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FredCDobbs

ZERO HOUR = AIRPLANE

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>certainly the tradition of parodying successful movies and their stars goes back well before Ms. Burnett or SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.

 

I agree. Carole Lombard parodies Greta Garbo (superbly I might add) in 1937's THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS. But unlike Carole Burnett, Carole Lombard could be taken seriously as a dramatic and glamorous actress. She was not limited to parody, like Burnett-- or considerably defined by it (because I know that Burnett has attempted some dramatic roles, with mixed results).

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At one point in AIRPLANE! Robert Stack talks about somebody being "the top dog, the big cheese." He utters a very similar line in THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY.

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Well, I remember when *Airplane* came out and I read a review on it, the review mentioned it's relying heavily on *Zero Hour* for it's parody material. But at the time, I had never seen ZERO HOUR. MY first time was last night, too.

 

 

But I had no problem enjoying ZERO, in spite of this knowledge. I just kept the AIRPLANE referrences in my head. I kept waiting, for instance, when Sterling Hayden said, "How about that cup of coffee?" for someone to say, "No thank you!"

 

 

But in the context of when this film was made, I found it enjoyable. And having seen *Airplane* long before seeing this one didn't ruin it for me. Just as some people I know who've seen Burnette's *Went With The Wind* BEFORE GWTW said the latter wasn't spoiled by the former. In fact, it helped clear up some of what they didn't GET in the former!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Carole Lombard parodies Greta Garbo (superbly I might add) in 1937's THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS.

 

 

Seems to me that in the early scenes of that picture, if you look carefully you can see Milburn Stone as one of the reporters meeting the ship. I teased him about it the last time I saw him, saying he had only one line in that picture. He said it was six months later before he got another part with TWO lines. He was quite a good-looking young guy then. He said (one of his standard lines) that if he'd been six inches taller he could have been a leading man ...

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Someone with a better memory than me might ascertain this, but I want to say TCM once showed ZERO HOUR and AIRPLANE! back-to-back sometime within the last five years or so.

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> He said (one of his standard lines) that if he'd been six inches taller he could have been a leading man .

 

Hmmmm...I dunno 'bout that, Dothery.

 

Ya see, by MY calculations, Milburn(btw, never a great first name for a "leading man", ya know) stood all of 5'8", and whereas James Arness stood a whooping 6'7".

 

And so IF Milburn wanted to play the Matt Dillon part in that long running TV Western instead of Doc, then wouldn't he have had to have been ELEVEN inches taller than he was???

 

(...sorry, but Mathematics was always my strong suit in school, ya see...well THAT and bein' the class clown, of course!) ;)

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>Someone with a better memory than me might ascertain this, but I want to say TCM once showed ZERO HOUR and AIRPLANE! back-to-back sometime within the last five years or so.

 

I think you are right, and we discussed this same topic a few years ago. I think TCM showed several airliner disaster films, such as THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY and Jimmy Stewart's NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY (1951), which was the first one I saw in a theater.

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>...and Jimmy Stewart's NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY (1951), which was the first one I saw in a theater.

 

AAH! So Fred, THIS is why you once mentioned around here that to this very day every time you walk on board an airliner the very FIRST thing you do is walk back to the tail of the plane and inspect all the rivets around that area, EH?!

 

(...sure must have made a lasting impression upon ya when you were but a small tyke, huh!)

 

;)

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I agree that parody is an art form but I do question one's ability when the vast majority of one's work is parody. I made this point in the Mel Brooks thread after watching that special on him.

 

e.g. I think it is easier to write a comedy that is a parody than it is to write an original comedy (e.g. Neil Simon who I saw on TCM in the Carson special last night).

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They can do fantastic things with elevator shoes. What was the name of the film in which Danny De Vito played a basketball center?

 

Edited by: finance on Jul 3, 2013 5:12 PM

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Ya see, by MY calculations, Milburn (btw, never a great first name for a "leading man", ya know) stood all of 5'8" ...

 

 

Yes, he did; I just checked a picture I have of him with me at a party, and I was about 5" 4" at the time. He looks to be about four inches taller than I. But I trust his judgment; if he figured 6' 2" was leading-man height, I guess it probably was.

 

"Milburn" was not a good leading-man name, but he defended it like a hero when John Ford called him "Mildred" one time too many. He said Ford was a mean man, and would rag you unmercifully if he could, but he stood up to him on that one point, and spelled his name out to him and insisted that he call him "Milburn." Ford caved and didn't give him any more trouble. You could push Doc just so far. He also said he called Ford "Mr. Ford," unlike some of the others who called him "Pappy." Doc believed in respecting people.

