4 Best Airplane Movies

6.28.2013

By Greg Garry

After watching Pedro Almodóvar's airplane farce 'I'm So Excited,' check out these classics

By the end of I'm So Excited, Pedro Almodóvar's latest film—and in my view a welcome return to his unique brand of lunacy (read the full review here)—the passengers and crew are literally soaked in booze, drugs and semen. I loved every minute of it, and I realize that movies set on planes are actually a favorite of mine. Here’s a list of my most beloved in-flight films:

AIRPORT 75

Unintentionally hilarious, this is a disaster film in more ways than one. Jam-packed with washed up stars of yesteryear; Charlton Heston, Myrna Loy, CHiP’s Erik Estrada. This is also Sunset Boulevard’s Gloria Swanson’s last closeup, Mr. DeMille. Karen Black plays a stewardess who is forced to fly the plane when the pilots literally fall out the window. 

MOST RIDICULOUS SCENE: Fresh-from-the-Exorcist Linda Blair plays a sick kid in dire need of a kidney transplant, who gets serenaded by a folk singing nun played by '70s songstress Helen Reddy. 

Naturally, this film would provide most of the fodder for perhaps my favorite film of all time, Airplane!

Watch the trailer below: 

AIRPLANE!

A loving sendup of the disaster film, it is also scientifically proven to be the funniest movie of all time, with three laughs per minute. Screw the Hangover franchise, they don’t make comedies like this anymore. Chock-a-block with ridiculous scenes and some of cinema’s best one liners ever: 

“Don’t call me Shirley!” 

“Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.”

“Joey, do you like gladiator films?” 

Also Broadway legend Ethel Merman’s final film, in one of the craziest and random cameos ever filmed. ALSO: The poster’s tagline is scarily prescient post 9-11; “What’s slower than a speeding bullet and able to hit tall buildings in a single bound?” Sheesh!

WATCH the trailer below:

SOUL PLANE:

Basically the African-American Airplane! It's full of wonderfully inappropriate racial humor, like the purple velvet plane on hydraulic bouncing wheels with spinning rims. And sections are high-class and low-class, where passengers hang from subway poles and pass a bucket of fried chicken around.

MOST OFFENSIVE MOMENT: A turban-wearing Arabic man walking onto the plane accompanied by the theme from JAWS, and a pre-Precious Mo'Nique, as an over zealous TSA agent, attacks him and calls him Osama.

Watch the trailer below:

SNAKES ON A PLANE:

America’s greatest overactor Samuel L. Jackson stars as an FBI agent who fights the cheapest looking CGI serpents ever to fly coach. Contains the immortal line, “I’ve had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane,” which IMHO is the “Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn,” of the millennium.

BEST SCENE: A horny couple try to join the mile-high club, but have a painful three-way with a rather pissed off rattler instead.

Watch the trailer below:

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