Airplane vs. Zero Hour

Part One

Part Two

Oh wow, they even got the “I picked the wrong day to quit smoking” line from Zero Hour.

The rights to the movie were purchased by the makers of Airplane!, and they were able to use the screenplay almost verbatim. The movie is not currently available in VHS however a DVD version was released by Warner Home Video on June 26, 2007. One of its rare public showings was on TV by Turner Classic Movies in a back-to-back showing with Airplane!

(via Andy’s Blog)


  1. That’s pretty darn amazing. I don’t recall ever hearing about this and “Airplane” is one of my favorite movies!
    Always cool to see Sterling Hayden, too.

  2. This really is amazing. It’s a movie many of us have seen dozens of times, but nobody has ever mentioned this before. Even the part where the kid visits the cockpit! (though not quite the same dialog)

  3. Huh. I always assumed that Airplane! was based on the successful “Airport” franchise. In fact, the other day I was watching Airport, and told someone that this was the movie that Airplane! parodied. You learn something new every day.

  4. Actually, Airplane! is a parody of tons of “airplane disaster movies.” I don’t know how true it is that they bought the screen play for Zero Hour, but watch the movie The High and the Mighty sometime (the original airplane disaster film). Hell, that’s even got Robert Stack in it. Watch Airport 1977. Airplane! lifted things from all of them, all in good fun of course. It’s great to see the original settings for many of their gags.

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