The Great Los Angeles Earthquake (1990) - USA - Drama - TV Movie
Directed by Larry Elikann
Starring Joanna Kerns, Dan Lauria, Ed Begley Jr, Bonnie Bartlett, Lindsay Frost, Alan Autry, Joe Spano, Holly Fields, Brock Peters, Stephen Elliot, Robert Ginty, Clarence Gilyard Jr, Richard Masur, Silvana Gallardo, Richard Herd, Michael T Weiss, Charles Siebert
Average, depressing and formulaic, this has TV movie written all over it and yet is still well made and entertaining if you have 3 hours to spare.
Dr. Clare Winslow is a seismologist monitoring tremor activity for an underfunded agency. Recent tremor activity leads her to believe a much bigger tremor is going to hit Los Angeles. She finds herself up against city officials who don't want to panic people if she's wrong, a sleazy land developer who wants to shut her up at least until he can unload beach property, and a tabloid TV reporter who uses creative editing in an interview he did with her which gets her in even more hot water.
Overall The Great Los Angeles Earthquake is well made with a cast of who's who of TV stars from the 80s. A main story line runs the course of the movie while intersecting other micro stories. With an all-star cast and various human drama stories involved, stop me if you've seen this before. They could have, and may well have, made a movie poster of this featuring headshots of all the stars in it. Its formula is straight out of the 70s disaster movies, updated with stars contemporary with the time.
An advantage this movie does have over some of its predecessors is a more brutal reality check. Don't get your hopes up that a particular character will survive because it would be the nice thing for the movie to do. The intent, as I see it, is to portray a more likely outcome should such an event happen, and that means high mortality, and at that it succeeds. If you like a movie where lots of people die, this is your movie. If you like a movie where people are heroically saved in seemingly impossible situations, you'll want to look elsewhere. It would be a good movie for preparedness but it is depressing.
My Rating: 3 Fingers
This is available on DVD.