Airport 1970,

Minute 100: When You Get Older

December 16, 2016

Guest Host: David de Vries

Actor, director, audiobook narrator and voice-over artist, David shares his extensive knowledge of the acting and directing crafts with us this week as we examine two powerhouse actors go at it on a simple set. Find out more about David’s work at


Ada is explaining to Captain Harris why she boarded a flight to Rome when she wanted to go to New York. Ada says that, according to the schedule, the next flight back from Rome “is to New York, and it’s your Number Five, and I thought they’d — want to get rid of me quickly, so they’d put me on that plane.”

Captain Harris suppresses a laugh.

“Mrs. Quonsett,” says Vern, “if you help us, I promise you that you’ll get to take trips to New York, First Class.”

“Oh,” says Ada, “Thank you.” Ada is very puzzled. “How can I help?”

“Well, Mrs. Quonsett – now, whatever happened back there, just now,” says Vern, pointing at the cabin door, “you can forget. That’s not the reason you were brought here.” Ada doesn’t know what to make of any of this.

Gwen leans in. “Mrs. Quonsett,” begins Gwen, “I hope I didn’t hurt you.”

“No, no,” says Ada, then ponders her response. “… not much,” she adds.

“Ma’am,” says Vern, “Are you frightened easily?”

“No,” says Ada. “I get nervous sometimes, but not as much as I used to. When you get older, there isn’t a lot left to be frightened of.”

“Good,” says Vern. “Alright now: you listen very carefully –”

A voice on the radio interrupts: “Global Two, this is Toronto Center. Your position is fifteen miles east of Kleinburg intersection. Say altitude.”

The scene shifts to Mel’s office. Mel, Tanya, Bert Wetherby, and Harry Standish are huddled around Mel’s aircraft radio.

Anson Harris responds to Toronto Center’s question. “Level at two-eight-zero. Request continued slow descent.”

“Roger, Global Two,” replies Toronto Center. “What altitude do you wish?”

“Request flight level two-one-zero,” says Harris.

“Roger,” says Toronto Center. “Continue slow descent. Maintain flight level two-”


In this minute

Jacqueline Bisset as Gwen Meighan
Dean Martin as Vernon Demerest
Barry Nelson as Anson Harris
Gary Collins as Cy Jordan
Helen Hayes as Ada Quonsett
Burt Lancaster as Mel Bakersfeld
Jean Seberg as Tanya Livingston
Lloyd Nolan as Harry Standish
Clark Howat as Bert Wetherby



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