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Airport 79: The Concorde

If you LOVE bad movies, and I don't mean casually bad, I'm talking legendarily horrible, hilariously dumb movies, AIRPORT 79: THE CONCORDE is 113 minutes of heaven.

It will serve no purpose to review the plot, as it's so nonsensical and poorly constructed that it barely exists.

Better to review some of the unintentionally hilarious moments:

* The passengers include John Davidson as a TV reporter in love with a 22 year old Russian gymnast played by 30 year old Andrea Marcovicci. At one point, Davidson has a nearly nude scene in a hot tub. Really?

*Jimmy JJ Walker stars as a famous saxaphone player who smokes pot the entire film in the plane's restroom (no smoke detectors?). Martha Raye spends the entire film in the other restroom and Eddie Albert plays the owner of the airline. At one point, his plane seat comes unattached and nearly falls through a hole in the bottom of the plane. His dialogue when they finally pull him up? "I had the best seat in the house!" ugggghhh

There are so many different missiles, fighter jets and bombs attacking this plane, it does about a dozen barrel rolls in flight, yet leaves on time the next day for the next leg of its journey.

* George Kennedy, in his early 60's here and not exactly in great shape, has a love scene in front of a fireplace with a French hooker, wrapped in fur. I'm not kidding.

* At one point as missiles are being fired at the plane, the pilot OPENS THE COCKPIT WINDOW and fires a flare gun out the window to divert the missile. I am not a physics expert, but I think that if it was possible to open the window going 700+ miles an hour, it would be awful hard to hold the gun steady out the window.....

The dialogue includes this gem: Flight Attendant: "You pilots all want black coffee? I forget what MEN you all are!" George Kennedy: "They don't call this a cockpit for nothing." Yep, he really says that...

Robert Wagner plays a rich industrialist dating a TV news anchor. He is clearly exposed as having illegally sold arms. On the Concorde flight to Paris, Susan Blakely as the TV anchor survives attacks on the plane by missile launch and unmarked fighter jet that she knows are by Wagner. So when she gets to Paris, does she announce it on TV? Call the police perhaps? The FBI? No, she meets Wagner for dinner, allowing the film to set up a flight the next day so Wagner can try to take down the plane again on its way to Moscow.

By the way, if she is on the Concorde to Paris from Washington DC and makes the flight in 3 hours, how does he meet her for dinner a couple hours later in Paris when he flew his private plane?

There is a scene where Wagner is watching TV reports on his private jet where I swear to you the TV reporter is behind the wall the TV is supposed to be mounted on and reading the news as if its a TV.

This is sloppy, hilariously bad film making.

I never understood in the 1970's how you take a great film like the original Airport that makes millions and then make three sequels, each one cheaper and dumber than the last. As the films got worse, the box office plummeted for each proceeding film. Fox did the same thing with the Planet of the Apes series in the late sixties and early seventies. It's the self fulfilling law of diminishing returns people!

The Concorde bombed badly at the box office and was the end of the Airport series. It would soon be lampooned brilliantly by "Airplane" in 1980.

There is more creativity and pride in any 5 minutes of "Airplane" than the entire cheap, silly flick on display here.

After about ten minutes I was rooting for the plane to go down. I imagine Cicely Tyson is still trying to figure out how she starred in a movie with Jimmy Walker and Charo.

A silly, sprawling, flying mess of an F.

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