Sunday, June 8, 2014

Flick Pick: Airplane!

(Paramount, 1980)

On their second outing, Abrahams/Zucker/Zucker took the Mel Brooks comedy parody genre into orbit, and created one of the funniest movies ever made. Besides the sight gags and one-liners at a machine-gun pace, they picked heavy actors to play their roles straight: Peter Graves, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielsen. They were fantastic at deadpan wit, and Nielsen, both a serious actor and a frequent TV villain, became a comedy force of nature afterwards, once he'd been ruined for more serious roles by the Z/A/A projects (and somewhere between 5-200 talk show appearances over the next decade plus where he answered questions and squeezed out whoopee cushion farts throughout the interviews - do a YouTube search), causing them all to cry all the way to the bank.
Made for under $4M, this flick brought in over $83M, not only making Paramount very happy for the moment, but also ensuring the creative trio got to make 7 more comedy movies, including a sequel to this one. And the stars of this film, Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty, while managing to find sporadic work in Hollywood after this movie, essentially disappeared. Nothing guarantees a career in this business, not even wild success.

No comments: