Fasten Your Seatbelts: Airport ’77

It’s true that I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing Airport, Airport 1975 or The Concorde… Airport ’79, but if you’re like me and you get a kick out of watching disaster movies made between 1970 and 1980 (I have had previous experience with Earthquake, The Towering Inferno and When Time Ran Out…), then you’ll probably relish Airport ’77.

Directed by Jerry Jameson, the film has this premise: a plane is hijacked, mistakes are made and it crashes into the Bermuda Triangle.

That’s right: the plane remains intact. Under water.

The all-star cast must fight to get out and be saved, which sounds nearly impossible (especially since the hijackers took the plane several hundred miles off course), so it’s fun trying to figure out how that will happen. And when I say “stars,” that’s what I really mean: Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant, Brenda Vacarro, Joseph Cotten, Olivia de Havilland, Darren McGavin, Christopher Lee and Kathleen Quinlan, not to mention James Stewart as the corporate owner of the plane and George Kennedy reprising his role from previous Airport movies as a guy who knows how to help in these wacky situations.

Christopher Lee and Lee Grant: a marriage made in weird Hollywood heaven.

All things considered, the film moves along at a pretty zippy pace for a two-hour thriller. That’s not to say that the film makes any sense; it has a silly plot, a lot of bad dialogue and a mostly predictable story.

On the other hand, Jack Lemmon sports this sweet ‘stache.

I know there are infinitely more worthwhile films for you to view in your spare time, but Airport ’77 is dumb fun, pure and simple. Issues of airplane mechanics aside, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to enjoy this disaster flick.

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