Airport 1970,

Minute 045: A Nice Round Figure

September 30, 2016

Guest Host: Brett Stillo

Brett Stillo loves movies. He loves to watch them, discuss them, write about them, and work on them. His new short film, “Swing Shift,” was recently accepted for the 2016 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon.

Brett has tumbled head-first into the world of minute-movie podcasts, joining forces with Josh Horowitz of the Wing Kong to bring you “5 Minutes of Trouble,” a weekly podcast that examines John Carpenter’s cult classic five minutes at a time.


Commissioner Ackerman and Mel Bakersfeld are meeting in an conference room. Several dozen chairs sit empty in the room, next to a large map and model of a proposed, future airport. Ackerman tells Mel he was just about to have him paged.  Mel explains that he had to go out to the field.

“We’ve got trouble, Mel,” says Ackerman. “I just talked to the lawyer for those Meadow Wood people, and he says unless we stop planes from taking off over their houses by midnight, he’s starting a damage suit first thing in the morning – – for ten million dollars.”

Mel removes a cigarette from a pack he’s holding, and runs his finger across the cigarette. “That’s a nice, round figure, “says Mel. He takes a seat. “But he hasn’t got a prayer.” Burt sticks the cigarette in his mouth.

“He might not win, but he can sue,” says Ackerman. “And any legal action will only make our public relations worse than they already are. And that’s something the other commissioners and I don’t want to risk.”

Mel lights his cigarette and takes a drag off it. “Then what do you propose to do about it?” asks Mel.

“Well, there’s only one answer,” says Ackerman. “Shut down Runway Two Two and cut out the noise over Meadow Wood.”

“With Two Niner out,” says Mel, “that means closing down the airport completely.”

“Only until morning,” says Ackerman. “After all, you’ve promised them dozens of times you wouldn’t disturb their sleep.”

“I promised them we wouldn’t take off over their houses,” says Mel, “unless there was an emergency. And I promised them something else:  in the foreseeable future, the noise problem would not get any better.”

“Well,” says Ackerman, “If you don’t want to spend a couple of months in court, you’d better start conning them a little.”

“You think lying to them is the answer?” asks Mel.


In this minute

Burt Lancaster as Mel Bakersfeld
Larry Gates as Commissioner Ackerman



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