This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Learn more

15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Airplane!

15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Airplane!

15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Airplane!

Consistently voted one of the funniest movies ever made and the film we have to thank for the rise of the spoof movie and to blame for the likes of Meet The Spartans, Airplane! has not dated at all in the 33 years since it was released.

Do you know it inside out? Your singing nuns from your dying girls? Peruse this list and find out.

1

The film is largely a parody of Zero Hour, a hokey 1957 movie that follows broadly the same plot and which producers Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker stumbled across accidentally.


2

The Zero Hour line, “The life of everyone on board depends upon just one thing: finding someone back there who can not only fly this plane, but who didn’t have fish for dinner” was just re-appropriated it for laughs.


3

Kareem Abdul Jabar was offered $30,000 for the role of Murdock. He argued his fee up to $35,000 because he wanted to buy an oriental rug.


4

Peter Graves (Captain Oveur) originally rejected the script, his agent telling the producers it was tasteless trash. So Jim Abrahams asked, “I don't understand. What did he think was tasteless about paedophilia?”


5

Mike from Breaking Bad makes a very small appearance in a scene involving a microwave which you can see here


6

Throughout filming Leslie Nielsen would randomly set off a fart machine to keep people alert and amused.


7

This was Julie Hagerty’s first movie


8

The film cost $3.5 million to make. It earned that back within two days of opening in America. It would eventually earn just over $83 million.


9

The Stayin’ Alive dance number required a month of rehearsal prior to shooting.


10

The film’s German title translated as The Incredible Trip In A Crazy Airplane. In Argentina it was And Where Is The Pilot? In Spain it was And Where Is The Pilot. In Norway it was Help! We’re Flying! In Brazil it was Tighten your seat belts... The pilot is gone!


11

David Letterman, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Barry Manilow were all in the running for the role of Ted Striker


12

David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker say they have never seen Airplane II: The Sequel, with which they had no involvement.


13

The film was shot in just 34 days.


14

When Lloyd Bridges (McCroskey) asked for his motivation during a scene he was told by Robert Stack (Kramer), “'Lloyd, there's a spear gonna fly into the right wall and a watermelon's gonna burst on stage left. Believe me, no one's looking at us"


15

Airplane was originally intended to be part of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker's first sketch movie, Kentucky Fried Movie, but was taken out and extended.