The persons and events in this film are fictitious - fortunately! A masterpiece of off-the-wall comedy, Airplane!
features Robert Hays as an ex-fighter pilot forced to take over the controls of an airliner when the flight crew succumbs to food poisoning; Julie Hagerty as his girlfriend/stewardess/co-pilot; and a cast of all-stars including Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar... and more. Their hilarious high jinks spoof airplane disaster flicks, religious zealots, television commercials, romantic love... the list whirls by in rapid succession. And the story races from one moment of zany fun to the next.
The shenanigans continue through the menus and even the printed matter of this second DVD release. A trivia track and commentary are enjoyable, but pretty superfluous if you watch the branching "extended edition." When a TA logo appears on the screen, you can click to one of many interview segments examining the scene. The key subject matter is how little money was used on the project and the inexperience (for better or for worse) of the three directors ("three bodies, one head"). Most of the cast and crew have fond memories of the quick shoot: Leslie Nielsen tells us how his new career path was a conscience decision, a gentlemanly Peter Graves mentions how grateful--if puzzled--he was at the chance to do comedy, and Robert Hays dishes how his car was put into the film. The directing team gleefully shows all their mistakes. The deleted scenes aren't much, but you'll know when seeing one: the flashing words "Deleted Scene" gawkily flashes at the bottom of the screen. Note: there is no easy way to watch just the new material. --Doug Thomas