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'Airplane!' at 25: The Disaster Movie that Wasn't

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'Airplane!' at 25: The Disaster Movie that Wasn't

Movies

'Airplane!' at 25: The Disaster Movie that Wasn't

'Airplane!' at 25: The Disaster Movie that Wasn't

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4735876/4735877" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Airplane! became an unlikely hit in 1980. Paramount Pictures hide caption

toggle caption Paramount Pictures

The parody movie Airplane!, a source of favorite comedic bits that are still recalled in conversations today, is marking its 25th anniversary. Brothers Jerry and David Zucker wrote the film with Jim Abrahams, who also directed a cast that included Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Barbara Billingsley and Julie Hagerty.

The satire was a reaction to a series of airline disaster films of the 1970s, with titles like Airport 75 and Airport 77. The film also included Leslie Nielsen, who would go on to star in the Naked Gun series, from the same creative team.

Among the memorable lines included in Airplane! was this bit of cockpit radio chatter, uttered by Peter Graves: "Flight 20-Niner clear for vector 324. We have clearance, Clarence; roger, Roger — What's our vector, Victor?"

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