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Airport Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Marshall Fine

One of the first of the big disaster films, this stodgy Hollywood product lumbers and creaks as it tries to sort out the various plot threads of Arthur Hailey's doorstop of a novel. Set at (what else?) a busy metropolitan airport, it details what happens one eventful night when, among other things, a huge blizzard threatens to disrupt air traffic for the airport manager (Burt Lancaster) even as a suicidal bomber (Van Heflin) heads into the air with mayhem on his mind. There's also an impish old lady (Helen Hayes, who won an Oscar for this role) who specializes in sneaking aboard airliners, and the married pilot (Dean Martin) is having an affair with a stewardess (Jacqueline Bisset). An old-fashioned movie that inspired a bunch of sequels, the Airplane spoofs, and a host of other disaster films.

Academy Awards

Airport received an Academy Award for Supporting Actress (Helen Hayes). It also received nominations for Best Picture (Ross Hunter - Producer), Supporting Actress (Maureen Stapleton), Writing (George Seaton), Art Direction/Set Decoration (Alexander Golitzen, Preston Ames, Jack D. Moore, Mickey S. Michaels), Cinematography (Ernest Laszlo), Costume Design (Edith Head), Film Editing (Stuart Gilmore), Best Original Score (Alfred Newman), and Sound (Ronald Pierce, David Moriarty).

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Your Memories Shared!

"Interesting, well-directed movie in which different sub-plots intertwine at different times. An easily-"spoofed" movie as it does tend to take itself too seriously. All the major characters (except Helen Hayes) seem to have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Overall, it is a realistic potrayal of the manner in which different characters react with each other during a major snowstorm in which the wants, desires & motivations of a select group of stranded passengers are acutely displayed."


"Having been an airline pilot for some time I can tell you that Airport's portrayal of airline crews is no exaggeration. You have the cheating pilot and the good family man pilot with the young flight engineer who just wants to upgrade to captain. You have a flight attendant who is pregnent by Dean Martin's pilot-character. All in just another day in the crew-room at any airline. Burt Lancaster did a believable job as the harried airport manager [believe me that is a thankless job]. George Kennedy was good too as Patroni. Add Van Heflin's suicidal bomber character and you have a real siutation in your hands.

Helen Hayes stole the show form all of these big tough Hollywood he-men [big surprise]. This movie pales in comparison to modern movies in it's pace and special effects but it is a very technically accurate movie and a reasonable adaptation of the book. The one big technical error was the deperessuization scene with Deano being suck toward the door. If they were not below 10,000 feet and depressurized Van Heflin's bomb would have craked that Boeing 707 in half like an egg [this has sadly been proven by 2 North Korean terrorists]. The depressurization would have only lasted about 2 seconds and Ms Bissett and Deano would have been fish food in the North Atlantic. Still, it is a classic even if slow by todays standards. You'll notice the absence on any airport metal detectors or baggage screeners. Them were the days!"


"The best thing that came out of the Airport series was the hillarious Airplane! series. After watching all of the Airplane movies and spinoffs, Airport becomes even more entertaining!"




Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from! (Click here!)Rated GNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: George Seaton

Stars: Burt Lancaster, George Kennedy, Helen Hayes, Dean Martin, Jacqueline Bisset

Released: March 7, 1970

Availability: DVD VHS CD

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