 

You? The class clown? Naaah. Really?

 

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Yep Dothery, you(and Milburn) are of course not the only folks who over the years have reports of what a mean ol' SOB Ford could sometimes be, BUT I'll always give the guy somewhat of a pass on his behavior after what I heard years ago that was ALSO reported he once told C.B. DeMille in that room full of Hollywood honchos during a certain period of this country's history.

 

(...and I think you know what I'm talkin' about here, don't ya) ;)

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after reading the posts on this thread, I went home to watch ZERO HOUR,of which I have a manufactured copy. I guess it doesn't help matters that the case has "Cult Camp Classics" across the top. and if I remember correctly, it is included in a DVD set with a similar title.

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I DVR'd it the other day, though I already have a copy of it. I put it on last night for background while doing some paperwork, and five minutes into the story, I was completely absorbed in re-watching it. As I said before, it is a well-plotted story with plenty of suspense. I thought Dana Andrews really conveyed the pathos of his character well, though he may have been guilty of slight over-acting in a few scenes. Hayden Sterling is definitely at his best, and even the minor actors who play the various passengers are good.

 

The other thing that really grabbed me about this production is that not only is the story deliberately crafted to build suspense, but the editing is superb. All of the match cuts that stitch together the interiors of the cockpit with the exteriors of the plane in bad weather are smooth and successfully build tension. There are occasional cuts to the passengers but not too many, so when we see them again, the plot has clearly advanced to show the latest aspects of the crisis involving them.

 

The dialogue is somewhat scientific, explaining the various mechanics of the controls that Andrews and Darnell must operate, but it was done credibly and in an entertaining fashion. In the meantime, we get some harrowing moments when the plane almost crashes into the side of a mountain-- and this would have really been spectacular if filmed in 3-D.

 

As for Darnell, I think her recent work on television dramas seems to have improved her performance in films. The emphasis is not on glamour here, as it was in many of her pictures at Fox, but rather on creating a believable character that understands her husband's short-comings as well as her own limitations in helping him. It is also nice to see her play a mother on screen.

 

So, if anything, I have developed even more appreciation for ZERO HOUR! and the talented people who bring this exciting story to life on screen.

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Yep TB, and after watchin' it the other night, I have to admit I personally gained a newfound appreciation for Jerry Paris' skill at ventriloquism! And here all this time I only thought of him as the wisecracking biker in "The Wild One" AND of course as Rob and Laura's next door neighbor! ;) LOL

 

(...though yeah, your point about this film being better than the rap it's taken over the years for inspiring the Zucker Bros' spoof is well taken)

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I always wondered if there had been some early scenes that were filmed but not used. these would have been before the fateful flight, befween Dana and Linda. There are some promotional stills of them together, where she is wearing a striped blouse, which doesnt appear anywhere in the film. of course, it always seemed strange that when Andrews goes home and finds wife and child gone, the family picture has Linda wearing the suit she wears throughout ...in fact, in the promo material, this same picture seems to have been a part of the photo shoot used to advertise the film, with the only difference is that their son is between them, and not being carried.

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I always wondered if there had been some early scenes that were filmed but not used. these would have been before the fateful flight, befween Dana and Linda. There are some promotional stills of them together, where she is wearing a striped blouse, which doesnt appear anywhere in the film. of course, it always seemed strange that when Andrews goes home and finds wife and child gone, the family picture has Linda wearing the suit she wears throughout ...in fact, in the promo material, this same picture seems to have been a part of the photo shoot used to advertise the film, with the only difference is that their son is between them, and not being carried.

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Yes, Arturo...some more what-ifs about Linda's film career. There probably was some unused footage.

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I thoroughly enjoyed watching every minute of Zero Hour! on TCM. It's been awhile since I have watched the movie on TCM. I had wanted to catch it again, but I did not know how to be informed in advance of when it would be shown again. I thought about buying it on DVD, but what I did instead was purchase an HDX digital Ultraviolet copy through my VUDU account ($15). Now, I can watch the film wherever I can login to that acct. (like ROKU).

 

Being the basis for the Airplane! comedy, I laughed harder watching Zero Hour! than I did for Airplane!

 

What a Treasure Zero Hour! is for those that love the Airplane! movie !!!!

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