- Movie Rating -

The Concorde . . . Airport ’79 (1979)

| August 17, 1979

I have not had the time nor the energy to actually sit through all four Airport movies because, you know, I just have things to do.  Yet, I have seen the first and the last entry in this series and I can confidently assume that I’m not missing anything with the two points in between.  The first movie was an insane gaggle of expensive Hollywood names – Dean Martin, Burt Lancaster, Maureen Stapleton, Van Helfin, Jean Seaburg and Helen Hayes – fused into a Grand Hotel scenario backed against an airline disaster put in motion by one passenger who wanted to blow up the plane so his family could collect the insurance.  It was, more or less, grounded in reality.

I can’t say that of Concorde . . . Airport ’79, which is so goofy and so out-of-step that it might as well have had the plane attacked by TIE Fighters.  It’s a downgrade, even to the guest stars which now features Mercedes McCambridge, Sylvia Kristel, Bibi Andersson, John Davidson, Cicely Tyson, Avery Schreiber, Sybil Danning, Ed Begley Jr., Jimmie Walker and Charo.  Oh, and also Martha Raye in the important role of a woman who is constantly in need of the ladies room.

The plot goes so far over the top that it’s making The Promise look subtle.  Here goes:

Robert Wagner plays a defense contractor who has made an illicit arms deal with some Communist countries.  His girlfriend, reporter Susan Blakely, is handed this information just before boarding the Concorde, so Wagner decides to send one of his missiles to take down the plane.  But the missile is intercepted by the American government who has sent jets out to intercept the missile before it can blow up the plane.

The pilots, George Kennedy and Alain Delon – what is he doing in this movie? – manage to avert disaster, but Wagner won’t be stopped.  The plane is on the way from Washington to Moscow, with a stop-over in Paris.  So, Wagner then sends a plane out to destroy the Concorde which is then intercepted by some French fighter planes.  This despite the fact that Wagner and Blakely meet and have a conversation during the stop-over AFTER he sent the missile to take the plane down.

You don’t so much watch Concorde as you do endure it.  The formula is pretty much set-in stone and the only real tension is whether or not the plane will go down.  For that you get your money’s worth but at nearly two hours this is one long and very boring flight with it’s priorities out of whack.  Why, in the middle of a missile attack do they really think  that you’ll care about whether or not Charo will sneak Her beloved puppy onboard?

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1979) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized