Airport

Airport

Director: George Seaton

Cast: Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jean Seberg

     
 

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Airport had enough plot and enough star power in its cast for three feature films, and it only encompassed about half of the complexity or characters found in Arthur Hailey's best-selling potboiler. Essentially built around 12 harrowing hours at a major Midwestern airport, the film had everything an audience of the period could have wanted -- suspense, romance,

Overview

Airport had enough plot and enough star power in its cast for three feature films, and it only encompassed about half of the complexity or characters found in Arthur Hailey's best-selling potboiler. Essentially built around 12 harrowing hours at a major Midwestern airport, the film had everything an audience of the period could have wanted -- suspense, romance, drama, and comedy -- all spread across a vast canvas. Mel Bakersfeld (Burt Lancaster) is the manager of Lincoln Airport, facing a night beset by the worst blizzard in a decade, a wife (Dana Wynter) who announces she wants a divorce, a primary runway blocked by an airliner stuck in a snowdrift, and a governing board ready to fire him. Bakersfeld's cynical, smooth-talking brother-in-law Vernon Demarest (Dean Martin) won't let up on his criticism of the management at Lincoln, but he has his own problems as well, mostly in the form of a young stewardess, Gwendolyn Mehan ({Jacqueline Bisset) who is pregnant by him and whom he finds he genuinely loves. Add to that the presence of an old lady stowaway (Helen Hayes) and a mentally disturbed passenger (Van Heflin) carrying a bomb and there's more than enough plot to keep viewers engrossed for two hours plus. Airport became one of the top-grossing movies of its era, racking up seven-digit box-office numbers and spawning an entire film genre -- the disaster movie. With Jean Seberg, George Kennedy, Lloyd Nolan, Barry Nelson, and Maureen Stapleton filling out the rest of the leading roles, there was something for almost everyone in this film. The movie still has a lot to offer if only as a prime example of Hollywood at its most successfully glitzy, but, if possible, viewers should try and see the letterboxed version of Airport on DVD (released May 2001).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Airport was widely lambasted by critics for its tried-and-true technique of showcasing a raft of Grand Hotel-style big-name box-office stars in a melodramatic thriller; Judith Crist called it "the best film of 1944." But no one could argue with its success or its influence. Director/screenwriter George Seaton displayed a masterful old hand's touch for showcasing stock characters in a soap opera format, adapting Arthur Hailey's blockbuster novel with Dean Martin as the pilot and a cast top-heavy with stars. Airport won huge audiences and six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, with veteran Helen Hayes, one of the first Oscar winners in 1932, winning a supporting award. The crowd-pleasing behemoth spawned almost a decade's worth of big-budget disaster films, including three inferior sequels, and then another round of disaster spoofs, beginning with 1980's Airplane!

Product Details

Release Date:
08/28/2012
UPC:
0025192126437
Original Release:
1970
Rating:
G
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:17:00
Sales rank:
743

Special Features

100 years of Universal: the '70s 100 years of Universal: the lot Theatrical trailer

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Burt Lancaster Mel Bakersfeld
Dean Martin Vernon Demerest
Jean Seberg Tanya Livingston
Jacqueline Bisset Gwen Meighen
George Kennedy Patroni
Helen Hayes Ada Quonsett
Van Heflin D.O. Guerrero
Maureen Stapleton Inez Guerrero
Barry Nelson Lt. Anson Harris
Dana Wynter Cindy
Lloyd Nolan Harry Standish
Barbara Hale Sarah
John Findlater Peter Coakley
Jesse Royce Landis Mrs. Harriet DuBarry Mossman
Larry Gates Commissioner Ackerman
Peter Turgeon Marcus Rathbone
Whit Bissell Mr. Davidson
Virginia Grey Mrs. Schultz
Eileen Wesson Judy
Paul Picerni Dr. Compagno
Robert Patten Capt. Benson
Clark Howat Bert Weatherby
Lew Brown Reynolds
Jim Nolan Father Lonigan
Patty Poulsen Joan
Ena Hartman Ruth
Milila St. Duval Actor
Sharon Harvey Sally
Albert Reed Lt. Ned Ordway
Nancy Ann Nelson Bunnie
Dick Winslow Mr. Schultz
Lou Wagner Schuyler Schultz
Janis Hansen Sister Katherine Grace
Mary Jackson Sister Felice
Shelly Novack Rollings
Chuck Daniel Parks
Charles Brewer Diller
Lisa Gerritsen Libby Bakersfeld
Harry Harvey Actor
Benny Rubin Passenger
Jodean Russo Marie Patroni
Gary Collins Cy Jordon
Celia Lovsky Actor
Michael Stearns Passenger
Dallas Mitchell Dispatcher
Jodean Lawrence Actor

Technical Credits
George Seaton Director,Screenwriter
Alexander Golitzen Art Director
Preston Ames Art Director
Stuart Gilmore Editor
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert R. Hoag Musical Arrangement
Ross Hunter Producer
Ernest Laszlo Cinematographer
David Moriarty Sound/Sound Designer
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Donald Roberts Asst. Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Airport
1. Emergency [7:48]
2. Disaster Insurance [7:06]
3. Fringe Benefits [7:53]
4. Stowaway [9:12]
5. For Better or For Worse [7:05]
6. Don't Worry [8:00]
7. Extra Passenger [5:28]
8. Full Throttle [7:07]
9. We're Leaving [8:25]
10. Check and Report [8:13]
11. Someone Else [6:44]
12. Extreme Caution [7:37]
13. It's Goodbye [7:35]
14. Mayday [7:17]
15. Structural Damage [7:34]
16. Mobile One [7:25]
17. Shut Down [7:39]
18. Welcome Home [8:20]

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