Like a lot of sane, intelligent people with good taste, the movie Airplane! makes it to my Top 5 funniest movies of all time. Also like a lot of people, I was vaguely aware that the Zucker Brothers’ movie was based on previous ‘airplanes in peril’ films — but I was never aware of how closely it is based on one of them.
Zero Hour! — the movie in question — was made in 1957, directed by Hall Bartlett, and written by Arthur Hailey (who was more famous for his novel Airport and the many movies that spun off from it). The similarities to Airplane! aren’t just limited to the exclamation point in the title, however, and some wonderful person on the internet has put together this great video comparing the scenes of the two with the same lines: