Yesterday, for my music themes, one of the themes was to choose a song about a natural disaster and today, Wandering Through The Shelves chose natural disaster as the theme for this week. To be honest, I hope I am never in any of the 3 I chose today because it is horrifying yet we love watching disaster movies (Tidal Wave, Earthquake..love those 70s cheesy disaster flicks). Here are my 3...
1. SAN FRANCISCO-1936
When I first saw this as a kid I was taken with the characters and then the amazing special effects which are still used as footage when talking about the famous 1906 earthquake that devastated the city. It stars Clark Gable who owns a dance/entertainment/gambling hall who hires a young lady to be on the stage played by soprano Jeannette MacDonald. Spencer Tracy rounds out the cast as his boyhood friend turned priest who is trying to bring Gable to see the error of his ways. When a very rich man see Jeannette sing, he realizes she should be at the opera house not a pool hall place. Of course she has fallen for Gable and vice versa but Gable's view of sin does not bode well with the pure as driven slush Jeannette. It all comes to a head when the earthquake strikes. This climax of the movie is well worth the watch. The acting is quite good even if I find the religion (it is MGM and Louis B Mayor afterall) a bit heavy handed but it does not take away from quite a good story that involves love, power and redemption.
2. KRAKATOA: THE LAST DAYS-2006
Ok this is from the BBC television but it is still a movie and an excellent one at that played more like a docudrama taking the notes from a Dutch lady who was on the nearby island of Sumatra with her husband who was stationed there. They have 3 children including a new born baby. You also have a captain of a boat with, about 100 passengers who must also deal with the effects and Roger Veerbeek who was on the island of Java studying the volcano becoming friendly with the lighthouse owner, his wife and her son. His studies on this violent eruption brought Volcanology to the forefront. When this Volcano exploded, one could hear the explosion from over 3,000 miles away. You are truly on the edge of your seat knowing what is to come but helpless. You watch them go through the explosion, the pyroclastic flows and a tsunami. It killed over 36,000 people with many thousands more injured and the island left in ruins. the enormous ash cloud changed the skies all over the globe for 5 years. It is well acted and the effects are outstanding.
3. THE IMPOSSIBLE-2012
This film is based on the 2004 tsunami that killed over 227,000 people in indonesia but also India and Africa. The effects of this tsunami was even felt in Australia as well. My one dear friend was staying with me and we just laid on the couch all day watching CNN dumbfounded at the footage, we couldn't take our eyes off of it. Funny that he has visited many of those places since and he was surprised at how much has been cleaned up but the effects are still felt. This film is based on this horrible event taken by a true story of a family that survived the devastation but were separated for days not knowing if the other was alive. It stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as parents to 3 boys who come to Khao Lak in Thailand to enjoy Christmas and New Years as a family. They have no idea what is about to happen and you watch as they are separated, suffer and somehow, against all odds, are reunited. (sorry, spoiler alert, unless you know about the Spanish family who went through the ordeal). The effects are great and, thankfully, before everyone went nuts for CGI which now makes everything look quite fake. This is another must see.
Which 3 films would you choose?