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Airport 1975 (1974) Poster

(1974)

Trivia

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Gloria Swanson wrote all her own dialogue. She also delivered the last line of the film. This was her first movie in twenty-two years. She explained, "I was holding out for a picture I could take my grandchildren to see, something exciting and contemporary without senseless violence."
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Shooting overlapped somewhat with the tail end of production on Universal Pictures' Earthquake (1974), forcing Charlton Heston, George Kennedy, cinematographer Philip H. Lathrop, and producer Jennings Lang to juggle their schedules between the 2 films. This film was released first.
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This was Gloria Swanson's final film before her death on April 4, 1983 at the age of 84.
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Joe Patroni (George Kennedy) appeared in all four "Airport" movies.
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Parodied heavily in Airplane! (1980).
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In his book journal "The Actor's Life", Charlton Heston relates that he had begun working on this movie only fifteen hours after he had finished the final shot on Earthquake (1974).
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Producer William Frye fantasized about adding Greta Garbo to the cast, but she turned him down flat. She found it boring to play an aged actress, saying, "What could be worse than playing an old movie star?" Gloria Swanson then stepped in and played the role.
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The in-flight movie was American Graffiti (1973).
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The 747 used in the film cost thirty thousand dollars per day to rent from American Airlines. All exterior shots of the aircraft (and one interior shot of Charlton Heston at the controls) were completed in two days (landing shots in Salt Lake City, aerial shots over the Wasatch mountain range in Utah, evening and early morning flight shots, and a stunt shot involving engine number one ramming into an outbuilding). The evening taxi and take-off shots were filmed as the plane, with the re-badged "Columbia Airlines" logo on the fuselage, was being delivered to Salt Lake City for the two days of filming.
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The script was originally submitted to Universal Studios television division as a made-for-television movie. Executive Producer Jennings Lang liked it so much, he decided to do it as a feature film instead.
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Some of the footage was used as stock footage on The Incredible Hulk (1977), season one, episode nine, "747", which had an "Airport"-style plot.
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Charlton Heston was somewhat reluctant to do this film so soon after doing Skyjacked (1972), another movie where he played an airline pilot.
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Early on in the movie, Gloria Swanson's PA refers to the autobiography the actress has just finished writing and asks her to provide the names of two actresses who didn't cave in to the studios under pressure. She replies, "That's easy, Carole Lombard and Grace Moore!", Moore was an operatic soprano and close friend of Swanson. Both Moore and Lombard were killed in airplane crashes in the 1940s.
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At least three cast members were offered major roles in Airplane! (1980).
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This film is listed among The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE® MOVIE GUIDE.
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Gloria Swanson's personal secretary was played by Planet of the Apes (1968) starlet Linda Harrison. For some reason, Harrison changed her professional name to "Augusta Summerland" for this movie. She acted twice more on television, in the 1970s, with this name, before retiring.
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Joan Crawford was approached to play the role of an "aging alcoholic actress". However, she refused, and the character was played by Myrna Loy.
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In the airport bar, Sam (Jerry Stiller) said to Bill (Norman Fell), "You should've stuck to the Blue Nun." In the 1970s and 1980s, Stiller and his wife Anne Meara did a string of classic radio commercials for Blue Nun wine.
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Gloria Swanson was given her own private bungalow when filming commenced at Universal Studios. Her arrival and the residence were included as part of the studio tour for tourists.
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Despite having a major cameo role, Dana Andrews never meets any other major characters on-screen.
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Charlton Heston (Alan Murdock) and Martha Scott (Sister Beatrice), appeared in Ben-Hur (1959). This was also Scott's first acting job in fifteen years.
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Sid Caesar, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and Ed Nelson all died in 2014.
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Charlton Heston and Linda Harrison appeared together in Planet of the Apes (1968) and briefly in Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) yet here do not share any scenes. Heston and Harrison would later appear in Planet of the Apes (2001) but again share no scenes together.
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The three bar friends all went on to play prominent roles as fathers or father figures on hit television shows. Jerry Stiller (Seinfeld (1989) and The King of Queens (1998)), Norman Fell (Three's Company (1976)), and Conrad Janis (Mork & Mindy (1978)).
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Myrna Loy gets run into by a buzzed Jerry Stiller, who is part of a three man drinking group with Conrad Janis and Norman Fell. She takes it lightly despite her classy exterior and winds up drinking with them. This calls back her famous character Nora in The Thin Man films in which she can hold her own with drinker-husband William Powell as Nick.
