Saturday, 30 January 2016

"Airport" (1970) From the video vault

This is a real guilty pleasure movie. Part inspiration for the 1980 spoof "Airplane!", this cheesy disaster movie is a fun way to waste two hours.

The good stuff

  • The musical score by Alfred Newman* is a standout. This was his final work. He composed sublime film music (e.g. "How Green was my Valley", "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", "How the West was Won"). An amazing body of work (40 years).
  • Universal's glamour-producer Ross Hunter makes the film look lush: Edith Head costumes, location filming, "Pillow Talk" inspired split screens.
  • Jean Seberg (despite her real life traumas) looks amazing. 
  • Dean Martin (channelling Matt Helm) as the pilot.
  • cigar-chomping George Kennedy steals ever scene.
  • Maureen Stapleton, playing the mad-bomber's wife, should have received best supporting actress, rather than Helen Hayes (annoying stowaway-granny).

* An incredible musical family. Sons,  David and Thomas, are prolific movie composers of this generation. Nephew is Randy Newman.

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