Airport 1975 (1974)

PG | 106-107 mins | Drama | October 1974

Director:

Jack Smight

Writer:

Don Ingalls

Producer:

William Frye

Cinematographer:

Philip Lathrop

Production Designer:

George C. Webb

Production Company:

Universal Pictures
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HISTORY

Actor George Kennedy reprised the role of mechanic/operation chief “Joe Patroni” from Airport (1970, see above). In the original film, his wife was named “Marie,” and played by another actress. As noted in production charts, Airport 1975 was filmed on location in Washington, D.C. and Salt Lake City, UT. Some scenes were shot at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. As noted in a 30 May 1974 HR item, cameos in the film were made by Monica Henreid, daughter of actor Paul Henreid, Judy Lewis, daughter of Loretta Young, and Gayle Rogers, the niece of Ed Wynn. Other small roles were assumed by well-known athletes, including San Francisco 49er wide receiver Gene Washington.
       Airport 1975 marked a peak in the wave of “disaster” films that began in 1970 with the original Airport and included the Twentieth Century-Fox productions The Poseidon Adventure in 1972, The Towering Inferno in 1974 and Universal Pictures’ Earthquake in 1974. For more information on the numerous airplane disaster film sequels please see the entry for Airport above.
       In 1980, Paramount released Airplane! , a popular satire on airplane disaster movies and various classic films, written and directed by Jim Abrams and David and Jerry Zucker, starring Robert Hayes and Julie Hagerty. Prompted by that film’s success, Paramount released Airplane II: The Sequel in 1982. Among many notable spoofs of Airplane 1975 in Airplane! was the “singing nun” comforting the gravely ill young teenage girl and the flight attendant with ... More Less

Actor George Kennedy reprised the role of mechanic/operation chief “Joe Patroni” from Airport (1970, see above). In the original film, his wife was named “Marie,” and played by another actress. As noted in production charts, Airport 1975 was filmed on location in Washington, D.C. and Salt Lake City, UT. Some scenes were shot at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. As noted in a 30 May 1974 HR item, cameos in the film were made by Monica Henreid, daughter of actor Paul Henreid, Judy Lewis, daughter of Loretta Young, and Gayle Rogers, the niece of Ed Wynn. Other small roles were assumed by well-known athletes, including San Francisco 49er wide receiver Gene Washington.
       Airport 1975 marked a peak in the wave of “disaster” films that began in 1970 with the original Airport and included the Twentieth Century-Fox productions The Poseidon Adventure in 1972, The Towering Inferno in 1974 and Universal Pictures’ Earthquake in 1974. For more information on the numerous airplane disaster film sequels please see the entry for Airport above.
       In 1980, Paramount released Airplane! , a popular satire on airplane disaster movies and various classic films, written and directed by Jim Abrams and David and Jerry Zucker, starring Robert Hayes and Julie Hagerty. Prompted by that film’s success, Paramount released Airplane II: The Sequel in 1982. Among many notable spoofs of Airplane 1975 in Airplane! was the “singing nun” comforting the gravely ill young teenage girl and the flight attendant with a pilot boyfriend who are both forced to take over flying and landing a passenger jet. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
21 Oct 1974
p. 4730.
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 1974
