"The Great Los Angeles Earthquake" is a gripping disaster film that was released in 1990. Directed by Larry Elikann, the movie paints a chilling picture of the potential devastation that could be caused by a massive earthquake in Los Angeles. With a star-studded cast led by Joanna Kerns and Dan Lauria, the film was both a critical and commercial success, shedding light on the vulnerabilities of urban centers in seismic zones.
Set against the sprawling backdrop of Los Angeles, the story revolves around seismologist Dr. Clare Winslow (played by Joanna Kerns) who discovers ominous signs of an impending massive earthquake that could decimate the city.
As she races against time to convince the skeptical authorities and the general public of the looming danger, personal and professional challenges add layers of complexity to her mission.
The narrative builds tension as the signs become more evident, culminating in a catastrophic quake that brings the city to its knees. The aftermath of the disaster and the resilience of the Angelenos form the crux of the latter part of the film.
Cast and Characters:
- Joanna Kerns as Dr. Clare Winslow: A dedicated seismologist who stumbles upon the warning signs of the impending earthquake. Her determination to save the city is met with skepticism, but she remains undeterred.
- Dan Lauria as Matt Winslow: Clare's estranged husband, who finds himself drawn back to her as the crisis unfolds. His role as a firefighter adds depth to the narrative, showcasing the frontline challenges during disasters.
- Joe Spano as Steve Winslow: Clare's brother and a news reporter, he plays a pivotal role in disseminating information to the public, bridging the gap between science and the masses.
- Ed Begley Jr. as Jerry Soloway: A city official who initially dismisses Clare's warnings but later becomes an ally in the fight against time.
- Brock Peters as Wendell Teague: A seasoned journalist who aids Steve in his quest to inform the public about the impending disaster.
Where to Stream
Sadly there's is no official website where one can stream this movie at this moment of time. We will update this page as soon as there's any positive update.
"The Great Los Angeles Earthquake" was produced by MCA Television Entertainment (MTE) and was primarily shot in Los Angeles, capturing the essence of the city in its vibrant and diverse settings.
The film's production faced the challenge of realistically depicting the massive scale of destruction that an earthquake of such magnitude would cause.
Through a combination of practical effects, miniatures, and early CGI, the filmmakers were able to create harrowing scenes of devastation that remain impactful even by today's standards.
The film's release was timely, as California had been experiencing a series of minor tremors during that period, heightening the relevance and urgency of the movie's message.
Reception and Awards:
Upon its release, "The Great Los Angeles Earthquake" was lauded for its gripping narrative and realistic portrayal of a natural disaster. Critics praised Joanna Kerns for her compelling performance as Dr. Clare Winslow, noting the depth and authenticity she brought to the role. The film's special effects, especially the earthquake sequences, were a highlight, earning accolades for their realism and intensity.
The movie garnered high television ratings, reflecting its resonance with viewers who were both entertained and educated about the potential dangers of living in seismic zones. While it didn't bag major awards, its cultural impact and continued relevance in discussions about urban preparedness for natural disasters ensure its place in cinematic history.
Trivia and Behind-the-Scenes:
- The film's depiction of the earthquake was so realistic that it was used in several educational programs to demonstrate the effects of a major seismic event.
- Joanna Kerns, known for her role in the sitcom "Growing Pains," took on a more dramatic role in this film, marking a departure from her usual comedic roles.
- The movie's release prompted discussions about earthquake preparedness in urban areas, leading to increased public interest in earthquake safety measures.
- Some of the film's sequences were shot just weeks after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California, adding a layer of authenticity to the production.