The Mothman Prophecies
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for can be found here.

Two years after the death of his wife Mary (Debra Messing), Washington Post reporter John Klein (Richard Gere) is inexplicably drawn to Point Pleasant, a small town in West Virginia where people have been reporting strange events, such as psychic visions, supernatural voices, UFOs, bizarre telephone calls, and sightings of winged creatures ('Mothmen'). With the help of llocal cop Connie Mills (Laura Linney) and Point Pleasant resident Gordon Smallwood (Will Patton), John decides to stick around and investigate.

The Mothman Prophecies (1975) is also a book by American journalist John A. Keel. The book was adapted for the movie by American screenwriter Richard Hatem.

Partly. Point Pleasant is a real town in West Virginia, situated on the left bank of the Ohio River, which forms the boundary between West Virginia and Ohio. See map. There was a suspension bridge, the Silver Bridge, that spanned the Ohio River connecting Point Pleasant with Gallipolis, Ohio. The Silver Bridge did collapse on 15 December 1967, killing 46 people. During the year previous to the bridge's collapse, several residents did report seeing large, winged creatures with glowing red eyes in and around the Point Pleasant area. John Keel did go to Point Pleasant to investigate these reports, which form the basis of his book. In the book, which is classed as fiction by publisher Tor Books, Keel combines these real facts and reports with his own theories about UFOs and various supernatural phenomena and connects them to the collapse of the Silver Bridge. Also, none of the characters seen in the movie exist the way they do in the book or in the real events. They're either amalgams of multiple characters or fabrications of people who never existed. For example, John Klein could be taken as a disguised John Keel (or even Alexander Leek (Alan Bates) - Keel spelled backwards), but Mary Klein and her brain tumor was entirely fabricated for the movie.

Mary died from a brain tumor called a glioblastoma, a fast-growing, malignant tumor that forms in the brain's glial cells, the 'glue' that surrounds the neurons.

Most viewers of the movie assume that they are the same, although the film doesn't give proof one way or the other. In Keel's book, they are separate entities. Indrid Cold is an alien from the planet Lanulos. He befriends a man named Woodrow 'Woody' Derenberger (who becomes Gordon Smallwood in the movie) and even takes him on a trip back to his home planet. Cold is portrayed in the book as benevolent and, unlike the Indrid Cold in the movie, does not lead Woody to his death.

John decides to accept Connie's invitation and return to Point Pleasant for Christmas. On the way back, however, he is delayed in the backup traffic caused by a jam on the Silver Bridge. As he walks between the cars trying to find out what is happening, he remembers Indrid's words: 'Great tragedy on the River Ohio,' and horrifyingly realizes that something is going to happen to the bridge. He hears the bolts and supports of the bridge begin to strain at the weight. He starts running between the cars, warning the passengers to get off the bridge. On the bridge, Connie is meanwhile becoming aware that the bridge is beginning to break up. She also starts running between the cars, warning the passengers to get off the bridge. As people begin backing their cars off the bridge, the bolts give and cables begin snapping. Connie hurries back to her patrol car and calls for help. The bridge continues to break up, sending chunks of pavement into the dark river below. Soon, whole sections of the bridge start falling in the water, taking the cars with them. When John sees Connie's patrol car fall into the water and hears her calling his name, he jumps in after her. He extracts her from the car and swims with her to the surface, Christmas presents floating around them. In the final scene, as rescue workers pull survivors and bodies from the river, Connie and John are informed that 36 people are dead. 'Thirty-six?' Connie asks incredulously then adds, 'Wake up #37.' She places her head on John's shoulder, and the camera begins to pan back. A note appears on the screen, saying, 'The ultimate cause of the collapse of the Silver Bridge was never determined. Although sightings have continued around the world, Mothman was never seen in Point Pleasant again'

No. Four years after the collapse, it was announced that the bridge collapsed because of a stress corrosion crack in a single eyebar in the suspension chain.

Just like Indrid Cold explains to John when asked about his appearance, 'It depends upon who's looking,' viewers' interpretations of Mothman's motives depend upon who is doing the interpreting. Some viewers see the Mothman as a benevolent 'angel' trying to warn people about impending disasters as well as trying to reunite John with his dead wife and save Connie from drowning. Others see the Mothman as an 'intergalactic troll', intent on screwing with John's mind and driving him mad, just as it did with Gordon Smallwood and Alexander Leek, all because 'they noticed that you noticed them.' They argue that the Mothman didn't want John to save Connie and, in fact, used the phone call from 'Mary' to lure him away from Point Pleasant. What the Mothman/Indrid really wanted cannot be answered because, as Alexander Leek also put it, 'Their motivations are not human.'

No one knows. According to the legend, the Mothman is seen as a harbinger of imminent disaster and is variously explained away as an alien, an angel, a demon, or, as Alexander Leek suggests in the movie, 'a psyche or a soul immortally trapped in the hellish death realms.' Skeptics typically suggest that it was faulty perception, mass illusions, or just plain hoax. Debunkers have come up with low-flying planes, a large barn owl, a strayed sandhill crane, a mutated bird of some sort, and flashlights suspended from helium balloons The Mothman has even been linked with Native American stories about legendary Thunderbirds (large birds that could easily swoop down and carry away a man). But really? One guess is as good as another.

There is a made-for-TV movie, Mothman (2010), in which seven teenagers try to cover up the accidental death of a friend and are later pursued and killed off one-by-one by Point Pleasant's Mothman. There is also a 2011 documentary, Eyes of the Mothman.


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