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?
I'm sittin' in the balcony with you "At The Movies," dear friend! In case you're wondering where I get that phrase, it comes from the Eddie Cochran single "Sittin' In The Balcony," a top 20 hit in the U.S. and #23 in Canada in the summer of 1957. Do you remember it?
We may stop lovin' to watch Bugs Bunny
But he can't take the place of my honey
Just a-sittin' in the balcony
Just a-smootchin' in the balcony
Just a-sittin' in the balcony, on the very last row
Just a huggin' and a-kissin' with my baby on the very last row
I haven't seen San Francisco. I love the disaster movie genre, but don't like films that contain a lot of singing and dancing. Therefore, if I were to watch Frisco, I'd probably skip to the last reel when the action starts. The disaster scenes look exciting and realistic.
The scenes depicting people caught in the path of a violent volcanic eruption in Krakatoa: The Last Days are terrifying. Shirley it's like being near ground zero when an atomic bomb detonates. Equally disconcerting is the sight of palm trees being mowed down by a wall of water coming toward people in The Impossible. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the best thing those people in the hotel swimming pool could have done instead of trying to climb out and scramble to safety, would have been to merely duck under the water and let the powerful wave pass above them. The tsunami is a mysterious and frightening phenomenon and I wouldn't want to face one.
I'm gonna name Twister (1996) the Helen Hunt - Bill Paxton film executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Next on my list of natural disaster films are two Bee movies (see what I did there?) - Killer Bees, a 1974 made-for-TV horror flick starring Gloria Swanson, and The Swarm (1978) produced and directed by Irwin Allen who gave us the disaster movies The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno. Finally there's Sharknado #1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9. :)
Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend BB!
Oh you can watch SAN Francisco and easily fast forward through Jeannette singing and still enjoy the film. It is more a drama with musical interludes than anything else. You will like Krakatoa and The Impossible as well. I am not a Twister fan and find Helen Hunt really irritating as well as the goons who work with her. Funny Anecdote, There is a 4 screen drive-in near me. They were showing Twister on the big screen when the screen got ruined...by a Twister! No one was hurt which is good news. I love that you chose the bee movies with Gloria Swanson and Kate Jackson. Poor Olivia gets stung to death...have to love these flicks.Delete
Hi Birgit, now I have seen San Francisco, and loved it, especially the rendering of Jerusalem. Not seen the others though.ReplyDelete
I do like A Night to Remember about the sinking of the Titanic, much better in my opinion than the Kate Winslet one, even although it was a lavish production. I also like Earthquake, cos of Chuck Heston and Towering Inferno, Kate x
Glad you like my picks. I didn’t choose A Night To Remember because it is not a natural disaster to me...due to human error and arrogance. I love this film thoughwhich is so much better than The Love Boat Sinking.. Earthquake is another fun flick and who doesn’t love those huge car phones.? The Towering Inferno is a great flicker but again not natural..human error. Love the k Vie though.Delete
Gosh Brigit I hadn't thought of that and you're quite right of course. I don't know if I would call The Perfect Storm a disaster movie, but it's one that terrifies me, and it was certainly a disaster for George Clooney and his crew, It's a film I can''t watch again, Kate xDelete
I have not seen your first two, but my very first thought was The Impossible. Great minds, lol...ReplyDelete
Yes!!, great minds for sure.Delete
I've heard a lot of good things about The Impossible. I need to watch it.ReplyDelete
Independence Day was a fun disaster film. So was Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane. (And even the Godzilla movies are listed as disaster films.) I guess monster invasion qualifies as a disaster.
Yes you must watch The Impossible! Who doesn’t love GodzillaDelete
This is one of my favorite film categories. They can get schlocky at times for sure, but that's part of the fun.ReplyDelete
Haven't seen Krakatoa but that's a good story that I'd like to see on film. I've seen other treatments of this disaster but there's always room for another disaster movie I think.
The other two picks I enjoyed a great deal and they are good choices.
So many that I could choose from so I'll just grab a few floating in my brain:
Key Largo--maybe not one most people would think of but it does take place during a hurricane and it's a great film.
Dante's Peak--I thought this film had some excellent scenes of volcanic eruptions and related aftermaths.
2012--yeah, I know, but I'm a sucker for this sort of film. This had some pretty cool effects that have become so run of the mill in movies and TV shows now. Still I did like this film.
Tossing It Out
I like be your picks and so many are schlocky but that’s what makes them fun. I love that you chose Key Largo and I almost went that way. Seeing Lionel Barrymore stand knowing in how much pain he was in just made me admire him at that moment. I just watched Dante’ Peak which is much better than the other volcano flick of the same year. It’s a fun flick and 2012 ..yeah beyond dumb but we all have our favourite flicks like that.Delete
I remember the tsunami... horrifying and devastating. The Impossible was a really good movie. Very emotional.ReplyDelete
The Impossible really captures the horrors of that disaster.Delete
I haven't seen any of them. I don't go for disaster films usually, so I probably won't see them. I have been through a few earthquakes, but nothing like 1906 San Francisco.ReplyDelete
Yes, you live in earthquake territory and I hope you never have to deal with a big earthquakeDelete
The Impossible is popular today. I need to check that one out. I've also been wanting to see San Francisco for a while.ReplyDelete
It is popular and a good film. Love SAN FranciscoDelete
More movies I haven't seen.ReplyDelete
I hope you see The Impossible which is so good.Delete
Hmmm...I haven't heard of these movies before, but they all sound interesting!ReplyDelete
I hope you see them.Delete
I was thisclose to picking San Francisco! I'm pretty sure I've used it before and I decided to go another way but it is a very entertaining picture. When I watch I usually think of Judy Garland's intro to the title song "I never will forget Jeannette MacDonald...just to think of her it gives my heart a pang....I never will forget how that brave Jeannette just stood there in the ruins and sang!...aaannnddd sang!" :-)
The Impossible is a very fine movie but not one I've ever felt the pull to watch again. Just too horrifying. I remember the tsunami oh so clearly as well.
