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Miracle Mile Movie Review

harry dejarnatt winningham doesn

When Miracle Mile was first released, some reviewers commented on the improbability of a ringing pay telephone alerting protagonist Harry (Anthony Edwards) to a nuclear nightmare. But how did we learn about Chernobyl in 1986, anyway? And doesn't Death sometimes (in 1997, actually) arrive in the form of two drops of dimethyl-mercury that leak through latex gloves? Miracle Mile begins as a sweet, romantic story about Harry and Julie (Mare Winningham), with no premonitory warning shots. And then Harry picks up the telephone and hears a terrified voice describing the ultimate nuclear war, due globally within the hour. You have 60 minutes to live: what would you do? Harry goes looking for Julie. Along the way, Harry sees people doing what they normally do: hanging out in an all-night diner, working out in a health club. Julie has taken Valium to help her sleep and Harry doesn't tell her at first about the inevitable. He tells her estranged folks, though (wonderfully played by John Agar and Lou Hancock) and the two resolve many year's worth of conflicts in an instant and drive off into the night together. What Harry decides to do with his last hour doesn't exactly appear to be shared by Julie, especially since she doesn't know what the heck is going on at first. The soundtrack by Tangerine Dream is strikingly similar to their score for 1983's Risky Business, only here the persistent theme leads, literally, Nowhere, instead of to a Party. Steve DeJarnatt evokes the escalating tension of 1950's D. O.A. for 1988, in a way that the actual remake of D.O.A., also filmed in 1988, does not. Existentially well acted by Edwards and Winningham. O-Ian Jones can also be seen in Shelf Life, directed by Paul Bartel in 1994.

1989 (R) 87m/C Anthony Edwards, Mare Winningham, John Agar, Denise Crosby, Lou Hancock, Mykelti Williamson, Kelly Jo Minter, Kurt Fuller, Robert DoQui, Danny De La Paz, O-Ian Jones, Alan Rosenberg, Claude Earl Jones; D: Steve DeJarnatt; W: Steve DeJarnatt; C: Theo van de Sande; M: Tangerine Dream. Nominations: Independent Spirit Awards ‘90: Best Screenplay (DeJarnatt), Best Supporting Actress (Winningham). VHS, LV, Closed Caption

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