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Helen Reddy was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for this film for Best Newcomer - Female in 1975. She lost to Susan Flannery in another entry in the disaster genre, 'The Towering Inferno '
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Irrelevantly, this is the first film since The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) (28 years) that Myrna Loy and Dana Andrews were in the same movie, even though they share no scenes, and someone thought that was noteworthy.
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Gloria Swanson and Nancy Olsen appeared in Sunset Boulevard (1950).
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The second of four movies in the "Airport" film series.
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The Boeing 747 used in the film was originally delivered to American Airlines in 1971. It was a 747-123, registration number N9675, serial number 20390; the one hundred thirty-sixth 747 off the production line. Its basic American Airlines color scheme was modified to the notional Columbia Airlines colors for filming of exterior sequences. The aircraft was flown by United Parcel Services as a freighter, re-registered N675UP until 2005.The aircraft, N9675, was destroyed on January 11, 2011 at the Roswell Industrial Air Center, where it had been in storage since 2006. Boeing has a long history of using the number 7 in the names of it's aircraft. This plane was destroyed on 1/11/2011, if you add all the numbers together from the date it was destroyed it totals 7 (1+1+1+2+1+1 = 7).
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One of the films included in "The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (and how they got that way)" by Harry Medved and Randy Lowell.
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Along with Airport '77 (1977) and The Concorde... Airport '79 (1979), this film was inducted into the RAZZIE Awards' Hall of Shame in 1983.
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Third motion picture to feature both Martha Scott and Charlton Heston, the first two being The Ten Commandments (1956) and Ben-Hur (1959). Scott plays Heston's mother in both of those films.
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Susan French was also in the spoof, Airplane! (1980).
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This was Clyde Kusatsu's film debut.
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In Murdock's (Charlton Heston's) office, there is a photo of a DC-10 taking off. The co-pilot flying the plane in the photo was David Slater, father of former Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater.
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Roy Thinnes would appear in another sky-high disaster movie the following year, The Hindenberg.
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Features two Academy Award winners: Charlton Heston and George Kennedy, and five Academy Award nominees Karen Black, Linda Blair, Nancy Olson, Martha Scott and Gloria Swanson in the acting categories.
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This film is one of the first to portray what is now known as an emotional support animal, in the form of the dog concealed by the character played by Alice Nunn. At the time this film was released, in 1974, emotional support animals per so were not allowed on airlines but in section 504 of the Persons With Disabilities Act - a section enacted in 1973 - it was legally possible to have such animals in the passenger cabin of an airliner. Alice Nun will be familiar to audiences from her role as Large Marge in Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Charlton Heston spent time on the American Airlines 747 simulator in Fort Worth, Texas, in preparation for the role.
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The small plane which (in the movie) collided with the 747, a Beechcraft Baron, tail number N9750Y, was destroyed in a real midair collision with a Cessna 180 over Tracy, California, on August 24, 1989.
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Dana Andrews had starred in two films that were groundbreaking (though campy) to the Airliner Disaster genre: The first, Zero Hour! (1957), which was the inspiration for Airplane! (1980), and he also played a pilot (albeit not a reluctant one) in The Crowded Sky (1960). In both movies, he landed the plane, and in this one, he crashed his private plane into the airliner that Karen Black and Charlton Heston have to attempt to land.
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The mid-air transfer double for Charlton Heston was Joe Canutt, who doubled for Heston in Ben-Hur (1959).
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In this film, a private plane flown by Dana Andrews collided with the airliner piloted by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. In The Crowded Sky (1960), Zimbalist was at the controls of a fighter jet that collided with an airliner piloted by Andrews.
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Body Count: four.
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The trailer gives away the fates of Urias (Roy Thinnes) and Major John Alexander (Ed Nelson).
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Although the comedy blockbuster Airplane was a direct remake of Zero Hour (starring this film's crash culprit, Dana Andrews), it was also a parody of the Airport films, especially this one, as the sick little girl (Linda Blair) with an acoustic guitar is famously parodied by Jill Whelan.
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The only one of the four 'Airport' films not to depict any criminals, it was just a natural accident.
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Charlton Heston also plays Captain Al Haynes in the movie based on the true story, Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232 (1992). Another air disaster movie in which his character lands a crippled DC-10 aircraft .
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