Airport 1975

An all-star cast plunge to their deaths!
Starring: Karen Black, Charlton Heston

Is it just me, or is Auto Pilot the most amazing invention ever devised by mankind? I only ask, because even when a small private plane crashes head-first into a 747, the autopilot nonetheless manages to keep the plane aloft for hours without so much as beeping. It’s too bad they don’t build cars the way they build autopilots! Ever notice that any time a car so much as runs over a squirrel in a major motion picture, it instantly bursts into flame?

Anyway, the above scenario (the one with the airplanes, not the one with the squirrel) is the basis for Airport 1975. Nancy (Black) is a plucky, cross-eyed flight attendant who’s dating a pilot, Murdock (Heston.) Since they both have crappy jobs, they don’t get to see each other much, and the film opens on them having a minor tiff. Poor Nancy! She’s so high-maintenance! Anyway, Murdock has to fly somewhere, and Nancy has a 747 full of cameo stars (like Linda Blair, Jerry Stiller and Gloria Swanson) to flight-attend to. But they’ll see each other in LA, and work out their differences there.

Unfortunately, no! There’s a few boring expository scenes of this other guy (I forget his name, we know he’s gonna get it, so it’s not important) flying his twin-prop home from somewhere or other, and he doesn’t feel well, yadda yadda yadda… so get on with it and crash already! Everything’s going fine until the two planes approach the airport… suddenly, the guy in the Cessna has a heart attack and dies! The tiny plane spins out of control, and manages to head straight for the 747!

The Cessna rips a hole in the co-pilot’s side of the cockpit, which manages not to damage anything necessary for flying the plane. It does, however, suck the co-pilot right out of his seat! Nancy’s there, and she gets to scream a lot. The Captain’s suffering from a nasty concussion, and has to be moved to the lounge area. Meanwhile, the passengers thrash from left to right in their seats as the camera pans back and forth!

Even though there’s a huge, gaping hole in the cockpit, Nancy somehow manages to breathe while piloting the plane. Lots of things malfunction, and Nancy gets to cry and hyperventilate in a cute way. Eventually, her boyfriend Captain Murdock tries to board the plane through the hole, while hanging from a rope off a helicopter. Will he make it?! Nancy sticks her tongue out at him encouragingly (we didn’t understand this; but watch and see.)

There’s even a special guest appearance by Helen Reddy as a Singing Nun, who entertains a poor girl dying of kidney failure (Linda Blair) as the Airplane cruises to disaster! The cheese doesn’t get any thicker than this!

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