See "Airplane!" Again Like You Never Have Before

  • Dec 3, 2014 2:50pm GMT

Did you know the beloved aviation comedy "Airplane!" is a direct spoof of an existing film? The writing/directing trio of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker used the serious, black & white 1957 film "Zero Hour!" as their foundation to poke fun at airplanes, air travel, and everything else they could.

The attached video below is a great mashup of the two movies. You can really see their similarities and how comedy can be extracted from an otherwise serious story.

Some of the fun facts from the movie's IMDB page include:

-Casting pro basketball player Kareem Abdoul-Jabbar as a pilot was a direct reference to pro football player Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch playing a pilot in the film "Zero Hour!"

-In addition to "Zero Hour!" the movie was also made to spoof "Airport 1975," a film where the stewardess has to land the plane after both pilots are incapacitated, a girl on board needs a kidney transplant, and there's a singing nun.

-The producers hired the actual voice artists who did the announcements at Los Angeles International Airport to do the red and white zone airport parking argument in the movie. They were also married in real life.

-Exterior shots of the airplane flying use the audio of a propeller airplane, but the aircraft is a Boeing 707 which is a jet. This is because the studio wouldn't let the producers use a propeller plane in the movie.

-The producers bought the rights to the film "Zero Hour!"

-The flashback scene with Ted and Elaine on the beach is a spoof of a scene from the 1953 movie "From Here to Eternity." And the beach they used is the exact same one in "Planet of the Apes" where Charlton Heston discovers the Statue of Liberty.

-Stephen Stucker, who played Johnny, ad-libbed all of his lines.