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Films: A is for...


During the shooting for this, Jacqueline Bisset used to spend some time gathering herself before filming to get her character right. This, however, was time that Dean Martin could have been on the golf course. “Just do the lines, honey,” he said, “we’re not going to win Oscars for this.” Right again, Dino, but it’s not that bad really, though it’s a bit lengthy. Life and love in, on and around an airport (natch) constitutes the plot for this – oh, and a bomb – and presented George Kennedy with probably his only chance of being a romantic lead: at least, they never let him do it again. Burt Lancaster, Jean Seberg and Barry Nelson help make up the numbers.



  1. Joe Patroni

    July 12, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Oh yes they did let George Kennedy be the romantic lead again, he does it once more in the nutzoid The Concorde: Airport 79 where we get to see him find romance late in life, complete with a scene where George and his new laydee relax naked on a sheepskin rug before a roaring hearth. That’s not even the most ridiculous bit, although it might be the bit you wish was left on the cutting room floor.

  2. Richardpd

    June 11, 2023 at 5:24 pm

    This sets the precedent of the Airport films having slightly quirky casts. Supposedly Burt Lancaster only did it because he needed the money to invest it in some independent films.

    I’ve not seen this but it’s supposed to be the best of the series, though I imagine it will be hard to take serious after Airplane! spoofed the genre.

  3. Glenn Aylett

    June 13, 2023 at 8:29 pm

    A franchise of films that ITV loved to show on bank holidays and summer evenings as the ratings were always decent, but seemed to vanish after the eighties.

    • David Smith

      June 13, 2023 at 9:52 pm

      I fear that once you’ve seen Airplane!, you can’t really take the “real” ones seriously…

      • Richardpd

        June 13, 2023 at 10:22 pm

        Airplane! more or less ended the disaster movie genre for many years, though even the later straight examples were getting quite outlandish to take seriously!

  4. Sidney Balmoral James

    July 13, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    Dino was on a 10% cut of this, and I believe it earned him more than any actor had at that point ever made from a single film, something like $7 million dollars. Probably only beaten by Brando with Superman in 78, and then by Jack Nicholson for Batman, which may well be the film which started the rot which ended up with every other sodding film being about superheroes or some equally dire franchise (Fast and Furious, Guardians of the Galaxy, Button Moon).

  5. Richardpd

    July 13, 2023 at 10:30 pm

    Ironically the Burton / Schumacher Batman films could have killed off the superhero genre, thanks to the diminishing returns of quality, I remember Barry Norman giving Batman & Robin drubbing on film 97 saying it was seemingly only made to sell toys!

    Marvel actually have trouble getting films based on their characters, with Sony reckoning Spiderman was the only one worth a punt.

    As for Dean Martin, he was always a lot more with it than his heavy drinking Rat Pack persona, being able to do TV shows without rehearsals or re-shoots.

  6. Glenn Aylett

    July 14, 2023 at 10:51 am

    The disaster genre was very much of the seventies. For some reason, audiences loved to see earthquakes, planes in trouble, sharks terrorising people and ships sinking, with some interesting twists on the genre like The Swarm( about killer bees terrorising America) and The Cassandra Crossing( a killer virus on a train). I suppose it was of that era, when people were quite pessimistic and the anti hero was the big thing, as the genre fizzled out in the eighties and Hollywood concentrated on feel good films( Karate Kid, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Risky Business, etc) and full on action heroes like Arnie and Sly Stallone.

  7. Richardpd

    July 14, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    It’s said that one of the reasons Blade Runner originally flopped was because there were so many feel good film around in 1982.

    • Glenn Aylett

      July 15, 2023 at 3:48 pm

      @ Richardpd, the seventies were the era of disaster movies, cynical anti heroes and dark films like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. America was in a pessimistic mood after Watergate and Vietnam and while there were still comedies being made, feel good films weren’t as common until the national mood lifted in the eighties. Now suppose The Karate Kid was made in the mid seventies rather than the mid eighties: Daniel La Russo would probably be some borderline psychotic with a grudge against the better off kids in Cobra Kai and would probably machine gun the class, and Mr Miyagi would probably beat Sensei Kreese to death at the end. Thankfully it was made in the eighties, where Daniel is an optimistic poor kid who’s being bullied and beats them without anyone being seriously hurt.

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