7.0/10
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180 user 81 critic

Miracle Mile (1988)

A young man hears a chance phone call telling him that a nuclear war has started and missiles will hit his city in 70 minutes.

Director:

Steve De Jarnatt
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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Edwards ... Harry Washello
Mare Winningham ... Julie Peters
John Agar ... Ivan Peters
Lou Hancock ... Lucy Peters
Mykelti Williamson ... Wilson (as Mykel T. Williamson)
Kelly Jo Minter ... Charlotta (as Kelly Minter)
Kurt Fuller ... Gerstead
Denise Crosby ... Landa
Robert DoQui ... Fred the Cook (as Robert Doqui)
O-Lan Jones ... Waitress
Claude Earl Jones ... Harlan
Alan Rosenberg ... Mike
Danny De La Paz Danny De La Paz ... Transvestite
Earl Boen ... Drunk Man in Diner
Diane Delano ... Stewardess
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Storyline

A young man meets and falls in love with a young woman at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. This area is known as Miracle Mile, and the whole movie takes place there. They make a date, which he misses, and while he is searching for her, he accidentally finds out that we (the United States) are about to start a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. He frantically searches for her so that they can escape Los Angeles. Written by Mark Logan <marklo@west.sun.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There are 70 minutes to the end of the world. Where can you hide? See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 May 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Nacht der Entscheidung See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$341,401, 21 May 1989

Gross USA:

$1,145,404

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,145,404
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Crispin Glover auditioned for the voice of Chip. See more »

Goofs

On the phone in the booth when Chip told Harry the code to nuclear war, he said that the code was, "Thor Arthur 66ZZD." In the diner when Landa asked Harry to repeat the conversation, he said the code was, "Thor Arthur 66"DD"Z". See more »

Quotes

Harry Washello: [on police radio] Hello what are the latest on the evacuation plans?
Radio Cop: Please identify yourself.
Harry Washello: This is Mr. Peters with the Atomic Energy Commission.
Radio Cop: What?
Harry Washello: We have a Code Arthur situation, haven't you been informed?
Radio Cop: We have nothing at all in the headquarters, sir. What's the source of your information?
Harry Washello: [puts radio down] They don't know yet!
Wilson: Is that what it is? A meltdown?
Harry Washello: Yeah, it is.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end, the sound of an air-raid siren plays. See more »

Alternate Versions

A little-seen preview version of the film included a special effect of two diamonds hovering after the nuclear explosion, just preceding the end credits. In the theatrical version and subsequent DVD release from MGM, the diamonds do not appear following the nuclear blast, rather the credits simply roll. See more »

Connections

Features Cosmos (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

The best real-time thriller ever made
22 September 2004 | by justinedgarSee all my reviews

Miracle Mile is one of my favourite films -I know it has its rough edges but I fell in love the first time I saw it at the University of Portsmouth film society ten years ago. I can't quite understand why though.

It belongs to the genre of suspense films called real-time thrillers -Hitchcock's Rope and Nick of Time are other examples. These are films which explore the very nature of film as a time-based medium. Usually the device is used in suspense movies, but has become popular recently in art house cinema like Timecode and Russian Ark.

The set-up is simple -after a day when he has fallen in love at first sight, Harry Washello randomly answers a ringing phone at a phone booth. The call is a wrong number from a soldier stationed at a nuclear silo. He is trying to warn his father that a nuclear strike has been launched and the US will be face a retaliatory attack in eighty minutes time. From then on, the action is played out in real time.

Unlike the aforementioned examples and the execrable 24, the real time actually works in Miracle Mile. If you sit through it with a stop watch, it only ever drifts out by a few seconds. The real time is essential to holding suspense and sympathy with the characters. Was the phone call for real? We don't know until an unforgettable moment, when the film becomes a race for survival.

There are some great, truly profound images -such as the dying Wilson scrambling up the down escalator with the body of his sister, or Harry and Julie lost in a department store surrounded by ticking clocks. This attention to detail and the bizarrely dark tone of the film elevate it to cult status. It has a soul and an individuality all of its own -can you imagine an episode of 24 ever being scored by Tangerine Dream?

This is a film about chance -the chance of Harry falling in love that day, the chance of him picking up the phone. The chance that effects us all and how we are at the mercy of it. But ultimately it is a very dark love story and perhaps that's why I like it so very much.


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