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ZERO HOUR = AIRPLANE


FredCDobbs

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You're forgetting to mention the remake of ZERO HOUR!, which aired on television in the 1970s.

 

I think the original holds up well and is unjustly maligned by people who can't seem to separate it from AIRPLANE!

 

Dana Andrews would return to the cockpit in THE CROWDED SKY a few years later.

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Right, Freddy. :)

 

Some folks try to equate the camp comedy of AIRPLANE with the first version, by saying ZERO HOUR! is unintentionally funny. In my opinion, ZERO HOUR! is a very suspenseful and well-plotted drama.

 

I also happen to like THE CROWDED SKY a lot, even though it's not as smart as ZERO HOUR! And then there's CRASH LANDING, another peril-in-the-skies drama that was made at Columbia around the same time and was Nancy Davis Reagan's final feature.

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>by saying ZERO HOUR! is unintentionally funny

 

No, it wasn't funny until AFTER Airplane was made. It was a very good airline drama until then. It is still a good airline drama, but now it is funny because we automatically compare it to Airplane.

 

The dispatchers, the boy, the sick passengers, the way the people sound in both films, etc., etc., etc.

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>It wasn't funny until AFTER Airplane was made. It was a very good airline drama until then.

 

I agree. If I were introducing both these films to someone who had not seen either one of them before, I would show ZERO HOUR! first. Because if you watch AIRPLANE! first, it ruins ZERO HOUR! and goes against what the filmmakers intended audiences to feel watching it.

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I posted a photo from AIRPLANE! in the Classic Daily Double thread today, because I had mentioned Barbara Billingsley as the Jive Lady.

 

On its own terms (as sort of a screwball comedy of the 1980s), AIRPLANE! is very funny. So is THE NAKED GUN, from the same producers. But looked at in a historical context these films seem to encourage a lack of respect and a lack of reverence for their cinematic forebears.

 

Even Carol Burnett does this on her variety show in the 1970s when she spoofs GONE WITH THE WIND. Nobody would ever take her seriously as an actress in same league as Vivien Leigh, so she has to satirize Leigh's portrayal as Scarlett. It's like poking fun at the gods.

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NOW I know why the Zucker Bros were SO hot to get Bob Stack to be in their spoof of this flick!!!

 

It's 'cause IF you close your eyes and listen to Sterling Hayden with that monotone voice and flat delivery of his in THIS baby, you would SWEAR it was Bob Stack and HIS typical "monotone voice and flat delivery" that you were listenin' to!!!

 

(...though the two sets on sunglasses that Bob sports in the spoof WAS a pretty nice touch, if I DO say so myself!)

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Topper,

 

As you know, there were several airline danger/disaster type films in the 1950s, and some shows on TV too.

 

I would like to see this Playhouse 90 show. Just look at this cast:

 

 

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Btw...I also gotta say how I really feel for Dana Andrews!

 

I mean, not ONLY does the poor guy suffer from PTSD from the result of his being a bombardier of a B-17 during the war in ANOTHER flick, BUT evidently his time while at the flight-stick of Supermarine Spitfire didn't help matters EITHER!

 

(...btw...was it only me or did anyone else think at the very beginning of this flick and when we heard William Conrad's voice-over, that Bill was gonna say somethin' like: "The Name: Flight Lieutenant Richard Kimble...falsely convicted for the fire bombings of Dresden!"?)

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*You're forgetting to mention the remake of ZERO HOUR!, which aired on television in the 1970s.*

 

The name of the 1970s TV movie remake was FLIGHT INTO DANGER, just like the original Canadian TV movie of 1956.

 

I agree that it is unfortunate that coming from the prism of AIRPLANE, ZH evokes unintended laughs. That is because much of the dialogue was exactly the same in both movies. A while back there were clips of scenes from ZERO HOUR and AIRPLANE back to back, illustrating this.

 

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And IMH (and highly biased) O, Linda Darnell is a whole lot more attractive than Julie Haggerty, even with Linda's added weight and unflattering makeup.

 

Admittedly, some of dialogue Darnell is saddled with is cringe-inducing, and therefore, ripe for laughter from those that see this in the same vein as AIRPLANE.

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Having seen Airplane years ago and having now just seen Zero Hour for the first time, I have learned the following lessons from these two disaster films:

 

1. NEVER (!!!) eat fish on an airliner.

 

2. (And this is even more important): NEVER let both the pilot and co-pilot eat fish on an airliner.

 

3. NEVER leave your children alone with the pilot

 

4. If the pilot and co-pilot do eat the fish and get sick, and a passenger takes over as pilot, NEVER that passenger have the time to recall his old war experiences or he will probably crash the plane.

 

5. If any of the passengers look like Leslie Nielsen, rest assured, he IS a doctor, so see if he can give you any drugs to help you endure the bumpy ride (Weee, it might even be fun if he gives you some really good ones)

 

6. Sterling Hayden IS Robert Stack - I can't tell the difference, nor can I decide which one is funnier

 

 

 

 

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Good rules to live by. :)

 

Here is PHONE CALL FROM A STRANGER (1952), which is about a single survivor of a plane crash who goes around talking to relatives of a few people he met on the plane who were killed. A very interesting movie.

 

 

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> The name of the 1970s TV movie remake was FLIGHT INTO DANGER, just like the original Canadian TV movie of 1956.

 

 

Yes, Arthur Hailey wrote the original screenplay naming it "Flight Into Danger."

The story is recounted in the TCM article on "Zero Hour!": http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/96656/Zero-Hour-/articles.html

(The TCM article mentions the CBC being only 4 years old in 1956. That's CBC Television.

The CBC was founded in 1936 (radio). The TV broadcast service didn't begin until 1952.)

 

You can read more about Hailey and how he came up with "Flight Into Danger" here:

http://torontoist.com/2011/08/historicist_haileys_comet-2/

 

Would have been nice to see the original CBC production with James Doohan that aired in April and again in August 1956: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_into_Danger

 

 

and

 

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053827/

 

 

But who knows where it is now?

CBC must have it someplace...

 

 

Old photo of Doohan here: http://www.cbc.ca/75/2011/07/james-doohan-giving-it-all-hes-got.html

 

 

As an aside, Doohan and William Shatner starred in the CBC sci-fi series "Space Command" from

1953-4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Command_%28TV_series%29

 

 

That was 12 years before "Star Trek." Unfortunately, only one episode of "Space Command" remains in existence.

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TopBilled, I don't think it's fair to imply that Carol Burnett was motivated to mock Vivien Leigh because she lacked her talent. Parody is an art form, if that's not too lofty a term, in its own right, and Carol is one of the best at it. And certainly the tradition of parodying successful movies and their stars goes back well before Ms. Burnett or SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. One poster mentions Sid Ceasar, who was rolling around on a fake beach with Imogene Coco in a parody of FROM HERE TO ETERNITY back when that was still contemporary movie. And MAD MAGAZINE has basically been doing what AIRPLANE! did, albeit in comic book form, with whatever the current hit movie or TV show is for 60 years now.

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Wouldn't it have been great if Leslie Nielsen, during his early straight actor days, had played the part of the doctor in Zero Hour? Of course, to anyone who has seen him do his brilliant deapan comedic variation on the same role in Airplane, it would make Zero Hour virtually impossible to take seriously. It might also, of course, possibly make the film more fun.

 

I can just imagine the confusion for another viewer (who has never seen Airplane) sitting beside a viewer was has, and wondering why he is breaking up so much during Zero Hour, particularly whenever Nielsen comes on screen.

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