I’m following a theme. Kinda. And that theme is “disaster.” My last post worried about what to do if North Korea invades the United States. This post worries how a disaster movie can survive its turgid second act. I have no original thoughts on this, but I do want to “quote” the mysterious woman Australian scientist behind “And You Call Yourself A Scientist!” blog.
“…the greatest hurdle that a disaster movie has to overcome is the question of what to do with its second act. Screenwriters usually have no difficulty figuring out how to set up a disaster, or how to resolve it; the problem is what to do with the middle part of the story. Disaster movies that fail tend to fall at this hurdle, resorting to character scenes that in context are rarely other than padding, the film twiddling its thumbs while the clock runs down. And while pointless “character stuff” may be tolerable when we’re talking about what people like John Wayne, Clair Trevor, Dana Andrews, Glenn Ford, Burt Lancaster, Myrna Loy and James Stewart could do, by the time it’s being dished up by the likes of Avery Schreiber, Jimmie Walker and Charo, we’re dealing with something that could rightly be condemned as a crime against humanity.”
See the full review of the 1960 extravaganza “The Last Voyage,” at….
And here is a web page with information on the scrapped ocean liner Ile de France, which was partially destroyed in the process of shooting the movie.