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Twister (1996)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 10 May 1996 (USA)
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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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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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 <booda@datasync.com>

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)


$241,688,385 (USA) (18 October 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original Director of Photography was Don Burgess (best known for his collaborations with Robert Zemeckis), but he and many other crewmembers walked off the set midway through filming after a series of heated arguments with director Jan de Bont. See more »


(at around 1h 40 mins) During the entire F5 chase, the sky is really dark and cloudy. But when the tornado disappears and when the crew shows up, the sky is instantly clear blue and sunny. Big storms like this actually take a little while to disappear and clear up. See more »


Allan Sanders: [to Rabbit after the F4 twister hit the drive in and destroyed their truck along with Preacher's car] Oh man, look at the truck! It's trashed!
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 The Awesomes: Day of Awesomes, Part 1 (2014) See more »


Virtual Reality
Music by Rusted Root
Lyrics by Michael Glabicki
Produced by Rusted Root and Tim Bomba
Performed by Rusted Root
Courtesy of Mercury Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

down wind
24 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Twister is so painfully dumb that I'm surprised I made it through the movie without sniffing glue. It stars two b-grade actors, who prove again here they should not be handed the reigns of an expensive movie (Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt). But to be fair the script is lamer than any script has ever been in all of recorded time. What am I saying? Paxton and Hunt are terrible.

She's a tornado researcher who just happens to have a very standard Hollywood backstory: Dad, you see, was eaten by a tornado, and now she has a grudge, umm, scratch that; she has a weird Oedipal, erotic fixation with tornadoes that makes her trance out and walk towards them like a blond zombie. Uhm... sure. Conveniently this background and volition are explained, as I've never seen before, in a flashback. (< withering sarcasm) Moving along...

The tornado team you're supposed to root for is a bunch of unlikeable nerds played by unlikeable people (none moreso than Phillip Seymour Hoffman) who are prone to phony, over-directed cheerful outbursts. Each new scene that featured them, made me wish for a genre switch from "disaster movie" to "R-rated blood bath." I would have had my own outburst (of applause) if they had all been sliced open by heavy machinery in the middle of one of their asinine conversations.

However the worst, dumbest, most excruciating part of this turd is that it presents a rival team of tornado researchers as the villain. (Y'know like high school basketball..?) Bill Paxton actually has to deliver the line (I'm paraphrasing): "Jonas (head of "Team Bad guy") has no instincts, he sought corporate funding and he's in it FOR THE MONEY!" Sure, he's in meteorology for the money, not for the love of low pressure zones. I think at this point a few veins burst in my head.

Jamie Gertz was apparently supposed to function as the woman who might draw Bill Paxton out of Helen Hunt's clutches, but the writers did the usual "Let's make her a drag, so that when she has to go, the audience isn't upset." They actually make this device even more desperate, by having HER deliver the "We're finished" speech. Relievedly... she's OK with it. Gosh that resolved itself nicely. I'm glad I wasn't asked to feel any tension related to human emotions in this movie. Not since Sean Young excused herself out of the plot in "Cousins" has a scene designed to erase conflict so infuriatingly failed to erase conflict.

Do you know what's at least as entertaining as watching tornadoes break things; watching a good script resolve things intelligently or a great script do it cleverly... & being trusted by writers who don't assume you're an idiot.

Making the proceedings that much sadder is the fact that the special effects are actually less thrilling than the low-tech canvas sock they used for a tornado in 1939 for the Wizard of Oz (!).

This movie immediately appeared in a scene-for-scene TV ripoff with Bruce Campbell, called imaginatively "Tornado" that somehow made the whole thing even stupider, with expensive tornado sequences happening off screen during the commercials. That z-grade solution at least made me laugh.

This unredeemable slop should only be shown in the rural sector.

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