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Five Famous Flights in Film

Transportation in films is something that is always important. Be it by foot, beast, car, train, or airplane, it is used as a motif in hundreds if not thousands of films. Here’s a list taking a look at five memorable flights in cinematic history.

Our 5 Favorite Flights in Film

    • Airplane!
      In Flight MealReleased in 1980, this comedy has stood the test of time in spectacular fashion. With a cast featuring Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the movie follows the antics that take place on a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago after most of the passengers and crew get food poisoning.Some would say that this movie has gotten funnier since it came out, and it is often featured on lists of the top 100 comedy films. In 2010, 30 years after its release, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. If for some reason you haven’t seen “Airplane!”, you might want to get on that.


    • The Right Stuff
      Travel FilmsYou could say the 1983 film “The Right Stuff” has a case of “The Shining” syndrome, as the author of the book it was based on was not pleased with the final movie. Audiences, however accepted and loved it. The movie is based on the lives of the test pilots who were trying to break the sound barrier, and later become the fastest men on earth.The story focuses on the events that took place at Edwards Air Force Base leading up to the first manned missions into space. With well developed characters, good special effects, clever writing, and great acting, “The Right Stuff” clearly has what it takes to earn a seat in the first class section of your Netflix Queue.
    • Almost Famous
      Travel MoviesWhile most of this movie takes place on the bus (Doris), the stage, or a hotel, the scene that takes place in Stillwater’s (the fictional band featured in the film) private jet is one of the most memorable and hilarious in the film, and is also a key turning point.During the flight, the plane encounters some severe turbulence, which causes each of the bands members to confess their biggest secrets, thus ending the “smooth ride” they had been on for a while. After the flight safely lands, the band returns to its roots with the No More Airplanes Tour ’74.


    • Inception
      Movies About TravelThe awesomeness that takes place on an international flight from Sydney to Los Angeles is filled with things that sci-fi fans dream of. It would be easy to forget that most of the movie takes place only in the mind of people on a flight, as the imagery and CGI dream world that director Christopher Nolan created is quite convincing.While shots do take us back to the cabin of the flight, it’s that the plot inside the minds that rules the story.


  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
    Humpback WhaleNo one said this list had to be earthly flights, right? This surprisingly funny Star Trek movie features the crew of the U.S.S Federation Enterprise going back in time to 1986, in search of humpback whales. The whales are needed because an alien probe destroying everything in its path wants to speak with them, so the crew slingshot around the sun to travel backwards through time. Yes, really.The cast, led by William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, does a great job at getting into some sticky situations. Fortunately for the viewer, the outcome equals hilarious one-liners. We even get to see Spock (Leonard Nimoy) do a Vulcan nerve pinch on a genuine 80’s punk rocker.

There have been countless films with famous flights, can you name any? Here’s five more we left off the list: Top Gun, Con Air, Flight of the Navigator, Apollo 13, and Air Force One.

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One Response to Five Famous Flights in Film

  1. Catey says:

    Great list Hans! Let’s see….don’t shoot the messenger here ok? The first Transformers movie has a great scene on Air Force one..does that count? What about We are Marshall? I know it’s depressing that they all die on the plane but what a great movie! Does Independence Day count as that flight with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum is..well kind of funny anyway. I know it is not a movie but I cannot help but mention the Airport episode of Seinfeld…Elaine gets stuck in Coach while Jerry rides first class….it’s hilarious.

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