Airplane!/Trivia

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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  • Actor Allusion:
  • Executive Meddling: The studio wouldn't let the producers use a propeller plane as the airliner, so the producers gave the jet a propeller plane sound instead.
  • Genre Killer: Arguably killed off the whole disaster movie for a while by making audiences unable to take them seriously anymore.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: The first religious zealot seen in the airport would go on to become president.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The Red Zone-White Zone people on the public address system at LAX were played by the people who actually recorded the public address announcements at LAX.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's salary paid for an expensive rug he wished to purchase.
  • Playing Against Type: Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack and Peter Graves (all serious dramatic actors), doing comedy. In the case of Nielsen, this role redefined his career, and would become his default shtick for the rest of his life. Bridges also briefly became a comedic actor before his death in 1998.
  • Throw It In: Stewardess Randy was supposed to tell the disembarking passengers things like "Watch your step!" and "Be careful!" as they stepped onto the emergency exit slide. However, in an early take, actress Lorna Patterson unexpectedly got all the passengers to crack up by offering each of them a cheery, "Thank you for flying TransAmerican! Have a nice day!" The script was changed accordingly.
  • Trope Namer: This work named the following tropes:
    • Leslie Nielsen Syndrome: This was the film that launched Nielsen's comedy career. Interestingly, this seems to be intentional. The filmmakers deliberately cast serious actors instead of comedians, thus most of the humor was delivered completely deadpan. And it works!
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Christopher Lee was offered the role of Dr. Rumack.
    • Barry Manilow was considered for the part of Ted.
    • Pete Rose was the original choice of sports-star casting (per DVD commentary). What are the odds?
    • David Letterman auditioned for the role of Ted. Jerry Zucker brought the audition tape on Late Night once as a prank.
  • The newspaper boy who "Chews off own foot" was one of the Zucker's nephews. The DVD extras say the uncle called and asked for his school picture. He gave it to his uncle, not knowing why, only to see it in the movie later.
  • The aircraft that's the titular star of this film is a Boeing 707, the first successful commercial jet airliner not to break in half in mid-air. The "TA" logo on its tail is almost certainly a reference to TransAmerica, the company that owned Paramount at the time this was filmed.
  • The surfing nun on the cover of "Nun's Life" was actually Jim Zucker.
  • In regards to Ted's echoing baseball daydream: