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Twister (1996)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 10 May 1996 (USA)
2:03 | Trailer

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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:
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 <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Don't Breathe. Don't Look Back. 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
See  »

Did You Know?


According to the book on the making of the movie, the CGI cow picked up by the twister sisters was originally a CGI zebra from Jumanji (1995). See more »


Just before driving through the house, Bill and Joe try to evade a farm vehicle that's in the way. They don't make it completely and the left side of the windshield is destroyed. In all the subsequent shots the glass is OK again. See more »


Melissa: I gotta go Julia, we got cows.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title has been shown. See more »


Referenced in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015) See more »


Humans Being
Written by Edward Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Sammy Hagar, and Michael Anthony
Produced by Bruce Fairbairn
Performed by Van Halen
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.

28 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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