The Quad showcases the best and biggest on-screen depictions of disaster. Brace yourselves for panic, pandemonium, and even parody with titles including The Towering Inferno, Black Sunday, Airport 1975, and of course Airplane! on 35mm (surely we’re serious).
Aptly echoing the malaise of the 70s, the Disaster Movie cycle offered mass jeopardy as morbid spectacle, with A- and B-list stars and superstars holding on for dear life as natural and man-made catastrophes threatened annihilation. The prime mover in this special-effects-plus-human-interest format was producer (and 2nd unit director) Irwin Allen who inaugurated the genre in 1972 with The Poseidon Adventure and sounded its death knell with the fittingly-titled When Time Ran Out in 1980. There were notable precursors to the trend such as the 1933 Deluge and the 1958 Titanic film A Night to Remember. For a genre often on the brink of self-parody, the coup de grace was delivered by Airplane!, which unapologetically rounds out this thrill-a-minute survey.
Airplane! Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, & Jerry Zucker, 1980, 35mm
Airport George Seaton, 1969, 35mm
Airport 1975 Jack Smight, 1974, 35mm
Black Sunday John Frankenheimer, 1977, 35mm
Deluge Felix E. Feist, 1933, DCP
Earthquake Mark Robson, 1974, 123m, DCP
A Night to Remember Roy Ward Baker, 1958, 35mm
The Poseidon Adventure Ronald Neame, 1972, DCP
The Towering Inferno John Guillermin, 1974, 35mm
Two-Minute Warning Ronald Neame, 1972, DCP
When Time Ran Out James Goldstone, 1980, 35mm