A young man meets and falls in love with a young woman at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. This area is known as Miracle Mile, and the whole movie takes place there. They make a date, which he misses, and while he is searching for her, he accidentally finds out that we (the United States) are about to start a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. He frantically searches for her so that they can escape Los Angeles.Written by
Mark Logan <email@example.com>
When Harry returns to the diner, after the phone call in the phone ball. There's an reflection of the boom on the window. When Harry gets everyone intention in the diner. See more »
I know how this sounds, but I answered the phone out there and the guy on the other end he was very, very frantic. He thought I was his dad fro a minute, I think he just had the wrong area code.
Fred the Cook:
Yeah, so what?
So he was calling from a missile silo! He said that they were locked in, 50 minutes and counting, to shoot off their nuclear wad. We would be getting it back in an hour and 10. I mean he meant that we're at war! Nuclear war!
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During the rating tag at the very end, the sound of an air-raid siren plays. (This has not been included on any home video edition.) See more »
A little-seen preview version of the film included a special effect of two diamonds hovering after the nuclear explosion, just preceding the end credits. In the theatrical version and subsequent DVD release from MGM, the diamonds do not appear following the nuclear blast, rather the credits simply roll. See more »
what starts like a bad made-for-TV movie turns into a compelling character-driven sci-fi horror
I first saw this movie on video around the time it was produced. I immediately liked it even though it was a bit bleak. But the late 80's were full of apocalyptic nuclear holocaust movies and this was the only one that stayed with me. Now, years later, I've just rewatched it (this time on DVD) and I still think it's a very good -- but not great -- movie.
Admittedly, there's some over-the-top 80's haircuts and costumes, stuff that would be seriously 'retro' nowadays. And the acting, particularly in the beginning, is 'obvious' and a bit tiring. But when the hero receives that fateful phone call, it all changes. Suddenly, it's like watching a stage-performance of a play, a pressure-cooker where everyone suspects everyone else and no one knows what's really going on.
In fact, one of the best parts of the screenplay is that we, the audience, also don't really know what to believe (until the very end). We watch the hero struggle with what to tell people who's help he needs: if he tells them the awful truth, they may not believe/help him; if he tells them a more believable lie, is he denying them the chance to survive or at least to die with their loved ones. Either way, both he and the people he meets turn to progressively more and more extreme behavior -- people die! . . . and what if it all turns-out to have been a hoax?
In all, I think this movie ranks as a great sci-fi film, and in the truest sense of the genre: What If. It's not about aliens or galactic empires or anything else that's more fantasy than reality. Instead, it's a situation that any of us could easily imagine and I think this is why it stayed with me all these years, why it now forms a part of the framework for my imagination whenever I find myself catastrophizing about terrorism or natural disaster, anything that could separate me from the ones I love. What would I do?
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