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Films: A is for...

Airport ’79: the Concorde

Hurray! The most implausible of all the Airport films, and by Jove, that’s saying something. Yes, even more unlikely than George Kennedy as an attractive, suave, international airline pilot is the premise that a missile test goes horribly wrong and the sinister looking weapon – uncannily similar to the one described as an Exocet at the end of Superman III – spends a huge amount of time tearing around equally incongruous fluffy clouds after the titular supersonic airliner of yore. It’s all as a result of the dastardly shenanigans of arms dealer Robert Wagner who doesn’t even have the decency to be blown up by his own missile but instead rolls up the windows of his limousine to do the decent thing, which may or not have been subsequently cleaned up and then hired out to hen nights in provincial cities, while the predictably not-quite stellar cast undo their bras in the fuselage above. We remember the premiere of this as a Big Film on a Saturday night in the early ’80s, as part of ITV’s Big Season of Films we think we’re right in saying, and it was quite an event but really only because it had a Concorde in it which made of it immediate interest to just about everyone since these were still the days when the default setting for everyone’s ‘holiday of a lifetime’ if they’d win the pools was to take the QE2 to New York then fly back on Concorde.



  1. Johnnyboy

    January 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Poor old Concorde, we shall ne’er see her like again, and not because of that flying Exocet missile thingy (how much fuel does it carry?!?). Methinks this was the start of the ‘Brits muscling in on the American playing field of action’ by having G-BOAC on the screen instead of a pig-awful Boeing 707. That must have irked our aviation friends across the pond.

  2. richardpd

    February 10, 2019 at 11:05 am

    In some markets this was billed as Airport ’80.

    One blink & miss it product placement was a laserdisc player a year or 2 before those with deep enough pockets could buy one.

    Airplane! managed to kill of the 1970s trends of disaster films by making them impossible to be taken seriously for a few years.

  3. George White

    February 11, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Still funnier than the Big Bus. Though.

  4. THX 1139

    February 11, 2019 at 10:34 am

    The impromptu “marry a gymnast” scene has to set new levels in industrial strength cringe-inducing.

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