- Twister (1996 film)
name = Twister
caption = "Twister" theatrical poster
Jan de Bont
Ian Bryce Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton Anne-Marie Martin
Helen Hunt Bill Paxton Jami Gertz Cary Elwes Philip Seymour Hoffman Alan Ruck Zach Grenier
Van Halen The Goo Goo Dolls Mark Mancina Anthony Kiedis(uncredited) Dave Navarro(uncredited) Chad Smith(uncredited) Gioacchino Rossini Ennio Morricone Shania Twain
Jack N. Green
production_company = Warner Bros. Pictures
Constant c Productions
Warner Bros. Universal Pictures
May 10, 1996
runtime = 113 minutes
awards = [http://imdb.com/title/tt0117998/awards]
language = English
budget = US$92,000,000 (estimated)
gross = $494,471,524
website = http://movies.warnerbros.com/twister/
amg_id = 1:135936
imdb_id = 0117998
"Twister" is a
1996 disaster filmstarring Helen Huntand Bill Paxtonas storm chasers researching tornadoes. It was directed by Jan de Bont. The film was based upon a script by Michael Crichtonand Anne-Marie Martin.
In the movie, a team of "
storm chasers" try to perfect a data-gathering instrument, designed to be released into the funnel of a tornado, while competing with another better-funded team with a similar device during a tornado outbreakacross Oklahoma.
"Twister" is notable for being the first movie to be released on the DVD format [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117998/trivia Twister (1996) - Trivia ] ] and the last to be released on HD-DVD [ [http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/releasedates.html HD DVD Disc Release Dates | High Def Digest ] ] . "Twister" has since been released in
high definitionon Blu-ray disc.
Dr. Jo Harding (
Helen Hunt): The leader of her storm-chasing research team. Vehicle: AMC Jeep J10
Bill Harding (
Bill Paxton): Jo's estranged husband and former fellow storm-chaser. Vehicle: Dodge Ram
Dr. Melissa Reeves (
Jami Gertz): Bill's new fiancee.
Dr. Jonas Miller (
Cary Elwes): The leader of a rival storm-chasing team.
Zach Grenier): Jonas' reluctant assistant.
Aunt Meg Greene (
Lois Smith): Jo's aunt and mother-figure to the storm team.
Dustin 'Dusty' Davis (
Philip Seymour Hoffman): An extroverted, wise-cracking member of Jo's chase team.
Robert 'Rabbit' Nurick (
Alan Ruck): The navigator for Jo's chase team.
Laurence: (Jeremy Davies): A quiet member of the team, in charge of photographing and capturing a tornado on film.
Joey Slotnick): In charge of taking measurements of wind and taking care of their doppler radar.
Alan Sanders (
Sean Whalen), Tim 'Beltzer' Lewis ( Todd Field):, Haynes (Wendle Josepher): and Jason 'Preacher' Rowe: (Scott Thompson): other members of Jo's team.
The film begins with a prologue set in 1969 on a rural Oklahoma farm, as severe weather looms. A family (including five-year old Jo) seeks shelter in a storm cellar as a tornado strikes; Jo's father is caught up in the storm and killed, as young Jo struggles to catch a glimpse of the powerful storm.
The main story begins with the reunion between Dr. Jo Harding, now an adult, and her estranged husband Bill Harding. Bill is a former weather researcher and storm chaser who has taken a job as a weather reporter. He is planning to marry his new girlfriend, Dr. Melissa Reeves and has arrived seeking Jo’s signature for the final divorce papers.
When they meet, Bill discovers that Jo has built DOROTHY, a research device that Bill designed to release hundreds of sensors into the center of a tornado to study its structure. He also meets up with Dr. Jonas Miller, a smug and unscrupulous (but well-funded) fellow meteorologist and storm chaser. When Bill discovers that Jonas has "invented" a device almost identical to DOROTHY, he vows to help Jo deploy DOROTHY before Miller can claim credit for his idea. Bill and Melissa join Jo and her eccentric team of storm chasers.
Tensions rise between Jo and Bill when they have several close calls with dangerous tornadoes as they try unsuccessfully to deploy the new device. One tornado hits
Wakita, Oklahomahead on, destroying the home of Jo's aunt Meg. Melissa, frightened by the dangers of storm chasing and recognizing the unresolved feelings between Jo and Bill, leaves.
The team then attacks their goal with even more fervor, chasing an increasingly-intense storm in an attempt to deploy DOROTHY. The rival team's hubris and lack of instinct proves fatal as their lead truck is caught up in a tornado due to overzealous chasing, despite Bill's warnings.
Eventually Jo and Bill set out on their own and, in a risky maneuver, are able to successfully deploy DOROTHY, surviving a direct contact with a huge tornado and re-sealing their personal bond in the process.
The film was a joint production between
Warner Bros.and Universal Pictures. (This fact is reflected in the movies comprising a double-bill advertised on the marquee of the drive-in theaterfeatured in the film: "The Shining", a Warner Bros. release, and "Psycho" a Universal owned production).
Several actual television meteorologists from
Oklahomaare featured throughout the movie, including Former KFOR-4 Oklahoma City (and later KJRH-2 Tulsa) meteorologist Jeff Lazalier, Rick Mitchell, Chief Meteorologist at KOCO-5 Oklahoma City, and Mike Morgan, also of KFOR. Gary Englandof KWTV-9 Oklahoma City can be seen on a small television in actual footage from the early 1970s. England also served as a technical advisoron the film.
Although the movie takes place in
Oklahoma, nearly half of the movie was filmed in Iowa.