I haven't seen this take on Krakatoa though it sounds intriguing, on the list it goes, but I have seen the 60's adventure flick Krakatoa: East of Java with Diane Baker. It's a hoot and wildly inaccurate beginning with the fact that Krakatoa is West of Java!
So many choices but I've used so many before so based on the idea of Earth, Wind and Fire I chose one for each but the disaster isn't the main thrust of the story, it does make a huge impact on them each when they occur though.
The Colossus of Rhodes (1961)-Soldier Darios (Rory Calhoun) arrives on the Isle of Rhodes during the Hellenistic period to finds King Serse (Roberto Camardiel) has commissioned a larger-than-life statue of Apollo (destined to be one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World) meant to protect the harbor. Upon meeting master builder Carete (Félix Fernández), who has been commissioned to erect the statue Darios falls in love with his daughter Diala (Léa Massari). Through their alliance Darios also becomes involved with Peliocles (Georges Marchal) and his rebel force who seek to overthrow the tyrannical king. As a revolt foments a massive earthquake lays waste to nearly all.
Tornado (1943)-Coal miner Pete Ramsey (Chester Morris) has a whirlwind romance with rapacious showgirl Victory Kane (Nancy Kelly) who is passing through town and impulsively marries her. Social climbing Victory pushes Pete to work his way up in the company to enter a high tax bracket but still unsatisfied takes up with Gary Linden (Morgan Conway), the philandering son of the mine owner behind Pete’s back. As matters come to a crisis point the title tornado blows into town and coal isn’t the only thing to hit the fan.
Red Skies of Montana (1952)-After a tragic incident that resulted in the loss of his crew smokejumper Cliff Mason (Richard Widmark), unable to recall the event, is fearful that cowardice might have been at fault. Though cleared though an investigation he is determined to prove himself again especially since one man's son, Ed Miller (Jeffrey Hunter), suspects Cliff was responsible for his father's death. When a canyon wildfire breaks out Ed pursues Cliff there for a confrontation but when they become trapped Cliff must take desperate measures to save them both.
I have her Carnegie album and laughed so hard when she started off about poor Jeannette. Jeannette is good in this film without Nelson Eddy and I love this film even though it went heavy with MGM religious overtones, The Impossible is. Tough one. I bet you will like this Krakatoa which is more documentary than a regular film. I love it. I have not seen any of your picks!!i have to see them and hope they get some airtime n what I watch since I don’t have TCM.Delete
As usual, I haven't seen or even heard of any of these films. However, I really enjoyed reading your reviews. I thought of Twister because I live in Kansas and they are quite prevalent here.ReplyDelete
I had two friends who left the day before the tsunami hit Indonesia. They flew to Mexico to continue their vacation and were horrified to see they had been in that very area where it hit. They considered themselves very lucky to be alive and safe.
I am so scared of seeing an actual twister because they just look so evil. Wow!! Your friends are so lucky and must have wondered what guardian angel was watching over them.Delete
Wow - Birgit, these last two look very intense and remarkably well done. The children in them are precious. Sometimes the best way to pay tribute to such a catastrophe, I think, is to create a beautiful work of art like these.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the share.
The kids in both these films are excellent and are just kids in horrible situations.Delete
Hi Birgit. Of these the only one I have seen is The Impossible, and I agree that it is a brilliant film. I wasn't affected by the tsunami but from my outsider's opinion it seems to have been told in a sensitive way, especially considering I know Watts consulted the family she was portraying.ReplyDelete
You recommended San Francisco to me for my '50 greatest Classic Hollywood screen legends' list so hopefully I'll get to see it soon.
It is a great film about that horrible tsunami. Have you watched any of the picks I chose??Delete
San Francisco sounds good AND I love Tracy and Gable.ReplyDelete
Take care and have a pain free day.
Tracy and Gable had a great chemistry on screen and were paired more than once. Pain is bad.Delete
I came across The Impossible while I was researching for this week but I didn't know it was about the 2004 tsunami.ReplyDelete
Oh, yes, it is and it so so well acted and the special effects are greatDelete
Those are interesting choice! I haven't seen any of those movies, and even only heard of the last one.ReplyDelete
They are all good in their own way. F you want more of a documentary style, you can’t beat Krakatoa.Delete
San Francisco was popular last week! We match on the Impossible, that story was incredible and I cried so much.ReplyDelete
So was The Day After Tomorrow. The all star casts almost always are schlocky but so much fun. Yes, The Impossible is heart wrenching and tense.Delete
Wow, definitely not my area! The only one I could think of was Twister and someone already claimed that one. Maybe if I think outside the box...ReplyDelete
Wizard of Oz
Joe vs. the Volacano
I no longer participate in TMP but I still enjoy checking out people's posts. Wow, you have two about Indonesia that I actually haven't seen even though I'm originally from Jakarta, Indonesia (but been living in the States for more than half my life).ReplyDelete
KRAKATOA: THE LAST DAYS-2006 sounds interesting but I don't think I can watch THE IMPOSSIBLE as that tsunami hits too close to home and it's pretty recent.