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 May 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Aug 1974
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Oct 1974
p. 3, 8.
Los Angeles Times
18 Oct 1974
Section IV, p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Oct 1974
p. 42.
New York Times
19 Oct 1974
p. 63.
New Yorker
28 Oct 1974
pp. 71-72.
Time
4 Nov 1974
p. 8.
Variety
16 Oct 1974
p. 14.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Lilyan MacBride
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit photog
2d unit cam and cam op
Washington D.C. photog
Cam op
Cam asst
Key grip
2d grip
Dolly grip
Best boy
Stillman
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Prop man
Sign painter
COSTUMES
Cost
Men`s ward
Men`s ward
Women's ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles and optical eff
MAKEUP
Cosmetics by
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prod
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Pilot
Pilot
DGA trainee
Transportation capt
Loc auditor
Prod's secy
Dir secy
Casting dir
Casting dir
Casting dir
Extra talent casting
Extra talent casting
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
SOURCES
LITERARY
Inspired by the film Airport written by George Seaton (Universal, 1970) and based on the novel Airport by Arthur Hailey (Garden City, NY, 1968).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Best Friend," music and lyrics by Helen Reddy and Ray Burton, sung by Helen Reddy.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
October 1974
Premiere Information:
New York and Los Angeles openings: 18 October 1974
Production Date:
7 May--mid August 1974 in Washington, D.C. and Salt Lake City, UT
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures
Copyright Date:
18 October 1974
Copyright Number:
LP44252
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
106-107
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
24543
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Washington, D.C., at Dulles International Airport, flight attendant Nancy Prior meets her boyfriend, retired pilot Alan Murdock, who is arriving from Europe. Disappointed that she is unable to convince Al to delay his connecting flight to Los Angeles and join her on her work flight to California, Nancy unhappily parts with him. A short time later, as chief attendant on Columbia Airlines flight 409, Nancy joins fellow attendants Bette and Gary, as well as crew member Julio, to prepare the aircraft. Captain Stacy and co-pilot Urias meet the others and discuss the bad weather slated for the final segment of their journey. Soon after, passengers arrive at the terminal for the 747 flight, including classic film star Gloria Swanson and her assistant Winnie, Helen Patroni, wife of the Columbia Airlines vice president of operations, Joe Patroni, their son Joseph, nuns Sister Ruth and Sister Beatrice and Mrs. Devaney, a regal matron with a penchant for drinking Boilermaker cocktails. Columbia ground personnel arrange for an ambulance carrying kidney transplant hopeful, teenager Janice Abbott and her mother, to go directly to the plane upon their arrival. Soon after the passengers are boarded, flight 409 departs on schedule. Later that evening in Gallup, New Mexico, after spending the day grounded by a storm, businessman and pilot Scott Freeman decides he must fly his small plane to Boise, Idaho to make a critical business meeting the next day. In the early morning hours, Scott lands in Elko, Nevada, and telephones his wife to let her know that, despite continuing foggy conditions, the Boise airport remains open and he will continue the last leg ... +


