Airport (film series)

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Airport (film series)
Directed byGeorge Seaton
Jack Smight
Jerry Jameson
David Lowell Rich
Produced byRoss Hunter
William Frye
Jennings Lang
Written byGeorge Seaton
Don Ingalls
Jennings Lang
Eric Roth
Based onAirport
by Arthur Hailey
StarringBurt Lancaster
George Kennedy
Charlton Heston
Alain Delon
Jack Lemmon
Music byAlfred Newman
John Cacavas
Lalo Schifrin
CinematographyErnest Laszlo
Philip H. Lathrop
Edited byStuart Gilmore
Release date
CountryUnited States

Airport is a 1970s film series consisting of four airplane-themed disaster films that include Airport, Airport 1975, Airport '77 and The Concorde ... Airport '79.

They are based on the novel Airport by Arthur Hailey.

The only actor who appeared in all four films is George Kennedy in his recurring role of Joseph "Joe" Patroni. Patroni's character evolves from a chief mechanic in Airport to a vice president of operations in Airport 1975, a consultant in Airport '77, and an airline pilot in The Concorde ... Airport '79.


The first Airport film from 1970 had reviews complimenting the film's influence on the disaster genre and its "camp value."[1]

In 1971, Burt Lancaster, star of the 1970 Airport, said in reaction to the 1970 film's 10 Academy Award nominations, that the film was "the biggest piece of junk ever made."[2][3]

The New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael called Airport 1975 "cut-rate swill", produced on a TV-movie budget by mercenary businessmen. Kael also wrote the audio problems gave Karen Black's voice a metallic sound that was grating and that the main character, a stewardess, was constantly being patronized by men.[4] Vincent Canby of The New York Times called Airport 1975 "a silly sequel with a 747".[5]

In a review of Airport '77 The New York Times wrote, "Airport '77 looks less like the work of a director and writers than like a corporate decision."[6]

Variety magazine's review of The Concorde ... Airport '79 called the film an "unintentional comedy".[7] In a review of The Concorde ... Airport '79 The New York Times critic Janet Maslin wrote ""Concorde" is enough to persuade anyone to stay on the ground."[8]

No further Airport films were produced after The Concorde, although media reports in the early 1980s suggested a fifth film was considered. The 1980 comedy film Airplane!, though more specifically a remake-cum-spoof of the 1957 film Zero Hour! (itself a precursor to the Airport concept with a screenplay by Arthur Hailey), is often identified as a spoof of the Airport series. It spawned its own follow-up, Airplane II: The Sequel, in 1982.


  1. ^ Canby, Vincent (1970-03-06). "The Screen: Multi-Plot, Multi-Star 'Airport' Opens: Lancaster and Martin in Principal Roles Adaptation of Hailey's Novel at Music Hall". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 2, 2013. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
  2. ^ Stafford, Jeff. "Airport". Turner Classic Movies.
  3. ^ "Airport 'junk' — Lancaster". The Montreal Gazette. Google News. March 8, 1971.
  4. ^ Kael, Pauline (October 28, 1974). "Airport 1975". The New Yorker.
  5. ^ Canby, Vincent (October 19, 1974). "Airport 1975 (1974) Screen:'Airport 1975' Is a Silly Sequel With a 747". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "'Airport '77,' Starring a Jet, Fails to Maintain High Level". The New York Times. 1977-03-26. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  7. ^ Variety Staff (1978-12-31). "Review: "The Concorde – Airport '79"". Variety. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
  8. ^ Maslin, Janet (August 3, 1979). "The Concorde Airport 79 (1979) Screen: 'Concorde...Airport '79':Airplane on Skis". The New York Times.

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