Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Correlation Between Disaster Movies and the Economy?

While watching the Airport Disaster movie series last night which I wrote about here, I got to wondering about why these films were so popular back in the 70s.

In the 70s there seemed to be a running theme in the movie theaters, disasters like Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Flood, Swarm, When Time Ran Out and the list could go on and on.

In the 70s we were in a deep recession and then stagflation. I remember the long gas lines then gas rationing, and rampant inflation. It was an incredibly stressful time for families and I remember my parents were anxious about the changes occurring in government policy and the impact on our lifestyle. Our lifestyle was very middle class comfortable before the recession of the 70s but nothing that would be considered lavish or excessive.

It seems odd now looking back and seeing that the movies that people flocked to for entertainment were disaster themed. I admit to my own fascination in these type of films but I always chocked it up to the time in my life when these films first came out. I was in my teens and these were action packed movies and groups of us went to the theater and it was all good.

Now as an adult I find it curious that not only were the movies back then disaster flicks but that they are now being replayed quite frequently on movie channels when there seems to be so many similarities in the economy....high unemployment.....rising prices......housing issues (back then it was rising interest rates).

I realized last night between Airport 77 and Airport 79....that really the "disasters" were the back story to the "survival" of the characters. The characters of the movies finding their inner strength to overcome fear and fight tenaciously for their survival. Also, it was the good people that lived and almost always the mean and evil people died horrific deaths. There were tragedies but there were greater triumphs at then end of the movies which left the viewer feeling good in the end.

While sitting on the couch, on a wonderfully quiet evening at home, knitting and watching disaster movies, I figured it out.


Tammy said...

Interesting perspective on the movies. BTW - Towering Inferno was one of my all time faves as a kid. I don't know if I could stomah it now with O.J. Simpson though. :(

Sarah said...

I can't get into disaster movies. They make me cry. :( That and I get really scared and (even at 25 years old) I'll get nightmares from them. Silly I know. xD