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Urbana-Champaign's Best Independent DVD Rental store
(locally owned and operated since 1985)

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That's Rentertainment's Pocket Pal - 70s Disaster Films
1970's disaster films are plot driven by a natural disaster, or a disaster involving transportation or building (whether accidental or sabotage), and generally have a star-studded cast... and were released in the 70s. This does NOT include films about disasters that have already happened (because post-apocalyptic is its own genre), films about alien invasion (as these are sci-fi) or films about an outbreak of disease. Here are our favorites:
Airport (1970) (Dean Martin, Burt Lancaster)
Airport 1975 (1975) (Charlton Heston)
Airport '77 (1977) (James Stewart, Jack Lemmon)
Airport '79: The Concorde (1979) (Susan Blakely, Robert Wagner)
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) (Micahel Caine, Sally Field)
Earthquake (1974) (Charlton Heston)
Gray Lady Down (1978) (Charlton Heston, David Carradine)
The Hindenburg (1975) (George C. Scott, Anne Bancroft)
Juggernaut (1974) (Richard Harris, Anthony Hopkins)
Meteor (1979) (Sean Connery)
Poseidon Adventure (1972) (Gene Hackman, Shelley Winters)
Rollercoaster (1977) (George Segal, Henry Fonda)
The Swarm (1978) (Michael Caine)
Towering Inferno (1974) (Paul Newman, Steve Mcqueen)
When Time Ran Out (1980) (Paul Newman)
Zeppelin (1971) (Elke Sommer, Michael York)
Note: As with ever great genre there has to be a great spoof of the genre and the 70s Disaster Film genre has such a title -- "The Big Bus" (1976). Here's what IMDB had to say about it: "The ultimate disaster film parody. A nuclear powered bus is going Non-stop from New York to Denver and is plagued by disasters due to the machinations of a mysterious group allied with the Oil lobby. When the driver is injured a washed up, down on his luck, but used to be great type, who as it happens, used to be engaged to the inventor's daughter is brought in to drive the giant bus which includes a one lane swimming pool and a one lane bowling alley."
Also, with advanced computer graphics came the ability to make disasters bigger and more realistic and so began the 90's disaster genre revival!! Like the 70s films, this list is star-studded and the films were generally given enormous budgets. This list also follows the same criteria above, so 28 Days Later isn't listed because it is a disease-outbreak/Zombie film, Children of Men isn't included because its more or less post-apocalyptic or dystopian, and The Abyss isn't included because aliens show up at the end, making it sci-fi. Armageddon also isn't included because the "science" was so ridiculous it might as well be sci-fi... but it did have more stars than any of the others so maybe it should be added... what do you think? Here are 11 of the top disaster genre revival films of the 90s and 2000's:
Apollo 13 (Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon)
Dante's Peak (Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton)
Day After Tomorrow  (Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal)
Deep Impact (Morgan Freeman, Elijah Wood, Tea Leoni)
The Perfect Storm  (George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg)
Poseidon (Kurt Russell)
Snakes on a Plane  (Samuel L. Jackson, Julianna Margulies)
Speed  (Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves)
Titanic  (Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet)
Twister (Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton)
Volcano  (Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche)
Note #2: Lists compiled by Jessica Dickson -- thanks!
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