Flashback Friday: Movie Moment — Airplane!

Still feeling kind of heavy. Really great Zucker and Abrams flashback should do the trick.

Airplane! (Abrams, Zucker, and Zucker, 1980). Tagline: “You’ve read the ad, now see the movie!


Elaine: There’s no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?


Woman who winds up hanging herself: Nervous?

Ted: Yes.

Hanging Lady: First time?

Ted: No. I’ve been nervous lots of times.


Joey: Wait a minute. I know you. You’re Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! You play basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers!

Murdock: Ha, I’m sorry son, but you must have me confused with someone else. My name is Roger Murdock. I’m the co-pilot.

Joey: You are Kareem. I’ve seen you play. My dad’s got season tickets.

Murdock: My name is [showing his nametag] Roger Murdock — I’m an airline pilot.

Joey: I think you’re the greatest, but my dad says you don’t work hard enough on defense. He says that lots of times, you don’t even run down the court, and that you don’t really try except during the playoffs.

Murdock: The hell I don’t! Listen, kid, I’ve been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA.


Rumack: You’d better tell the Captain we’ve got to land as soon as we can. This woman has got to get to a hospital.

Elaine: A hospital! What is it?

Rumack: It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.


Ted: My orders came through. My squadron ships out tomorrow. We’re bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri at 1800 hours. We’ll fly in from the north, below their radar.

Elaine: When will you be back?

Ted: I can’t tell you that — it’s classified.


Elaine: You got a letter from headquarters this morning.

Ted: Headquarters? What is it?

Elaine: It’s a big building where generals meet, but that’s not important right now.


Air Traffic Controller: Bad news — the fog’s getting thicker.

Jimmy: And Leon’s getting larrrrrger!


Betty: The white zone is for loading of passengers and there is no stopping in a red zone.

Vernon: No. The red zone has always been for loading and unloading of passengers. There’s never stopping in a white zone.


Betty: Don’t you tell me which zone is for loading, and which zone is for stopping!

Vernon: Listen, Betty, don’t start up with your white zone shit again.


Vernon: There’s just no stopping in a white zone.

Betty: Oh, really, Vernon? Why pretend? We both know perfectly well what this is about. You want me to have an abortion.

Vernon: It’s the only sensible thing to do, if it’s done safely!


Reporter: What kind of plane is it?

Johnny: Oh, it’s a big, pretty, white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows, and wheels, and it looks kind of like a big Tylenol.


Rumack: Elaine, you’re a member of this crew. Can you face some unpleasant facts?

Elaine: No.

Fun trivia fact: Julie Hegarty was intended by the studio to become a big star, but she had to quit show biz when she got so thin that her image ceased to register on film.

And, last but never least:




Of course.

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5 Responses to “Flashback Friday: Movie Moment — Airplane!”

  1. IzaakMak Says:

    One of my all-time favorites! “And don’t call me Shirley” and “I sure picked a bad day to quit…” are some of the greatest gag lines ever!😀

    • E. Says:

      “sniffing glue” is for some reason that one that seriously KILLS ME every time! It’s a family joke. Literally running out the door, but had to add that!

  2. M Says:

    I just realized that the whole Vernon and Betty exchange sounds like a spoof of a Hemingway story called Hills Like White Elephants. If getting more out of Airplane is all the use I ever get from my English degree . . . it was SO worth it.

    • E. Says:

      We must put those degrees to good use. I, personally, have used my English degree here and there all over in tiny pedantic ways such as in lamenting apostrophe-as-plural usage; but I really put my film degree to use as a stay-at-home-mother several years ago when I observed that A Bug’s Life is really The Magnificent Seven as retold in cartoon form (it is).

  3. Anonymous Says:

    You’re too low Ted, you’re too low!

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