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Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin & Rest of 'Airport' Cast as the Academy Award-Nominated Film Turns 50

Rebelander Basilan
Apr 26, 2020
06:30 P.M.

The film, "Airport," starring Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin, is a memorable film. The disaster-themed movie, which was nominated for an Academy Award, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

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Its story is about a bomb crisis on a plane, leading to an emergency landing on the Lincoln International, a Chicago-based airport. The movie's emphasis is on the interaction of the crew and passengers, as reported by Closer Weekly.

Released in 1970, the film was based on the 1968 novel of Arthur Hailey. The vintage film was a success and became Universal Pictures' biggest movie hit that time.

American Actor Burt Lancaster on the set of television movie "Father and Son," undated photo. | Photo: Getty Images

American Actor Burt Lancaster on the set of television movie "Father and Son," undated photo. | Photo: Getty Images

CRAZY GAMBLE

Producer Ross Hunter called the movie a "poor man's Grand Hotel" and "a soap opera on wings," as reported by the Los Angeles Times. At first, he didn't want to make the movie because he thought nobody wanted to watch an old-fashioned airport movie.

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"The picture cost $10 million, a fortune in those days. The studio would only give me $7 million; I had to raise the rest myself. I guess it was a crazy gamble, but look what happened," Hunter said.

The hit movie had an all-star cast led by Lancaster, Martin, and Jacqueline Bisset. Also included were George Kennedy and Helen Hayes, who eventually won an Oscar award for the best supporting actress.

Photo of Dean Martin as he began an NBC show with Jerry Lewis, circa 1948. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Dean Martin as he began an NBC show with Jerry Lewis, circa 1948. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

BEST SCENE

Hunter also said that one of the best features of the movie was the bomb explosion scene with Martin. The actor insisted on acting in the scene without a stunt double, according to the movie producer. "That was real. George Seaton (the director) said it was the best scene he'd ever filmed," Hunter said.

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The Airport-themed movie was among the choices for Best Picture and Best Sound.

EIGHT NOMINATIONS

The movie earned $200 million worldwide. It also resulted in three other sequels - "Airport 1975," "Airport '77," and "The Concorde: Airport '79."

After the winning moment of Hayes for Best Support Actress, the film was unexpectedly nominated in several categories. The movie got at least eight nominations in the prestigious awards night, according to Oscar's website.

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It was nominated for Best Art Direction, Cinematography, and Costume Design. The 1970 film was also part of the selection for Best Film Editing as well as in Music for the original score.

The Airport-themed movie was among the choices for Best Picture and Best Sound. The film also vied for Best in Writing for screenplay-based on material from another medium.

Dean Martin on the set during filming of "The Dean Martin show" in 1967. | Photo: Getty Images

Dean Martin on the set during filming of "The Dean Martin show" in 1967. | Photo: Getty Images

Because of this movie and many more, Dean Martin, a legendary comedian, is remembered as one of the most memorable performers in the entertainment industry. His legacy will continue through his children.

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