Saturday, July 17, 2010

The original airplane

Following The Phenix City Story, TCM is showing Zero Hour! at 4:00 PM ET today. Dana Andrews stars as Lt. Ted Stryker, a World War II pilot who gets on a commercial flight in the 1950s and is impressed into service when the pilot and a bunch of the passengers develop food poisoning. This, despite his mental blocks about flying thanks to his service in World War II.

Sound familiar? That's because it's the same plot as the 1980 movie Airplane! The major difference is that Zero Hour! was intended to be a serious drama, and not a comedy. Sadly, it's a bit difficult to watch it now since almost everybody is going to be influenced by having seen Airplane! already.

As for the other original airplane, I was quite surprised to look up Orville and Wilbur Wright and see that the Hollywood studios seem not to have made a movie about them during the Studio Era. A character search on them reveals a Biritsh docudrama about the history of flight from the mid 1930s, and a few TV shows and movies from much later, but that's about it.

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