Reviewed by Scott Murdock
Rating: 4.5 Beans
hroughout a multi-millionaire's life his bitter attitude has estranged him from most of his friends and family. Now he learns he is dying, and wants to bring his family and friends together one last time to make things right with each of the people he has hurt. What batter way to accomplish this than to fly them all into disaster?
The family members are invited to fly on a private luxury jet to travel to the reunion. Onboard is a prozed collection of valuable artwork. Also on board are viscious art thieves. When their attempt to hijack the plane and steal the art backfires, the plane crashes into the ocean, off-course and miles from its last known location. The plane sinks to the bottom, fortunately in a shallow area, but it is taking on water. Will help come in time to save those trapped on board?
"Airport '77" suffers from three major problems. First, the situation leading to a crash is ludicrous. Somebody out for personal gain (such as these art thieves) could surely concoct a plan other than the one that is most likely to jeopardize their own lives. Second, the film suffers from a social flaw. A flaw not of the film itself, but of the moviegoing audience. You see, the people on the plane are not the common people, they are the social elite. Politicians, doctors, lawyers, socialites,... nearly all wealthy. Unlike "Airport '75" and "Airport '79", there are fewer moments of drama and concern simply because it is harder to sympathize with the wealthy than it is to sympathize with common people. The film's third major problem is the rescue attempt itself. Doug Henning must have helped out, because the normal laws of physics wouldn't allow such a rescue to be possible.
Still, this movie is fairly enjoyable to watch because of it's all-star cast. Look for Jack Lemmon, Olivia De Havilland, Christopher "Scaramanga" Lee, Gil "Buck Rogers" Gerard, Jimmy Stewart, and of course George Kennedy (among many others) as they share in the drama. Not a completely bad movie, but not a good one either.