Based on the novel by Arthur Hailey, over-produced by Ross Hunter with a cast of stars as long as a jet runway, and adapted and directed by George Seaton in a glossy, slick style, Airport is a handsome, often dramatically involving $10 million epitaph to a bygone brand of filmmaking.
However, the ultimate dramatic situation of a passenger-loaded jet liner with a psychopathic bomber aboard that has to be brought into a blizzard-swept airport with runway blocked by a snow-stalled plane actually does not create suspense because the audience knows how it’s going to end.
As the cigar chomping, bull boss of the maintenance men, George Kennedy gives a strong portrayal. But here again there’s not a moment of plot doubt that he is going to get that stuck plane cleared off the runway in time for the emergency landing.
1970: Best Supp. Actress (Helen Hayes).
Nominations: Best Picture, Supp Actress (Maureen Stapleton),Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Art Direction, Editing, Original Score, Sound