Nominations Wanted for the Best airliner/airport type movie

Let’s lighten up over the Christmas holiday and get some good reader participation.

How about submitting as many nominations as you want for the Best Movies involving airliners and/or airports. These can be as recent as Denzel Washington’s “Flight” or as old as…whatever.

These can be dramas such as The High and the Mighty or spoofs such as Airplane. We’re also going to allow Island in the Sky, which although a war movie used DC-3s/C-47s, which of course are airliners. The Terminal is an example of an “airport” movie. The Castaway, while having an airplane a key element and having a major scene at the Memphis Airport, isn’t really a movie that falls into either category.

Make your case in nominating these movies. When it appears nominations have petered off, we’ll compile them into a poll for voting.

We also have a separate poll for the Worst Airplane Movie.

34 Comments on “Nominations Wanted for the Best airliner/airport type movie

  1. To kick things off as an example to follow, we’ll put in a nomination, avoiding some of the real obvious movies. We’ll nominate No Highway in the Sky, starring Jimmy Stewart and a fictional airplane called the Reindeer. (And no, it’s not Rudolph, the subject of Mystery Photo #7.)

    Although a little cheesy with Stewart’s character, the fundamentals of the film are about the investigation into metal fatigue and testing airframe components to destruction. The Reindeer seems to us to loosely be based on the Republic Rainbow design (look this up on the Internet), though the Rainbow never went into production.

  2. I like “Airplane” (the first one) as the best movie. “Airport” (1970?) was very good too.

    The worst were the sequels to each one, Airport 75, 77, and 80, and Airplane II.

  3. For commercial aviation, the original Airport – hands down. Those 707s are true beauty.

  4. 1994 Lockerbie Documentary ‘The Maltese Double Cross’.
    National Geographic ‘Air Crash Investigations’

  5. “No Highway In the Sky” foreshadowed the deHavilland Comet 1 disasters, subsequent investigation and root cause laid to metal fatigue.

    “Airport” 1970 was totally authentic for the time from the interior and exterior shots of the Boeing 707 down to the ticketing and boarding process. Yes, they really did use grease pens to mark the boarding passes in those days–I have some of these in my collection.

    “The Aviator” provided excellent portrayals of Howard Hughes, Katherine Hepburn and Eva Gardner amongst others. Except for the grounded TWA Connies being replications of the 1049G instead of the 049s, very good airliner repros. Loved the Sikorsky S38 flight sequences.

    • Marshall – don’t forget Comet accidents were not all shown to be metal fatigue. Three of the five accidents (in little more than 500 days) were attributed to that element of the design: the other two were put down to pilot over-rotation – something which today must be shown to be impossible in the well-known Vmu demonstration, so arguably another de Havilland contribution to air safety.

  6. Die Hard 2 – Yippie ki yay!
    John McClane; havoc in the airport.
    It’s Die Hard – nothing more needs to be said.

    • Duane – if you’re gonna be allowed to enter a non-commercial, non-public transport movie like Air Force One, let’s also permit Apollo 13. Alas, I think I hear Scott’s feet approaching as he comes to kick us back into line….

  7. “Flight of the Phoenix” – the 1965 original – would be my nomination, and another appearance by James Stewart on this list.
    I remember watching this as a child on a Sunday afternoon and being fascinated by the shots of the plane wreckage and the cobbling-together of the Phoenix.

    • Air Force One qualifies because the airplane is a commercially-based 747. Flight of the Phoenix (the original) does not because the airplane is not a commercial airliner. We agree the original FOTP was indeed one of the best. The remake was one of the worst.

      Apollo 13 does not qualify.

  8. Fandango: best for the skydiving and flying chase scenes. Worst: the rest of the movie is pretty dreadful.

    It *might* qualify because of the commercial skydiving operation Scott?

  9. ‘Executive Decision’ is a decent flick, not sure about being the best though.

  10. The Magnificent Men in there Flying Machines with Tony Curtis Very Funny film of the early days of flying from this side of the pond.
    Second Hand lions Begining & ending sceens with world one bi-plane.

  11. The first Airplane was very authentic…still worth a watch every now and then…and Airplane! has to be considered one of the best. Flight into Danger was one of the first good airline disaster movies.

  12. We’re going to add Mercy Flight, with Robert Loggia and Scott Bakala, and the Rescue of Flight 232 (about UA 232 at Sioux City, IA), into the mix.

  13. I agree with a380, but he got his star wrong. Tony Curtis was in the Great Race, definitely not aeronautical.
    Those Magnificent Men starred a virtual Who’s Who of British Comedy, and to me boasts the funniest character name ever. Terry Thomas was the villain and his name in the film was Sir Percy Ware Armitage. Armitage Ware was arguably the best known brand of toilets in UK, and Percy was and is an alternative slang name for the male member. Very clever!
    Stuart Whitman was the US star.

  14. Fortunately I am old enough to remember “the Bridges at Toko Ri starring William Holden, Grace Kelly and Mickey Rooney. ( A Korean War movie)
    Long enough ago for all the aircraft and helicopters to be real with stunning clips of the Grumman Panther and Sikorsky (S54?)

  15. KDX125 :

    leehamnet :
    Good point. Flight of the Phoenix (both versions) qualify.

    Then the original has my vote

    That will be my choice as well.
    Most of my favorite aviation movies are military (Tora! Tora! Tora!), firefighting (Always) or epic ones (These magnificent men….).

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