By Dale Western on 20 October 2014

Made in 1980 and never quite surpassed as one of the greatest films of all time, Airplane! is 34 this year. And it's still comedy gold.

Seeing as we know a fair bit about travel and the mishaps it can bring (shameless plug - our travel insurance is top banana, should the worst happen), we thought we'd list the ten best Airplane! bits. Surely we can't be serious?

1) Randy's song. After managing to maim a handful of passengers when she borrows that nun's guitar and drags it to the front of the plane, Randy then sets about to soothe her passengers' frazzled nerves by singing a stunning version of River of Jordan. The scene would be very touching if Randy's enthusiastic guitar movements stopped knocking out Lisa's IV. Thank heavens they realise their mistake in the end.

2) The old woman who sits next to Ted and tries to calm him. 'Nervous?' she asks, patting his hand. Ted confirms that he is frightened of flying, and the old lady assumes he's a newbie. 'First time?' she coos. 'No, I've been nervous lots of times,' Ted replies, helpfully.

3) Ted's drinking problem. When problems arise between him and Elaine, Ted discovers that he's got an issue with drink - and he starts to mistake his cheeks for his mouth. Hilarity ensues.

4) The instruments. Rex Kramer is having some sort of mini-breakdown when he asks a fellow member of staff how far the plane is - and finds out it's two minutes away. He snaps at a colleague who suggests they could be miles off course, and shouts: "That's impossible. They're on instruments!" Cut to the cockpit, where Elaine, Ted, Randy and Dr Rumack are all jiving away on musical instruments, playing a merry tune.

5) All the reading material. There's a nun reading a magazine called Boy's Life. And a boy reading a copy of Nun's Life. With a windsurfing nun on the cover. On the subject of unsuitable editorial, look out for the magazine stand called 'Whacking Material' when Captain Oveur is on the phone in the terminal, just after the film starts.

6) Johnny's inability to take anything seriously. Johnny from Airplane! is one of the best comedy characters ever created. When he hears a colleague speak about the control tower, he leaps around like a hot frog. "The tower? Rapunzel! Rapunzel!" he squeals.


7) The very polite children that sit next to each other. "Cream?" the boy politely asks, as the girl sips her hot beverage. "No, thank you, I take it black, like my men," she responds quietly.

8) Kramer's boring monologue. When Ted lands the plane safely, Rex Kramer decides that he'd like a little one-on-one time, and settles down with the radio for a chat with Ted in the cockpit. Ted, however, has long since gone, so Kramer is talking to nobody. "Do you know what it's like to fall in the mud and get kicked in the head with an iron boot?" he asks. "Of course you don't, no one does. It never happens. Sorry, Ted, that's a dumb question. Skip that."

9) The two men speaking 'jive'. "Knock yourself a pro slick. Gray matter back got perform' us' down I take TCBin, man," is subtitled as "Don't be naive, Arthur. Each of us faces a clear moral choice."

10) Rex Kramer going temporarily mad. Rex decides to up the stakes when a member of his team suggests a way to get the plane down safely. "No," he murmurs, his eyes glittering madly. "That's just what they'll be expecting us to do!"

Image credit: Airplane! /Facebook

← Hot places to jet off to this October

Hurricane Gonzalo causes travel chaos →