AIRPLANE! is on Blu-ray now from Paramount Pictures with a new 4K transfer, and we review it!

On July 21st, Paramount Pictures released AIRPLANE! on Blu-ray for the very first time. This 1980 classic stars Robert Hays, Julie Haggerty, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Peter Graves, and Lloyd Bridges. We received a review copy, which I was thrilled to revisit as watching this film is always a fun time, but I was blown away at the new 4K transfer which makes the movie look better than ever.

Written and directed by Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker and David Zucker, AIRPLANE! because a major hit in 1980, smartly parodying both disaster films of the 1970s and movies like AIRPORT and other airline-centric movies. Ted Stryker (Hays) is an ex-fighter pilot struggling with traumatic war memories, and he doesn’t want to let a flight attendant named Elaine (Haggerty) get away from him, so he follows her on to her latest departure, where things take a dark turn when several passengers and crew get violently ill from the bad fish served on board. When the pilots fall ill, Ted must muster the courage to land the plane and save those on board, with Elaine by his side and the help of a doctor on board (Nielsen), which the crew on the ground give him advice. That’s the basic plot, which sounds reasonable enough for a Hollywood thriller, but the slapstick satire on display makes just about every action in AIRPLANE! hilarious and at times outrageous. This was the film the boys delivered after the less-seen but equally beloved KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE, a 1970s satire fest that set the stage for many of their comedies to come. And like those many disaster films, the cast here is stellar, especially if you know the names popular during that time period. While aspects of it are very dated, AIRPLANE! surprisingly holds up, even if it’s just time capsule comedy.

Click on image to see full-size.

This film wasn’t just a major hit in 1980, it also won the Golden Globe for Best Musical of Comedy, and really raised the bar for theatrical comedies. There have been many imitators, but none have duplicated the raw brilliance of this one. There’s also been several home video releases of AIRPLANE! both on DVD and Blu-ray, so you might be wondering if it makes sense to upgrade yet again for the latest release. The new 4K transfer by itself is a major selling point here, getting rid of all the grain and dust typically seen while watching the movie, and giving it a fine polish that really makes this release a must-have. The DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix is really nice too, I don’t recall this movie sounding THIS good before. I mention it below, but the new Isolated Score track is a great way to enjoy Elmer Bernstein’s music, which I don’t think is available in full at the moment.

There’s a few new features to note as well, like a “Filmmaker Focus” on Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker and David Zucker (basically a conversation with the three about their retrospective thoughts on the film); a fun 2020 Q&A with Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker and David Zucker that offers some fun background stories; and an Isolated Score track, that is sometimes awkward due to music license rights (for example, the JAWS music at the beginning is purposely excluded from the isolated score track). You also get the previously released audio commentary, but sadly absent are some of the features from the “Long Haul Version” like Deleted Scenes, Interviews and a Trivia Track… not sure why those are gone.

If you enjoy comedy films or just 1980s fare in general, AIRPLANE! is definitely a must-own title. The slipcase cover even features a fold-out movie poster, which is cool. See all the necessary specs on the film below.

Special Features:
Group Commentary By Producer Jon Davison and Writers/Directors Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker and David Zucker
New Filmmaker Focus: Airplane!
New 2020 Q&A with Directors
Isolated Score

Widescreen 1.78:1 Color

Portuguese Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish Dolby Digital Mono
French Dolby Digital Stereo
English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Voted “one of the 10 funniest movies ever made” by the American Film Institute, Airplane! celebrates 40 years of off-the-wall laughs. This limited edition remastered Blu-ray features all-new special features and a remastered feature film, from a 4K film transfer supervised by the directors. Robert Hays is an ex-fighter pilot forced to take over the controls of an airliner when the flight crew succumbs to food poisoning, Julie Hagerty as his girlfriend/stewardess/co-pilot, and a cast of all-stars including Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar… and more! Their hilarious high jinks spoof airplane disaster flicks, religious zealots, television commercials, romantic love… the list whirls by in rapid succession.

Purchase AIRPLANE! on Blu-ray HERE

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