178 user 77 critic

Miracle Mile (1988)

A young man hears a chance phone call telling him that a nuclear war has started and missiles will hit his city in 70 minutes.


Steve De Jarnatt

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Edwards ... Harry Washello
Mare Winningham ... Julie Peters
John Agar ... Ivan Peters
Lou Hancock ... Lucy Peters
Mykelti Williamson ... Wilson (as Mykel T. Williamson)
Kelly Jo Minter ... Charlotta (as Kelly Minter)
Kurt Fuller ... Gerstead
Denise Crosby ... Landa
Robert DoQui ... Fred the Cook (as Robert Doqui)
O-Lan Jones ... Waitress
Claude Earl Jones ... Harlan
Alan Rosenberg ... Mike
Danny De La Paz Danny De La Paz ... Transvestite
Earl Boen ... Drunk Man in Diner
Diane Delano ... Stewardess


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 <marklo@west.sun.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You just found out that you have 24 hours to live. What are YOU going to do? See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

19 May 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Nacht der Entscheidung See more »


Box Office


$3,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$341,401, 21 May 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


According to a story told by casting director Billy DaMota in the documentary I Don't Know Jack (2002), the role of Fred the Cook was originally offered to Eraserhead (1977) star Jack Nance, who refused the role because he wanted to focus on his day job as a security guard. See more »


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 »


Harry Washello: 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?
Harry Washello: 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!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Doctor Biobrain See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »


Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

The Idiot Plot
30 July 2003 | by BneidlSee all my reviews


I happened upon this movie tonight on one of the premium cable channels. I was amazed that I had never heard of it. On the one hand, I appreciate how relentlessly dark this movie was willing to be, and how suspenseful it was at times. On the other hand, however, the movie relied too often on the stupid behavior of the principal characters to create tension. Roger Ebert has often complained of the "Idiot Plot": a film storyline that would be over within minutes if the characters were not complete idiots. In "Miracle Mile," Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham create a lot of their own obstacles just by making rock-stupid, and highly unrealistic decisions. Example: Anthony Edwards wants to find Winningham and bring her to the helipad so that they can escape L.A. before the nuclear holocaust. Instead of telling Winningham what is actually happening, Edwards decides she shouldn't hear the bad news "until she has to," so instead he tells her that they are going to go on a hot air balloon ride as a sort of romantic getaway (even though it is 4:00 a.m.) That's pretty stupid. Even more stupid is that Winningham believes him. Then, when they arrive at the rooftop helipad, Edwards realizes that he hasn't booked a helicopter pilot to, you know, actually fly the helicopter. Edwards then decides that he will find a helicopter pilot on the streets of L.A., in the middle of the night, with a scant 20 minutes or so before he knows the missiles are going to hit. Better still, he decides not to tell Winningham where he is going or why (she still has no idea the end is nigh). He just tells her, "I'll be right back, don't MOVE!" Of course, we know that this means she WILL move the moment he is gone. Sure enough, while he's off looking for a pilot in an all-night gym (and actually finds one!), Winningham decides that it would be a good time to take a stroll. So, now Edwards has to find her all over again, get back to the helipad all over again, and we have to watch this whole damn process all over again, just because he was too stupid to behave like a person of ordinary competence. And beyond this, Edwards continuously wastes time in this movie when he has none to waste. It's one of those films where you are well aware that time is running out, but the main characters still stop and stare at each other longingly at inappropriate times. These two characters absolutely deserved the fate that meets them at the movie's unbelievably dark conclusion.

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