Thursday, September 2, 2010

Airport (1970) (2nd time)

Melodrama about a bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved. [imdb]

Nominated for 10 Oscars:

Best Picture
Best Supporting Actress: Helen Hayes (WINNER)
Best Supporting Actress: Maureen Stapleton
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Original Score
Best Editing
Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design
Best Sound

This is what happens when you don't have internet in the evenings, after work, in a foreign country: you watch another disaster movie from your computer. Airport was not as good as I remembered it to be. Actually, it a terribly overrated film, in the sense that it's NOT what it claims to be. You cannot call yourself a disaster movie if you have just ONE victim and the whole disaster moment lasts for just 20 minutes! :)) What's even more silly is the dvd poster which shows a big airplane in flames! The airplane is NEVER on fire in the film, it just has a hole in it! :))
Getting past that, it's still not much of a film. Some deliver good performances: Burt Lancaster and Maureen Stapleton are the best. Van Heflin is also quite effective, but we must talk about Helen Hayes and one of the most infamous Oscar wins in that category! While I agree with those who say she didn't deserve it, it's not like it came out of nowhere. She consistently shows up in the film and she makes for the only FUN element of this melodrama. Her scenes are light and relaxing, she is believable in the role and the scene in which she's pretending to be crying is funny and very well executed. So, dear haters, she's definitely not the worst Best Supporting Actress winner! Try Gloria Grahame!
The story is pretty stupid, Dean Martin looks like he's sleepwalking through most of the film, but I would mention the wonderful original score from Alfred Newman, in his final film project. Had it not been for Love Story, he would've won this category posthumously.
My rating for the film: 5/10. Definitely not Best Picture material, but an easy watch with a couple of scenes acted well.


  1. Okay, I love this movie!

    It's just so fun and even though the dramatics might come off as cheesy/melodramatic, they work somehow.

    The only performances I really liked were Hayes, Heflin, Stapleton, and Bissett. I thought Helen Hayes is a good winner, but Stapleton might get my win.

  2. I like this more than a five, not brilliant but good and even very good at times. Of course the translation from book to screen leaves much to be desired but it's nice in its own way, and I think Jean S. is very underrated here.

  3. I like this movie very much. I'm a huge fan of disaster movies, this is not really a disaster flick I agree (my favorite is The Poseidon Adventure). I think Helen Hayes was very good and funny, but I would have given the win to Karen Black probably.

  4. yes, The Poseidon Adventure (1972)!!! Now we're talking disaster movie! Or The Towering Inferno (great, except the ending)!

    I haven't seen Five Easy Pieces yet.

    Andrew, do you mean Jean Seberg? She doesn't get much to do, though.

    Twister, are you serious about Bissett? Just like Jean, she doesn't get much special to do. :)

  5. Oh yeah Alex, I'm serious -- you can see she's trying her hardest to make something out of a stupid, stock character. She does bring some dignity and shading to the boring role which I admired, so I did like her performance.