This summer has seen a lot of great films celebrate big anniversaries. Jaws is 35, Psycho is 50, The Blues Brothers is 30 ... the list just keeps going. Another classic film is celebrating its third decade in existence today, Airplane -- one of the best zany comedy spoof films of all time. Hard to believe it's been three decades since Leslie Nielsen first uttered the line "I am serious -- and don't call me Shirley." The film has aged well in the intervening years and the producers of modern day films like Epic Movie would be advised to spend time with this Zucker-Abrams-Zucker flick to see how it should be done.
In celebration of the film's birthday, website Mental Floss has come up with an Airplane quiz -- 11 questions guaranteed to test your knowledge about one of the funniest movies in history. And since every good quiz deserves an epic cram session beforehand, here are some fun facts from IMDb about the film to get you in the right frame of mind.
- Both David Letterman and Barry Manilow were considered for the role of Ted Striker
- Kareem Abdul Jabbar's part was originally going to be played by Pete Rose, but the scheduling didn't work out. Jabbar was paid $35,000 -- enough to buy a new Oriental rug.
- The film was shot in 34 days and cost $3.5 million.
- In a 2008 interview on Today, Peter Graves explains that he was actually offended by the script at first. Friends and colleagues convinced him to take the part.
- Graves, Stack, Bridges, and Nielsen were all selected because they had serious actor personas. This added one more level to the satire.