UC Berkeley Library

Disaster Films

DC 9/11: Time of Crisis (TV, 2003)

Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith. Cast: Timothy Bottoms, John Cunningham, David Fonteno, Gregory Itzin, Penny Johnson Jerald, Stephen Macht, Mary Gordon Murray, Lawrence Pressman, Scott Alan Smith, George Takei. A drama telling the story of the days directly after the 9/11 attacks. Focuses on the difficult decisions and tasks faced by President George Bush and his staff on September 11, 2001 and the days following the attacks.

Deep Impact (1998)

Directed by Mimi Leder. Cast: Morgan Freeman, Tea Leoni, Robert Duvall, Maximilian Schell, Elijah Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, James Cromwell. 'Deep Impact' is the story of the world's reaction to a death sentence. As a comet approaches the earth which might not be destroyed or diverted before it reaches earth, each individual struggles in the face of extinction to find what most matters to him or her.

Disaster Movie (2008)

Directed by Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer. Cast: Matt Lanter, Vanessa Minnillo, Gary 'G Thang' Johnson, Nicole Parker, Crista Flanagan, Kimberly Kardashian, Ike Barinholtz, Carmen Electra. This parody of disaster films follows the comic misadventures of a group of ridiculously attractive twenty-somethings during one fateful night as they try to make their way to safety. All the while every known natural disaster and catastrophic event, including asteroids, tornadoes and earthquakes, all hit the city.

Earthquake (1974)

Directed by Mark Robson. Cast: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy, Lorne Greene, Genevieve Bujold, Richard Roundtree, Walter Matthau. When the most catastrophic earthquake of all time rips through Southern California, it levels Los Angeles and sends shock waves through the lives of all who live there. 123 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

How It Feels to Be Run Over (UK, 1900)

Directed by Cecil Hepworth. As the camera looks down an open road, a horse and carriage approaches, and passes by to one side of the field of view. Soon afterwards, an automobile comes up the road, straight towards the camera. As it gets nearer, the occupants start to wave frantically, but can a collision be avoided? Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
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Jaws (1975)

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Cast: Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton. When a man-eating shark causes havoc off the Long Island coast the police chief, a young ichthyologist and a shark fisherman join together to hunt and destroy it. Based on the novel by Peter Benchley. Special features: Documentary "Spotlight on location : the making of Jaws" (60 min.) / written, directed & produced by Laurent Bouzereau ; Universal Studios Home Video ; deleted scenes; outtakes; Get out of the water!

Life of an American Fireman (1903)

Directed by Edwin S. Porter Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of firemen responding to a house fire. They leave the station with their horse drawn pumper, arrive on the scene, and effect the safe rescue of a woman from the burning house. But wait, she tells them of her child yet asleep in the burning bedroom. 6 min. ; ; ;

Melancholia (Denmark | Sweden | France | Germany, 2011)

Directed by Lars Von Trier. Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgard, Brady Corbet, Cameron Spurr, Charlotte Rampling, Jesper Christensen, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgard, Udo Kier, Kiefer Sutherland. Justine and Michael celebrate their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of Justine's sister Claire, and brother-in-law John. Despite Claire's best efforts, the wedding is a fiasco with family tensions mounting and relationships fraying. Meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is heading directly towards Earth threatening the very existence of humankind. 135 min.

Meteor (TV, 2009)

Directed by Ernie Barbarash. Cast: Billy Campbell, Christopher Lloyd, Ernie Hudson, Jason Alexander, Marla Sokoloff, Michael Rooker, Stacy Keach. Tracking an unparalleled series of meteor fireballs plummeting toward Earth, a renowned scientist, his assistant, and an on-target conspiracy theorist race against time to expose a government cover-up, reveal the truth, and prevent a massive meteor from destroying the planet. 188 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Outbreak (Canada, 2008)

Directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Patrick Dempsey, Donald Sutherland, Kevin Spacey. A take-charge army virologist tryies to stave off global biological meltdown. A rare killer virus from the jungles of Zaire has taken hold in a California community. Its mortality rate is 100%. And some say the only way to stop its spread is to firebomb the town and everyone in it. 128 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
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