced to set the plane on auto-pilot, which is essentially a blow-doll named Otto.  Without somebody to land it, the plane is destined to crash.

After tower supervisor calls Striker's old commanding officer, Rex Kramer, the ground crew goes about the business of convincing Striker to grow a pair and to land the plane.  And, he does!  The movie ends with the emptied plane taking back off with Otto once again at the helm, and a female blow-up companion in the co-pilot seat.

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