19. Airplane! (1980)
Director: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker
Writer: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker
Stars: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges
Quotable: "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?"
Fun Fact: David Letterman auditioned for the role of Ted Striker.
The idea to make Airplane!, the disaster film parody classic, came to mind when the directors were researching commercials to create spoofs. Instead, they accidentally taped the way less popular and mediocre airplane drama Zero Hour!, which they later called "the serious version of Airplane!"
This slapstick comedy tells the story of an ex-pilot with a fear of flying (Robert Hays) that tries to win his flight attendant girl friend (Julie Hagerty) back while on a flight from L.A. to Chicago. As if Hays' phobia isn't enough, everyone on the plane, including the pilots, contracts food poisoning from the fish dinner. The team has to resort to their "Otto" pilot, a life-size inflatable pilot doll to fly the plane. The hilarity ensues.
Airplane! reminds audiences that logic is not a priority when it comes to making people laugh.