Saturday, September 29, 2012

AIRPORT (1970)

Just an extraordinary day in the life airport general manager Burt Lancaster.  If things weren't already bad enough with his socialite wife pestering the fark out of him nonstop and one of his senior pilot's (Dean Martin) giving him grief over a runway, he now has to deal with "the worst storm in 6 years", a moron pilot who shuts down a runway by getting his plane stuck in the snow, an elderly stowaway passenger, a horny co-worker, his boss threatening to fire him and a madman with a bomb!
I've never read the original Arthur Hailey novel, but I might now, cause this movie held up very well for being over 40 years old.  Even without the mad bomber story I was totally into all the comings and goings of the people and their personal problems (cheating husband, pregnant mistress, no money, traffic jam, protesters, low I.Q., etc.).  Excellent pace, awesome all-star cast lead by Burt Lancaster, funky 70's split screen overdose, impressive musical score, dated as hell technology, uneven special effects, mind-bending colour schemes, I enjoyed AIRPORT so much I actually watched it twice!

I am a little dumbfounded as to how Helen Hayes actually won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.  I thought she was the weak point of the movie and her selfish, fuck everybody character was annoying.  Oh well, it's still worth watching. That said I don't think a lot of people give Dean Martin enough credit for his acting abilities.  He was riveting in RIO BRAVO and hold his own here toe-to-toe with Burt Lancaster.

Part 2 - Airport 1975
Part 3 - Airport '77
Part 4 - Concorde...Airport '79

Poor Burt Lancaster having to listen to George Kennedy make out on the phone.