(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Airplane!

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: With a plot and characters borrowed from the 1957 film Zero Hour!, this classic spoof takes aim at disaster movies like Airport 1975 and the sequels that followed, along with the Airport franchise. Ted Striker is an ex-pilot with a drinking problem and post-traumatic stress disorder who tries to repair a failing relationship by following his airplane stewardess girlfriend on her flight from Los Angeles to Chicago. But when food poisoning strikes the passengers and crew, Ted has to suck up his fear and insecurities to land the plane and save everyone on board.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: The spoof film is a dying artform, but in the 1970s and 1980s, some of the best comedies were parodies. That’s largely thanks to the work of director Mel Brooks, the improv troupe of Monty Python, and the filmmaking trio of Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker (David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker). It’s the latter who made Airplane!, the parody that not only remains funny to this day, but is still hilarious even if you haven’t seen the movies it’s spoofing. Read More »


For serious devotees of the movie Airplane!, the fact that Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker (aka ZAZ) were heavily inspired by the 1957 movie Zero Hour is no secret. They talk about the film on the DVD commentary and have mentioned in interviews that Airplane! is based to some extent on Zero Hour.

But it’s one thing to know that the script for Airplane! was heavily based on this dead-serious air thriller, and quite another thing to watch all the related scenes back to back. And if you didn’t know that the two films were related, then this will be even more of a treat. Check out a side-by-side collection of clips from both films, after the break. Read More »