Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jean Seberg and Airport (1970)

I watched George Seaton's Airplane ('70) yesterday, which was mostly driven by the appearance of Jean Seberg, but to my surprise, the film (which was the initial "disaster" film sub-genre offering in the 70's) is refreshingly focused and suspenseful - certainly one of the best of its kind and a mile more tolerable than The Towering Inferno ('74) if you ask me.

Jean Seberg with a wig in George Seaton's Airport ('70).

It was made during the split-screen craze ('66-'70) and thus suffers from that gimmick's incessant usage. Plus, like its brethren, it's a bit of a slog for the better part of an hour, but once it kicks in, it's a mostly respectable disaster film in the realm of The Poseidon Adventure ('72), certainly no The Swarm ('78).

And my expectations were exceeded even though the main attraction, Mrs. Seberg, is forced to wear a daunting Tippi Hedren wig. The rest of the lively and well-utilized cast includes Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jacqueline Bisset, Van Heflin, George Kennedy and Helen Hayes. The film: [B] Jean Seberg's wig: [D-]


  1. I don't know why Jean doesn't get more remembered for this. My interest in seeing this derived from my reading the book. The film is at times vastly better and at times vastly inferior to the book (but that's the usual with these things). (loved Maureen Stapleton too).

    And the wig was atrocious, indeed.

  2. The correct title is "Airport" not "Airplane" and most critics identify "The High and The Mighty" as the first film of an airliner disaster genre. Watch it and you might agree.

  3. Andrew and the rest of you.... Her hair was beautiful. Shut up you morons!!!

  4. Agreed. It's a beautiful hairdo. My sister wore the same hairdo back then. Lovely.

  5. I would argue that it was "The Poseidon Adventure", not "Airport", that kicked off what we call the disaster movie craze of the '70s. Disaster films are characterized by disasters that occur near the beginning, not near the end, of the film and use who-will-survive plots. But "Airport" may be my all-time favorite movie.