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|Robert Hays||Ted Striker|
|Julie Hagerty||Elaine Dickinson|
|Kareem Abdul-Jabbar||Roger Murdock|
|Lloyd Bridges||Steve McCroskey|
|Peter Graves||Captain Clarence Oveur|
|Leslie Nielsen||Dr. Rumack|
|Robert Stack||Captain Rex Cramer|
|Stephen Stucker||Johnny Henshaw|
|Jim Abrahams||Religious zealot #6|
|Frank Ashmore||Victor Basta|
|Craig Berenson||Paul Carey|
|Barbara Billingsley||Jive speaker|
|Lee Bryant||Mrs. Hammen|
|Joyce Bulifant||Mrs. Davis|
|Mae E. Campbell||Security Lady|
|Ethel Merman||Lieutenant Hurwitz|
|Jimmie Walker||Windshield Wiper Man|
|Jill Whelan||Lisa Davis|
|David Leisure||First Krishna|
|Al White||Second Jive Dude|
|Michelle Stacy||Young Girl with Coffee|
|Howard W. Koch||Producer|
|Elmer Bernstein||Original Music Composer|
|John Frazier||Special Effects|
|Anne D. McCulley||Set Decoration|
|Jeff Carson||Music Editor|
|Conrad E. Palmisano||Stunt Coordinator|
|Rosanna Norton||Costume Design|
|Joseph F. Biroc||Director of Photography|
|Ward Preston||Production Design|
|Edwin Butterworth||Makeup Artist|
|Maurice Vaccarino||Unit Production Manager|
|Mike Higelmire||Art Department Coordinator|
|Clancy T. Troutman||Supervising Sound Editor|
|Robert Blalack||Visual Effects|
|Leigh Walsh||Stunt Double|
|Arthur Hailey||Story Contributor|
|Hall Bartlett||Story Contributor|
"What's slower than a speeding bullet, and able to hit tall buildings at a single bound?"
"Thank God It's Only a Motion Picture!"
Ex-fighter pilot and taxi driver Ted Striker (Robert Hays) became traumatized during an unnamed war, leading to a pathological fear of flying. As a result, he is unable to hold a responsible job. His wartime girlfriend, Elaine Dickinson (Julie Hagerty), now a flight attendant, leaves him. Striker nervously boards a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago on which she is serving, hoping to win her back, but she rebuffs him.
After dinner is served, many of the passengers fall ill, and fellow passenger Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen) deduces that the passengers have contracted food poisoning from the fish. The cockpit crew, including pilot Clarence Oveur (Peter Graves) and co-pilot Roger Murdock (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), have also been affected, leaving no one to fly the plane. Elaine contacts the Chicago control tower for help, and is instructed by tower supervisor Steve McCroskey (Lloyd Bridges) to activate the plane's autopilot, a large inflatable pilot doll, which will get them to Chicago, but will not be able to land the plane. Rumack convinces Ted to fly the plane, though Ted feels unable to handle the pressure and the unfamiliar aircraft.
McCroskey knows that he must get someone else to help talk the plane down and calls Rex Kramer (Robert Stack). Kramer was Ted's commanding officer in the war, and despite their hostile relationship he would be the best choice to instruct Striker. As the plane nears Chicago, Ted is overcome by stress and can only land the plane after a pep talk from Dr. Rumack. Lightning strikes the plane, disabling some of its engines. With Kramer's advice, Ted is able to safely land the plane with only minor injuries to some passengers. Ted's courage rekindles Elaine's love for him, and the two share a kiss. The autopilot takes off in the evacuated plane after inflating a female companion.
Theatrical : 1980-07-02 : United States of America
DVD : 2000-10-24