After a series of small tremors in Los Angeles, Dr. Clare Winslow, a local seismologist, pinpoints the exact location and time of when the long awaited earthquake--"The Big One"--will ...
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David James Elliott,
After a series of small tremors in Los Angeles, Dr. Clare Winslow, a local seismologist, pinpoints the exact location and time of when the long awaited earthquake--"The Big One"--will strike southern California. With this information, she must battle city officials to release this information to the general public. Also, she hopes that her family is out of harms way when the quake strikes. Subplots show how other families and people cope with the the tremors that strike before the impending "Big One."Written by
John R. Price <email@example.com>
Following the final scene, a list of US cities threatened by earthquakes is shown. "According to the US Geological Survey, at least 39 states other than California are expected to experience major earthquakes in the future" Some of the cities that will be hardest hit include: Anchorage 9.2 Boston 6.5 Charleston 8.0 Memphis 8.0 New York City 6.5 Portland 9.0 Reno 7.0 St Louis 8.0 Salt Lake City 7.0 Seattle 9.0 "No city is currently as prepared as the city of Los Angeles." See more »
South African Trade Minister David Motubu, a black man, could not have held any political office in South Africa during the apartheid era, which did not end until four years after the movie was made. See more »
[choking back sobs]
The injuries are in the... hundreds of thousands! The deaths... The deaths... are in the... tens... this must be the worst national disaster since the Civil War. I'm sorry!
[he shakes his head and turns away as the screen goes to snow]
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When the NBC-TV network premiered this film over two nights in November 1990, NBC News added earthquake safety tips and news information at the end of each night of the miniseries. The information was provided because of the potential for deadly quakes at other fault lines in the USA and in particular reference to the New Madrid Earthquake Zone in the central USA which was predicted to quake on December 3, 1990. See more »
Unfortunately, there was never any such thing, scientifically speaking, as a "good" earthquake movie. Though located smack in the middle of Earthquake Country, Hollywood has reflected the unfortunate ignorance of millions of residents. Most of the monster quakes that devastate Los Angeles in the movies are on the San Andreas Fault, 50 miles from downtown at its closest approach--again, parrotting the common myth that this is where the next "Big One" will come from. "The Big One" is a refreshing departure from this illconcieved mold. Though by no means a great movie, it zeroes in on the fact that there are faults criss-crossing the Los Angeles Basin that could cause major damage without being a "monster." In many ways, it was an unintended preview of the Northridge earthquake in 1994--the movie's quake was centered on the Elysian Park fault, which is a blind thrust fault that runs under downtown Los Angeles, while Northridge was also on a blind thrust fault under the San Fernando Valley. Though the seismology "details" were typical movie fare--foreshocks, unexplained geologic occurrences, and a doomsday prediction by a scientist that everyone else tries to silence (or at least ignore), it does demonstrate that something like this could happen in a much more believable scenario. It is not a "great" earthquake movie, but it is certainly an improvement.
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