'Airplane!' is more than a spoof, it's a comedic remake of a 1957 film

"Surely, you can't be serious!" It's pretty well-known that the 1980s comedy classic Airplane! spoofs airplane-disaster films, but this scene-by-scene comparison video shows just how much it borrows from one film in particular. Specifically, it draws heavily from Zero Hour!, a black-and-white drama from 1957. Notice it's more of a remake than a spoof.

In fact, the writers of Airplane!—Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker—bought the rights to Zero Hour! despite having spoofer's rights. They did this to ensure they could legally use and adapt elements from the original film, which included not just the plot but also specific lines and scenes. [via vintagemovieads]

The film was written by Arthur Hailey, who was also behind the Airport movies that were also part of the inspiration for Airplane!. ZAZ actually bought the rights to Zero Hour!, which allowed them to literally remake a great number of scenes — they didn't just use the script, but copied staging, camera angles and everything.


Previously: Airplane, minus all the jokes