Released in 1980, Airplane!, the American parody of 1970s-era airborne disaster films, is about an ex-pilot, afraid to fly, who must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick. It stars Robert Hayes, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 

Five Things You Need to Know:

  1. The directing and producing team of Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker all wanted non-comedic actors for the movie,  ensuring the humor was not forced. 
  2. The comedy was a critical and financial success, grossing $158 million worldwide against a budget of $3.5 million. 
  3. Co-director David Zucker said "there was no ad-libbing and the actors did it exactly how it was in the script." 
  4. Before Sigourney Weaver reached the fame she received from the Alien movies, she auditioned to play the heroine of Airplane!, Elaine. Also, both David Letterman and Bruce Jenner read for the part of Ted Striker, but didn't get it.
  5. Paramount Home Video is offering Airplane! 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook in Blu-ray + Digital.