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Airport (1970)

aka Airport

Details: 137 mins · English, French · G (USA)


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Small Mel Bakersfeld
Small Capt. Vernon Demerest
Small Tanya Livingston
Small Gwen Meighen
Small Joe Patroni
Small Ada Quonsett
Small D. O. Guerrero
Small Inez Guerrero
Small Capt. Anson Harris
Small Cindy Bakersfeld
Small Harry Standish
Small Sarah Bakersfeld Demerest
No_movie_poster Cy Jordan
No_movie_poster Peter Coakley
Small Mrs. Harriet DuBarry Mossman


No_movie_poster Alfred Newman Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Ernest Laszlo Director of Photography
Small George Seaton Director
No_movie_poster Stuart Gilmore Editor
Small Henry Hathaway Director
No_movie_poster Ross Hunter Producer
No_movie_poster Arthur Hailey Novel
Small George Seaton Writer
No_movie_poster Arthur Hailey Story Contributor


This film was based on the novel by Arthur Hailey. With attention to the detail of day-to-day airport and airline operations, the plot concerns the response to a paralyzing snowstorm, environmental concerns over noise pollution, and an attempt to blow up an airliner.

Demolition expert D.O. Guerrero (Van Heflin), down on his luck and with a history of mental illness, buys life insurance with the intent of committing suicide by blowing up Trans Global Airlines Flight Two, known as The Golden Argosy, a Rome-bound Boeing 707 intercontinental jet, from a snowbound Chicago-area airport. He plans to set off a bomb in an attaché case while over the Atlantic with the intent that his wife, Inez (Maureen Stapleton), will collect the insurance money.

When the Golden Argosy crew is made aware of Guerrero's presence and possible intentions, Captain Vernon Demerest (Dean Martin), acting as a check pilot to evaluate Captain Anson Harris (Barry Nelson), goes back into the passenger cabin and tries to persuade Guerrero not to trigger the bomb. Meanwhile, airport manager Mel Bakersfeld (Burt Lancaster) deals with personal, weather, runway and stowaway problems from the ground.

When confronted by Captain Demerest, Guerrero briefly considers giving the attaché containing the bomb until a male passenger yells out to a passenger exiting the lavatory that Guerrero has a bomb. Guerrero, holding the case close to him, runs into the lavatory at the rear of the aircraft and triggers the bomb. The detonation blows a hole in the wall of the lavatory and Guerrero with it. Chief Stewardess Gwen Meighen (Jacqueline Bisset), who is having an affair with the married Demerest and is pregnant with Demerest's child, is injured in the explosion and subsequent rapid decompression. With all airports east of Chicago unusable due to bad weather, the plane returns to Lincoln International for an emergency landing, even though another airliner stuck in snow has closed the primary runway. TWA (Trans World Airlines, an actual airline of the time) chief mechanic at Lincoln, Joe Patroni (George Kennedy) is enlisted by Bakersfeld to lead the efforts to move the stuck aircraft, another Boeing 707, even though it belongs to a different airline, TGA (Trans Global Airlines, a fictional airline and the parent company of the film's Golden Argosy jet) Patroni, who is "taxi-qualified" on Boeing 707s, is trying to move the stuck aircraft in time for Demerest's damaged aircraft to land. By exceeding the Boeing 707 flight manual's engine operating parameters, Patroni frees the stuck jet, allowing Lincoln International's primary runway to be reopened just in time to permit the crippled Golden Argosy to land.

The film is characterized by personal stories intertwining while decisions are made minute-by-minute by the airport and airline staffs, operations and maintenance crews, flight crews, and Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1970-03-05 : United States of America