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Twister (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  10 May 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 136,631 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 386 user | 111 critic | 17 from

Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.


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Title: Twister (1996)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Thomson ...


TV weatherman Bill Harding is trying to get his tornado-hunter wife, Jo, to sign divorce papers so he can marry his girlfriend Melissa. But Mother Nature, in the form of a series of intense storms sweeping across Oklahoma, has other plans. Soon the three have joined the team of stormchasers as they attempt to insert a revolutionary measuring device into the very heart of several extremely violent tornados. Written by Martin H. Booda <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Dark Side of Nature. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense depiction of very bad weather | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

10 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Catch the Wind  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$92,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,071,000 (USA) (26 July 1996)


ITL 10,363,429,000 (Italy) (15 November 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The laptops used in the film are Silicon Graphics Indy Presenter LCD screens (not real laptops) that have been modified to look like functional laptops when in fact the screen image is generated by a computer off-screen. See more »


When the camera pans down to young Jo Harding's house during the monster tornado, the trees and windmill are moving in the wind. But in the next scenes, the windmill is absolutely still even though the trees continue to sway. See more »


[after the twister has passed]
Bill: It's gone... it's gone.
Jo: [looking behind them] Where's my truck?
[cut to road; truck crashes to the ground in front of Melissa in Bill's truck]
Melissa: [screams]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The entire end credit roll is superimposed on beauty shots of various landscapes, including some air views of farm fields, as well as views of cloudy skies. See more »


Referenced in Dawson's Creek: Hurricane (1998) See more »


Talula (BT's Tornado Mix)
Written by Tori Amos
Performed by Tori Amos
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The darker side of writing a script for a disaster movie
22 November 2003 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Twister, one of the most successful movies of the 90's, mainly due to it's special effects and a lot of people's want for a natural disaster movie that is fun to watch, this was an extremely popular movie. I was only 11 when the movie was released and I was absolutely in love with it, in fact right after the movie was done, I wanted to become a storm chaser. That's how much I loved this movie; I grew up and forgot about the movie and decided on a new career. But I saw the DVD on sale and thought about how much I enjoyed the movie when I was younger, I'm sure it would be just as much fun to see it again. I have to say this wasn't as awesome as I remembered, in the theater it was like "Oh, my God! Look at that flying cow! A house just flew across the road! That is so cool!", now on my TV screen I was like "Oh, wow, look at that cow. How the heck does a house fly across the road? Why isn't this as cool as I remembered it?" Not to mention that the story wasn't as good as I remembered, granted I know that they had to fit in some kind of story with the whole plot of the twisters, but a lot of this movie is just plain unrealistic.

In June 1969 on an Oklahoma farm a tornado warning is issued, the family seeks shelter in a storm cellar as an F5 tornado strikes. However, the storm is so strong that the locks on the cellar door fail and the father is caught up in the storm and killed as his daughter struggles to catch a glimpse of the powerful storm. Years later, Dr. Jo Harding, the father's daughter, is reunited with her estranged husband; Bill Harding. Bill is a former weather researcher and storm chaser who has taken a job as a weather reporter. He is planning to marry his new girlfriend, Dr. Melissa Reeves, and arrives at Jo's research lab seeking Jo's signature for the final divorce papers. Bill discovers that Jo has built a tornado research device called DOROTHY based upon his own design; the device is designed to release hundreds of sensors into the center of a tornado to study its structure. The team later meets up with Dr. Jonas Miller, a smug and unscrupulous fellow meteorologist and storm chaser. When Bill discovers that Jonas has "invented" a device almost identical to DOROTHY; he vows to help Jo deploy DOROTHY before Miller can claim credit for the idea. Bill and Melissa join Jo and her eccentric team of storm chasers. Tensions rise between Jo and Bill when they have several close calls with dangerous tornadoes as they try unsuccessfully to deploy the new device.

So how does Twister hold up over these years? Not so well, the effects are still amazing, but that's about it. I do have to admit, even though it's a bad movie, I still enjoy it like crazy. I think because if you let go of how unrealistic it is, you can just have fun with that want of destruction and chaos. Granted I know this movie is a bit stupid: our two leads, Bill and Jo, survive the impossible facing an F5 twister, the twisters always disappear as our "hero's" are in danger, Bill's fiancé puts up with quit a bit before realizing that he is a jerk for putting her through all the danger with him, Jo, a scientist, thinks that tornado's are serial killers, and not to mention that this was a record breaking day with numerous twisters. But still as bad as the acting, as bad as the story, as stupid as some of these situations may be, it's still a fun movie to watch and I think I wanna be fair with the rating just because it is mindless entertainment. It's a classic 90's disaster movie and besides, it has flying cows, what other film will give you that kind of situation? But it's all good I think they were taking the cows to McDonald's anyways.


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