I have now completed the Airport cycle; Airport, Airport ’75 and Airport ’77 so you won’t have to. Here are the take aways:
Airport: This frames the argument for airport expansion, due to the coming age of jumbo jets, and showcases the durability and technical power of the Boeing 707. We also see that leading men did not use sunscreen back then (Dean Martin, or hobo?), airports were tidy and service-oriented (attendants in rest rooms), and everybody dressed nicely.
Airport ’75: The jumbo jets have arrived, and now we need to be shown how safe the planes are, and how easy they are to fly, so that we won’t be afraid of them. Charlton Heston (or hobo? still not quite there with the sunscreen) is able to talk fight attendant Karen Black through the task of flying the 747. The cast includes a mixed bag of old film stars and current TV performers (Myrna Loy, Larry Storch) along with the aforementioned Heston, who comes across like a jerk.
Airport ’77: They had run out of messages for the air travelling consumer, so this one shows us the military’s marvelous search and rescue capabilities. Maybe this was an argument for maintaining their war-footing defense spending following the end of hostilities. The cast is more heavily weighted towards the TV stars, and there’s some nostalgia value here – I hadn’t seen Monte Markham in several decades. A Netflix reviewer said:
It’s Airport 77; set your expectations at that level and enjoy the kitsch and all-star cast as they move embarrassingly from one dramatically inert scene to the next!
The styles changed by 1977; not too much tie-wearing, and colorful polyester is widely used.