The DOROTHY instrument in the film is loosely based on a real-life experiment that
NOAAattempted in the 1980s with an instrument called the TOtable Tornado Observatory, or TOTO. Similarly to TOTO, The DOROTHY device in the film is named after Dorothy Gale, the protagonist of the "Oz" books and films.
The sound of the tornado was produced by recording a camel's moan and slowing it down. [ [http://www.amazon.ca/dp/fun-facts/B00004RFFI Amazon.ca: Twister (Widescreen): Jan de Bont, Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Jami Gertz, Cary Elwes, Lois Smith, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck, Sean Whalen, Scott Thomson, Todd ... ] ]
A tanker truck involved in the final tornado bears the words "Benthic Petroleum". The company is the fictitious oil corporation from
James Cameron's film The Abyss.
In one tornado scene the storm chasers witness
cows being lifted into the air; this scene has been heavily parodied.
"Twister" featured both a traditional orchestral film score (by Mark Mancina) and several
rock musicsongs, including an instrumental theme song composed and performed for the film by Van Halen. Both the rock soundtrack and the orchestral score were released on compact disc; the orchestral score is considered a collector's item and is very difficult to find.Fact|date=May 2008 At least one piece of music used in the movie is not on the score. This music begins at the end of the first scene with Aunt Meg. It continues as she kisses everyone goodbye and the camera swoops over the Wakita water tower. It ends (changes to the Van Halen "Humans' Being" song) as the storm chasing team drives through the country.
Several songs used in the film were not included on the soundtrack including "Motherless Child" by
Eric Clapton(Dusty played the music video in his RV at the beginning of the film) and "Child in Time" by Deep Purple(played by Dusty when the team went to chase their second tornado in the film).
Working titles for the film were "Catch The Wind" and "Wind Devils".Fact|date=February 2007 The original tagline for the movie was "It Sucks", but the producers ultimately decided to go in a different direction, thinking that this tagline would provide critics with ammunition if they didn't like the movie. The tagline that was eventually agreed upon was "The Dark Side of Nature".Fact|date=February 2007
Sega Pinball released a
pinballmachine based on the movie. [ [http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=3976] ]
On May 21st, 1996, a tornado destroyed a
drive-in theaterin St. Catharine's, Ontario, which was scheduled to show the movie "Twister", in a real-life parallel to a scene in the film in which a tornado destroys a drive-in during a showing of the film "The Shining". [ [http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=BG&p_theme=bg&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EADDC4B7A93E4D0&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM "TORNADO DESTROYS 'TWISTER" THEATER'] Boston Globe May 22nd, 1996. ] The facts of this incident were exaggerated into an urban legendthat the theater was actually playing "Twister" during the tornado. Comedian Bob Sagetclaims he was on his way to see the movie at this St. Catharine's drive-in when the real thing hit. [ [http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/twister.htm "Twister"] - Snopes.com]
Theme park attraction
The film was used as the basis for the attraction "Twister...Ride It Out" at
Universal Studios Florida, which features filmed introductions by Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.
Helen Hunt... Dr. Jo Harding
Bill Paxton... Bill Harding
Jami Gertz... Dr. Melissa Reeves
Cary Elwes... Dr. Jonas Miller
Lois Smith... Aunt Meg Greene
Philip Seymour Hoffman... Dustin 'Dusty' Davis
Alan Ruck... Robert 'Rabbit' Nurick
Sean Whalen... Allan Sanders
*Scott Thomson ... Jason 'Preacher' Rowe
Todd Field... Tim "Beltzer" Lewis
Joey Slotnick... Joey
Wendle Josepher... Haynes
*Jeremy Davies ... Laurence
Zach Grenier... Eddie
Gregory Sporleder.... Willie
Patrick Fischler.... The Communicator
Nicholas Sadler.... Kubrick
Ben Weber.... Stanley
Anthony Rapp.... Tony
Eric LaRay Harvey.... Eric
Abraham Benrubi.... Bubba
Jake Busey.... Mobile lab technician
Melanie Hoopes.... Patty
J. Dean Lindsay.... Dean
Dean Kelpine.... Diner mechanic
Sharonlyn Morrow.... Waitress
Richard Lineback.... Father
Rusty Schwimmer.... Mother
Alexa Vega.... Jo Harding – 5 years old
Taylor Gilbert.... NSSL scientist – Bryce
Bruce Wright.... NSSL scientist – Murphy
Gary England, Jeff Lazalier, Rick Mitchell.... TV meteorologists
John Thomas Rhyne.... Paramedic
*Paul Douglas .... Bodger
Samantha McDonald, Jennifer F. Hamilton.... Drive-in girls
Anneke de Bont.... Farm girl
"Twister: The official soundtrack"
Van Halen- Humans Being
Rusted Root- Virtual Reality
Tori Amos- Talula(BT's Tornado Mix)
Union StationFeat. Alison Krauss- Moments like this
Mark Knopfler- Darling Pretty
Soul Asylum- Miss this
K.D. Lang- Love affair
Nine StoriesFeat. Lisa Loeb- How
Red Hot Chili Peppers- Melancholy Mechanics
Goo Goo Dolls- Long way down
Shania Twain- No one needs to know
Stevie NicksFeat. Lindsey Buckingham- Twisted
Edward Van HalenFeat. Alex Van Halen- Respect the Wind
* [http://movies.warnerbros.com/twister/ Official site for the film]
* [http://www.twistercountry.com/ Twister Museum]
* [http://www.jaydax.co.uk/showcase/tunnel/tornado/tornado.html Hear the theme song]
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