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The Big One: The Great Los Angeles Earthquake (1990)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 11 November 1990
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 ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(story), (story) | 5 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dr. Clare Winslow
...
...
Anita Parker
...
...
Matt
...
Chad Spaulding
...
Heather Winslow
...
David Motubu
Stephen Elliott ...
Owen
...
Warren Cates
...
Roy Bryant
Silvana Gallardo ...
Sonia
...
Larry, the Mayor's City Official Aide
Charles Siebert ...
Mayor Frank Baldwin
...
Ray Goodrich
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Storyline

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 <jprice@olemiss.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The BIG one....is coming! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Los Angeles Earthquake  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video) | (original) | (3 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Claire opens her trunk after the quake, the "boulder" would have been too heavy for her to open it. However, she does open the trunk and when she closes the trunk, the "boulder" is still in the same position. It should have slid down when the trunk was open. See more »

Quotes

Kevin Conrad: [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]
See more »

Connections

Edited into Epicenter (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

A Seismologist's Viewpoint
6 June 2002 | by (Azusa, Los Angeles County, CA) – See all my reviews

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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