Zero Hour, The 1957 Film That Airplane! Was Based On

The pilot and co-pilot are struck ill with food-poisoning. The only man on board with any flying experience is a veteran who is haunted by a fatal mistake he made the last time he flew a plane. Lives hang in the balance. The crew on the ground nervously try to talk him through safely landing the plane in a horrible storm as his fuel supply dwindles.

If the plot of this 1957 film seems familiar, it’s likely because the comedy classic Airplane! parodies it in detail. The makers of the 1980 comedy actually bought the rights to Zero Hour, so they could use the script as the basis for their film. In fact they left many lines in verbatim from the original screenplay–which you can find online here. The video above shows a shot-by-shot comparison between scenes from the two films. Below are the trailers for your contrasting amusement:

The trailer for Zero Hour:

The trailer for Airplane!:

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