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This spoof of the Airport 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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The gags aren't exactly clever, but there are a lot of them, and the cutting finds a fast, effective tempo."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Psycho ground controllers (Stack and Bridges), laff-a-second pace, and bludgeoning innuendo make this the acceptable face of the locker-room satire."
‑ , Time Out
"[VIDEO ESSAY] The film's mixed bag of cultural references spill out faster than you can catch them."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Directors Abraham and both Zuckers create one of the few comedies that can guarantee almost a laugh a minute..."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"A hyper spoof of disaster films."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The fact that the movie doesn't work as well today as it did in 1980 in no way diminishes its importance in recent motion picture history."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"It is sophomoric, obvious, predictable, corny, and quite often very funny. And the reason it's funny is frequently because it's sophomoric, predictable, corny, etc."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"From takeoff to landing, this whacked-out parody is a loopy flight of fancy."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"Charmingly dated, but still immeasurably funny."
‑ R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD
"Entering imto Mel Brooks' turf, the first lampoon of the disaster-in-the-air subgenre (such as the prepoterously Oscar nominated Airport) is silly but funny, with many good sight gags, campy one-liners and slapstick comedy."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"From the clever Jaws take-off opening to the final, irreverent title card, laughs come thick and fast."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Airplane! is more than a pleasant surprise, in the midst of this dim movie season. As a remedy for the bloated self-importance of too many other current efforts, it's just what the doctor ordered."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"There's hardly a second that passes without an assault by a wickedly accurate spoof, cringe-inducing pun or inspired sight gag, and the years have not diminished the film's dumb appeal."
‑ John Ferguson, Radio Times
"Rapid-fire spoof with sexual jokes and cartoon violence."
‑ Elliot Panek, Common Sense Media
"Most of the jokes are groan-worthy, and some are downright racist."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
More reviews for Airplane! on Rotten Tomatoes

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