aka CONCORDE AFFAIRE '79, S.O.S. CONCORDE, CONCORDE INFERNO
(Italy - 1979)
Directed by Roger Deodato (Ruggero Deodato). Written by Ernesto Gastaldi and Renzo Genta. Cast: James Franciscus, Mimsy Farmer, Van Johnson, Joseph Cotten, Mario Maranzana, Venantino Venantini, Mag Fleming (Fiamma Maglione), Edmund Purdom, Francisco Charles, Ottaviano dell'Acqua, Renzo Marignano, Robert Kerman, Robert Spafford, Goffredo Unger, John P. Dulaney, John Stacy, Michael Gaunt, Jake Teague, Dakar, Marie Claude Joseph. (Unrated, 96 mins)
Universal's AIRPORT franchise, along with blockbusters like THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (1972) and THE TOWERING INFERNO (1974) were the building blocks of the '70s disaster film cycle, so, as had happened in the same decade with a flood of GODFATHER and EXORCIST clones, it was inevitable that the Italians would have to make their own version of a disaster movie. And, in true exploitation fashion, Ruggero Deodato's CONCORDE AFFAIR was rushed through production quickly and cheaply and beat its big-budget counterpart (THE CONCORDE: AIRPORT '79, the final film in the franchise) to European screens by several months. Despite featuring more American stars than was typical for such fare, CONCORDE AFFAIR never made it into American theaters, though it was acquired in 1983 (four years after its release everywhere else and several years after the disaster craze had died down and been so brilliantly parodied by AIRPLANE! in 1980), by none other than the Weinstein brothers in the early days of Miramax. But they shelved it and it's really only been seen on bootleg VHS and unauthorized DVDs over the years. And now, possibly as part of its deal with Miramax, this little-seen B-movie is now streaming on Netflix.
|James Franciscus and Mimsy Farmer|
Featuring a large cast of name actors and Eurocult mainstays (including a rare on-camera appearance by gravelly-voiced dubbing vet Robert Spafford), and all the familiar dubbing voices, plus hilarious miniatures and a Concorde model surrounded by toy cars in the climax, as well as a Stelvio Cipriani score that features the composer at his most harpsichordy, CONCORDE AFFAIR is mindless entertainment that should please Eurotrash completists. The relative rarity of it, at least for US viewers, is enough to make it a curio title, especially since Netflix streaming has granted it the easiest accessibility it's ever had in America. Their print looks like a 1.33 VHS transfer, cropped down from its original 2.35--not ideal, but given the circumstances, it's better than nothing.
Trailer for French release, titled S.O.S. CONCORDE