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Julie Hagerty and Robert Hays star in this hysterically funny spoof of 1970s Airport disaster films.

A true comedy great, this is one of the funniest movies of its type thanks to an off-the-wall script that’s littered with movie in-jokes and an onslaught of visual and verbal gags (‘Surely, you can’t be serious?’ ‘I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.’) that simply never let up.

The writing/directing team of Jim Abrahams and siblings Jerry and David Zucker’s master stroke, though, was to cast actors Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Peter Graves and Lloyd Bridges (who was unwilling to be in the movie, but was persuaded by actor sons Jeff and Beau) because they were famous for playing serious, tough men.

It’s their game performances – and a cameo from Ethel Merman, singing Everything’s Coming Up Roses – that give the satire an extra boost.