16. 'Airplane!' (1980)
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So you know, the disco dance sequence in last year's smash hit comedy "Ted"
was actually a tribute to one of the best pioneering movie spoofs, "Airplane!"
That earlier film, by the way, was spoofing parts of the disco-centric "Saturday Night Fever" (1978).
You have to remember that the '70s decade was a time period in which the
Zucker brothers and their partner Jim Abrahams, as well as Mel Brooks and
partners, were able to poke fun at their too-serious cinematic brethren. As
Brooks found after his hits "Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein," the Zuckers-Abrahams team was
never quite able to re-capture the early magic (though their "Police Squad!"
television series and "Naked Gun" movie spin-offs came closest).
Bing: Watch scenes from 'Airplane!'
Getting back to "Airplane!" It was a full-on comic assault on "Airport" and
various disaster movies, using the template of "Zero House!" a World War II-era
set thriller from 1957. Hilarious jokes (verbal, as well as sight gags)
continually fly throughout its 88 minutes.
And, of course, the film provided career rehabilitation for actor Leslie
Nielsen, known more at the time for being stony-faced, humorless presence in
such movies as "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972). — Jeff Michael Vice
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(Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty in "Airplane!"/Snap Stills/Rex