Thursday, March 4, 2010

Terror In the Skies on TCM Friday Night!

Fasten your seatbelts and turn off all electronic devices because Turner Classic Movies is taking to the skies for a airplane disaster flick triple feature! First up is the 1960 film The Crowded Sky starring Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., and Anne Francis. Although I don't know much about The Crowded Sky, the following quote has me looking forward to it:

I should be in the American flag business. Cigarettes turn me blue, whiskey turns me red, and women turn me white.

The 2nd film is the movie that set the standard for modern movie spoofs... the 1980 classic Airplane! In addition to featuring hilarious "out of left field" cameos by such people as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leave It To Beaver mom Barbara Billingsley, and Ethel Merman, Airplane! is also responsible for the career 180 of Leslie Nielsen, who previously was best known for his dramatic roles in movies and countless TV guest shots. Now it's hard for some to think of Leslie doing anything else but comedy.

Wrapping up the triple feature is the movie that inspired Airplane!, the 1957 drama Zero Hour!, starring Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell, and Sterling Hayden. A few years ago, I learned that Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker (the makers of Airplane!) purchased the rights to this movie and used the script almost as is to create Airplane! I say "almost" because ZAZ are the twisted minds behind such silly/iconic lines as "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley." and "Joey, have you ever been in a... in a Turkish prison?"

Here are the start times (all EST) for the movies in the terror in the skies triple feature:

The Crowded Sky (8 pm)
Airplane! (10 pm)
Zero Hour! (11:45 pm)

Below is a montage of scenes from Zero Hour! and Airplane! that allows you to compare them and see how similar they are. Props to Flip Flomas for putting this together!

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