(Second review) (Very much like the first one!) Every once in a while a movie comes along that changes everything. The Birth of a Nation was one. It changed the very size of movies. This one, I think, changed what comedy movies could be. There were many imitators after it, including Airplane II: The Sequel, and the Naked Gun series, but none of them could ever be as startling and amazing as the original. It’s like the first Star Wars, you can never recapture that sense of awe and wonder as the gigantic Imperial Battle Cruiser passed over your head. We had never seen a comedy where jokes came so fast and furious. Some of them were not what you would call great. No problem, just wait ten seconds and there would be another one.
There were so many things that made it all work, and the biggest one was the casting of famous stiffs like Lloyd Bridges (“I picked the wrong day to give up sniffing glue!”), Peter Graves (“Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?”), Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielson. Seeing these guys and hearing them deliver the ridiculous lines perfectly deadpan … well, it was terrific, and provided Nielson with a whole new career late in life.
When I left the theater, my abdominal muscles were actually hurting from laughing so hard. It is simply one of the funniest movies ever made. Surely you’re kidding, I hear you say. No, I’m dead serious. And don’t call me Shirley.