Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Concorde Affaire ’79 (1979)

This Italian-made, low-budget adventure film is such a shameless ripoff of the Airport series that the plot combines the premise of one Airport picture (a plane crashes underwater, as in Airport ’77) with that of another (a scheme to sabotage the Concorde, as in The Concorde: Airport ’79). The producers even stole the Airport series trope of ending a title with an abbreviated reference to a year. Yet any similarities to the lavishly produced escapism of the Airport flicks end there: The execution of Concorde Affaire ’79 is inept on every level. The villain of the piece is an evil businessman named Milland (played by the impossibly bored Joseph Cotten), whose company has interests in the air-travel industry. He orders that several Concorde jets be sabotaged in order to throw the whole Concorde line out of operation, thus (in theory) eliminating his main competition. Never mind two big logic problems: 1) Every clue would point to Milland as a suspect, and 2) Wouldn’t all Concordes get grounded after the first couple of suspicious accidents? Anyway, smartass journalist Moses Brody (played by the impossibly tanned James Franciscus) gets assigned to look for a missing Concorde that went down in the Atlantic near Caracas. Yes, the story asks viewers to assume that no one else is looking for the missing airplane. What ensues is an absurd potboiler, with Milland’s agents trying to kill Brody before he learns too much. There’s also some tiresome crap involving a flight attendant (Fiamma Maglione) who survived the Atlantic crash, and a stalwart pilot (Van Johnson) who must land a Concorde that’s been rigged to explode. Suffice to say, the choppy editing ensures that none of this coheres, and the bizarre musical score—electronic disco at one moment, tense classical during the next—adds to the bewildering effect. About the only sequence that works is a very long underwater bit with scuba divers chasing after each other through coral-reef formations. However, those few almost-exciting moments are not nearly reason enough to slog through the mess of confusing storytelling (and terrible dubbing) that comprises Concorde Affaire ’79.

Concorde Affaire ’79: LAME


Peter L. Winkler said...

Joseph COTTEN, please.

By Peter Hanson said...

Oy! Embarrassing that I did that again. Fixed, thanks.

Ross said...

Don’t feel bad ... the movie poster spells out Edmund Purdom’s name Edmund “Purdon"