Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Flood (1976)

The beauty with Irwin Allen is how he cast his productions, always very competent character actors – even in the main roles, and always some old movie star. It’s the last thing I appreciate extra much. It’s similar to how Swedish director Arne Mattsson worked, always gave the old-timers something to do, let them be a star in something bigger. In Flood Richard Basehart and Gloria Stuart represents the classic generation of actors, and of course both of them is excellent. But Flood is mainly a man’s movie, a manly man’s movie. Robert Culp, Martin Milner and Cameron Mitchell, all three middle aged men with young hot girlfriends!

Story? Yes, it’s the same as always. A coming disaster in form of a poorly constructed dam, a small town with a mayor that refuses to believe in that something so absurd as a dam-disaster can happen and the man of warning himself, the all American hero (with his buddy, the tough helicopter pilot). And then the dam bursts and…yeah, you all know it by now!

Nothing bad with clichés, I love them, and Flood indeed delivers some of the most juicy clichés since Earthquake! Everything from the boy-in-peril to pregnant-woman-in-peril to the meeting with the officials that ends with them not believe in our hero – and everything in-between! The budget is slightly higher than Cave In and here there are actually extras, and bigger sets… and a miniature of the dam! And visual effects! And even a stunt or two! Not much of course, because the main effect scene is when the dam bursts and then we’re treated to some stock footage, a couple of scenes where water is flooding into houses and over streets. Not much visible casualties as usual in Allen’s TV-productions.

But Flood is something for us that loves and appreciate TV-movies. It’s often effectively told with out to much unnecessary scenes, and it’s always guaranteed political correct – in that special seventies way we all like. It’s a movie made by pros, and I can’t complain about anything special, except maybe that it – as always – needs more disasters to feel really spectacular! Robert Culp and Cameron Mitchell is favourites of mine, especially Mitchell who was one of the most underrated actors of his generation. Here’s a weird thing, Roddy McDowall, another fantastic man and actor, shows up in the beginning – but then he kinda disappears! Maybe I looked away the moment he died or departed from the story in some other way. Weird!

Flood is out from Warner Archive in a great-looking release, and like the other in their Irwin Allen-collection, this is a must for the serious disaster- and TV-movie fanatic.

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