Airport 1975 (1974): One of the best sequels ever

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Starring: Charlton Heston, Karen Black, George Kennedy, Elfrern Zimbalist Jr., Susan Clark, Gloria Swanson, Martha Scott, Helen Reddy, Guy Stockwell, Jerry Stiller, Roy Thinnes, Erik Estrada, Dana Andrews, Sid Caesar, Linda Blair, Nancy Olson, Kip Niven, Ed Nelson, Beverly Garland, Myrna Loy, Linda Harrison, and Christopher Norris.

Directed by: Jack Smight.

Story: 

When a small plane collides with a packed commercial jetliner in mid-air, a flight attendant becomes tasked with landing the plane which now has no pilots at all.

Characters: 

*Alan Murdock (Charlton Heston): A pilot who is eventually sent in to land the torn and worn plane.

*Nancy Pryor (Karen Black): Head stewardess who is called upon to take control of the plane.

*Joe Patroni (George Kennedy): Previously chief mechanic in “Airport”, now promoted to Vice President of the Airline.

*Captain Stacy (Efrern Zimbalist Jr.): The head pilot of the flight before he gets sucked out of the plane along with his co-pilots.

*Mrs. Patroni (Susan Clark): Joe’s wife.

*Gloria Swanson (Gloria Swanson): A former glamour star.

*Janice Abbot (Linda Blair): A young girl on the flight who is need of an organ transplant.

*Sister Ruth (Helen Reddy): A singing nun.

*Mrs. Devaney (Myrna Loy): An alcoholic woman.

*Barney (Sid Caesar): A chatterbox.

Overall: 

“Airport 1975” is a sequel that is worthy of being a successor to its original counterpart. It borrows the same formulas and archetypes from “Airport” but sticks to one story-line instead of working itself across multiple subplots (as the original did), this allows for more concentration on the action that is taking place. It also introduces its characters fast and with ease and then immediately gets things going.

Also notable are the main performances of the head stewardess, Karen Black, and the pilot who is sent to land the plane, Charlton Heston. Both are compelling, professionally executed, and believable. You may also notice the return of George Kennedy’s character, Joe Patroni, who has now been promoted from chief mechanic in the original “Airport” to Airline Vice President here in “Airport 1975”. The special effects aren’t bad for its time either, although some of those exterior shots may appear a bit flawed. Overall, the sequel to “Airport” has enough action and drama to keep your attention piqued for two hours. Add it to your worthy sequel list.

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