AIRPLANE! Approaches

By Matthew Curtis | Enzian Theater April 28, 2008 at 10:22AM

AIRPLANE! Approaches
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The spoof that launched a thousand spoofs, not to mention a brilliant second career for Leslie Nielsen as a comic actor, lands at Enzian for a rare theatrical screening (in a 35mm archival print no less!) Tuesday night at 9:30 as part of the Cult Classics series. David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker, the team who wrote KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE three years earlier, pulled out all the stops in AIRPLANE! (1980), a relentless laugh-fest that sends-up every airplane disaster film from ZERO HOUR to AIRPORT.

Robert Hays plays the former pilot who's lost both his nerve and his girl (Julie Hagerty is the flight attendant), now forced to take control of a jet when the crew is hit with food poisoning. The passengers become increasingly crazed and ground support more surreal as our hero struggles to land the plane. No Hollywood cliche is left unscathed in this frequently hilarious parody that literally is so fast-paced and has so many jokes, that when one bombs, it's hardly even noticeable. "Serious" actors Robert Stack, Leslie Nielsen, Llloyd Bridges, and Peter Graves, along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (!), round out the game cast, and watch for cameos by the likes of "The Beaver's" mom, Barbara Billingsley, and Ethel Merman. And this one ain't over till it's over-- be sure to stay through the end credits to get every last pun.

"Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"

--Matthew

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