In Washington, D.C., at Dulles International Airport, flight attendant Nancy Prior meets her boyfriend, retired pilot Alan Murdock, who is arriving from Europe. Disappointed that she is unable to convince Al to delay his connecting flight to Los Angeles and join her on her work flight to California, Nancy unhappily parts with him. A short time later, as chief attendant on Columbia Airlines flight 409, Nancy joins fellow attendants Bette and Gary, as well as crew member Julio, to prepare the aircraft. Captain Stacy and co-pilot Urias meet the others and discuss the bad weather slated for the final segment of their journey. Soon after, passengers arrive at the terminal for the 747 flight, including classic film star Gloria Swanson and her assistant Winnie, Helen Patroni, wife of the Columbia Airlines vice president of operations, Joe Patroni, their son Joseph, nuns Sister Ruth and Sister Beatrice and Mrs. Devaney, a regal matron with a penchant for drinking Boilermaker cocktails. Columbia ground personnel arrange for an ambulance carrying kidney transplant hopeful, teenager Janice Abbott and her mother, to go directly to the plane upon their arrival. Soon after the passengers are boarded, flight 409 departs on schedule. Later that evening in Gallup, New Mexico, after spending the day grounded by a storm, businessman and pilot Scott Freeman decides he must fly his small plane to Boise, Idaho to make a critical business meeting the next day. In the early morning hours, Scott lands in Elko, Nevada, and telephones his wife to let her know that, despite continuing foggy conditions, the Boise airport remains open and he will continue the last leg of his journey. On flight 409, as dawn approaches, Stacy receives information from ground control that dense fog across the entire West Coast has forced the closure of all airports, and that he is being rerouted to Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, Scott is informed that the Boise airport has closed and he is being rerouted to Salt Lake City as well. While flight 409 begins a measured decent to its new destination, Scott checks with ground control to guide him through the thick patches of fog. As the planes unknowingly reach their closest proximity, the tense Scott abruptly suffers a heart attack, causing the controls to send his plane directly into flight 409’s path. Seeing the plane seconds before it hits, Stacy cannot react in time, and flight 409 is struck on the co-pilot’s side of the cockpit. Standing behind his seat, Urias is sucked out of the gapping hole in the fuselage, and Julio is severely injured by damaged equipment blowing back into the cockpit. Although blinded by debris, Stacy is able to switch the plane onto auto-pilot. Despite immediate mayhem among the passengers, Nancy forces her way into the cockpit, and before passing out, Stacy directs her to get on the radio. Although traumatized by the damage around her, Nancy haltingly responds to the urgent calls from ground control. When Gary and other attendants take Stacy to the first class lounge to tend to his wounds, the now composed Nancy comforts a terrified Bette and urges her to do her job for the sake of the passengers. In Los Angeles, upon hearing of the accident, Columbia operations chief Joe Patroni contacts Al, who has spent the last four years instructing pilots on the 747. Informing Al that Nancy has reported that the crew is completely incapacitated and the plane is approaching a mountain range, Joe requests that Al talk Nancy through adjusting the plane’s path. Both men board a private flight to Salt Lake City, and moments later Al reaches Nancy by radio. After it becomes clear to Al that the auto-pilot controls are not functioning properly, he convinces Nancy that she is capable of turning the plane on her own. Joe then tells Al that it will be much too difficult for Nancy to steer the plane over the numerous mountain peaks on the route and insists that the only chance to save the passengers is to somehow get a pilot to the plane. Discovering that air force pilot Maj. John Alexander has experience with mid-air transfers, Joe then secures a military helicopter capable of high speeds. Meanwhile, an Air Force jet has been sent aloft to intercept flight 409 to report on external damage, and the pilot informs ground control of a fuel leak on one wing. Intentionally withholding the information from Nancy, Al again directs her to make another heading adjustment just after he arrives in Salt Lake City. Television newsman Glen Purcell brings the distraught Mrs. Freeman to the airport, but his attempts to question Joe and Al about the mid-air collision fails as the men head off to meet Alexander. When asked by ground control to report on the fuel pressure, Nancy shifts a fallen panel to read the gauge, but the heavy panel falls onto the radio controls, changing the frequency. After some tense moments, ground control is able to hear Nancy’s repeated calls on a weaker frequency and decide to avoid having her adjust the radio dial out of fear of losing contact with her. Over Al’s protests, Joe insists on joining him and Alexander on the helicopter to flight 409. While Bette visits Nancy to report on the passengers, a large panel over Nancy falls, and with cold fright Nancy realizes the radio is completely out and wonders if she can steer the plane on her own over the looming mountain range. Recalling that the dazed Stacy has offered to help if necessary, Bette asks him for guidance and relates his information to Nancy, who nervously takes the controls and successfully makes a major course adjustment. When the helicopter reaches flight 409, it positions itself above and in front of the cockpit, then carefully lowers Alexander by a steel cable. As Alexander reaches the gapping hole he struggles to grasp the jagged edges without injuring himself but just as Nancy grabs his arms to help pull him inside, the cord release handle catches on the fuselage, prematurely releasing the pilot. Nancy, the jet’s passengers, Joe, Al and the helicopter crew all watch in horror as Alexander plunges to his death. After a brief argument with Joe, Al insists on attempting to reach the plane and within moments has donned the spare flight suit. After several anxious moments, Al reaches the plane and pulls himself into the cockpit. To Nancy’s relief, Al takes control of the plane, cuts one of the overheated engines and frets about the excessive damage that prevents him from ascertaining the extent of the jet’s functions. Reaching the Salt Lake airport soon after and hoping that the plane’s wheels have lowered and locked, Al lands flight 409 safely, but the brake pressure drops abruptly, forcing him to steer the careening aircraft onto another runway before it finally comes to a halt. In fear of fire, the crew immediately sends the stunned passengers safely down various emergency exit chutes, and Janice is met by a waiting ambulance. Relieved but exhausted by their ordeal, Al and Nancy descend the plane’s stairs, embrace and walk slowly away together. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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