- 2 hr 17 min
Airport is a 1970 disaster drama film starring Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, and George Kennedy. Based on the 1968 novel of the same name by Arthur Hailey, the film follows a group of airport personnel and passengers as they deal with a series of crises and disasters at a major airport. The film takes place primarily at Lincoln International Airport in Chicago, which is experiencing a typical day until a dense fog rolls in, causing significant flight delays and cancellations. As the airport staff and passengers struggle to cope with the fog, they are soon faced with a much more serious problem - a bomb on board an incoming airplane.
Mel Bakersfeld, played by Burt Lancaster, is the airportâs general manager, who is already dealing with a host of personal and professional issues. He is at odds with his sister-in-law, Tanya Livingston, played by Jean Seberg, who is having an affair with one of his employees, Captain Vernon Demerest, played by Dean Martin. Vernon is the pilot of the plane carrying the bomb, and he must navigate through the fog and deal with the bomb threat at the same time.
Meanwhile, a married couple traveling with their young son are dealing with their own problems. Ada Quonsett, played by Helen Hayes, is a stowaway grandmother who has been traveling around the world but must return home due to her failing health. The young couple, played by Karen Black and Gary Collins, are dealing with their own marital issues, and the stress of the airport situation only makes things worse.
As the airport staff and passengers deal with the various crises and disasters, they eventually come together to help each other and save lives. George Kennedy plays Joe Patroni, a mechanic who is brought in to help with the bomb situation, but ends up playing a much bigger role in the airportâs overall safety and security.
Airport was one of the first major disaster films, and it set the stage for a slew of similar films to come throughout the 1970s. It was a massive success at the box office, grossing over $100 million worldwide and earning 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.
One of the strengths of Airport is its ensemble cast, which is full of recognizable faces and strong performances. Burt Lancaster is particularly impressive as the stressed-out but determined airport manager, and George Kennedy was so popular in his role as Joe Patroni that he went on to reprise the role in three sequels. Dean Martin brings some levity to the film with his performance as the charming and confident pilot, and Karen Black delivers a standout performance as the troubled young woman trying to figure out her life.
Another strength of the film is its attention to detail, particularly when it comes to the inner workings of a major airport. The film gives viewers a sense of the complexity and interconnectedness of the various systems and personnel required to keep an airport running smoothly, and it does so in a way that is both entertaining and informative.
Airport is not without its flaws, however. The filmâs pacing can be uneven, with long stretches of time where not much seems to be happening, followed by sudden bursts of action and drama. Some of the characters are also thinly drawn or feel like stereotypes, particularly the non-white or non-American characters.
Overall, though, Airport is a classic disaster film that is still entertaining to watch today. Its focus on the inner workings of a major airport sets it apart from many of the other disaster films of its era, and its ensemble cast and attention to detail make it a standout example of the genre. If youâre a fan of disaster films, or just looking for an entertaining and suspenseful drama, Airport is definitely worth checking out.
Airport is a 1970 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 17 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 42.