Airport '77

release year: 1977
genre: airplane disaster
viewing setting: home DVD, 5/28/04

synopsis: A private 747 full of priceless art is hijacked, but things go wrong and it crashes and sinks in the ocean, with the passengers still alive inside.

impressions: I guess it makes sense: since a plane is pressurized, there'd be a pocket of oxygen. I'm not sure about electrical power though! That aside, this was fairly plausible and entertaining. As you'd expect, there was a character who was weak, stupid, and almost got everyone else killed at one point. Good Navy salvage operations on the plane.

things to watch for: When Christopher Lee's character floats by the window, I could swear he made a vampire face like in all of his earlier "Dracula" movies.

something this movie has that no other movie has: An airliner underwater. Alternately, I would say Dracula, Kolchak, and Buck Rogers in the same plane!

acting: Jack Lemmon is the tough pilot, and Brenda Vaccaro is his stewardess girlfriend. Lee Grant is the useless passenger I ranted about already, and Lee Majors is the guy she's cheating on her husband with (hmm, Lee and Lee...) Darren McGavin is the engineer-type who knows all about the plane. Christopher Lee is a rich passenger and husband to the idiot woman. Now this is getting silly: Christopher Lee's wife Lee Grant is cheating with Lee Majors.

final word: The beginning of the end of the 1970s airplane disaster genre.

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