Mr. Phillip Stevens is flying in a load of V.I.P.s to the grand opening of his art collection when a trio of hijackers knock out the passengers with gas and try to steal the priceless cargo of art treasures. But everything goes wrong for the hijackers when the 747 crashes in the Bermuda triangle. While the passengers remain alive in the shallow water, a daring rescue operation is planned to bring the plane up without breaking it in two.
The classiest cast of the “Airport” sequels and most serious.
Landing after the TV sitcom-level cast/plot of “Airport 1975”, but arriving before the ludicrous “The Concorde-Airport ’79” is this slick disaster film entry. Featuring Oscar-winning and nominated stars like Lemmon, Grant, de Havilland, Quinlan, Kennedy and Stewart, it also offers one of the best caliber casts of the ’70’s disaster cycle. There is no deep thinking involved in watching the film, but it does offer some watery thrills and some fun thrashing around as the plane first skips along the surface of the water and then slips under. Suspense builds as the pressure continues to wreak havoc on the plane’s outer skin and, unusually for an “Airport” film, pretty many lives are claimed! The death toll in this film is higher than the other three combined. It’s great to see so many once and future stars flopping around in the underwater tomb, but the main attraction is Lee Grant. Clocking in with only about a dozen or so total minutes of screen time, she is utterly hilarious and unforgettable as a shrewish, boozy, sarcastic lush. No one is safe from her rude, brash comments and she is a joy to behold for bad-move connoisseurs. Her husband in the film is Christpher Lee. Fortunately, they didn’t marry offscreen or she would have become Lee Lee, but that’s another story…….