Sideburns. Wide collars and plaid slacks. Femme fatales. And really over-the-top subplots, not to mention main plots. Producer Irwin Allen and his action-oriented brethren ruled the early- to mid-1970s with movies like "The Poseidon Adventure" and "Earthquake," and while the cinema has yet to see a return of the disaster flick, fans revisit the originals whenever they return to the big screen.
That's happening in Hollywood, when American Cinematheque hosts "Masters of Disaster: The Golden Age of Cataclysmic Cinema," a multi-night run devoted to upheaval, heroes, hope and hairy situations. The films include the aforementioned "Poseidon" -- we've always been fond of the climbing of the Christmas tree, and the incomparable Shelley Winters -- and "Earthquake," which every Angeleno should see once, if only for vintage views of our beloved city.
Also on the roster? "The Hindenburg," "The Towering Inferno," "The China Syndrome," and "Black Sunday" ("The China Syndrome" boasts the excellent star trio of Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas). It's a look back at the Me Decade, yes, and while the scenarios are always scary and sometimes a tad outlandish -- and the clothing styles are as well -- the films are all grip-the-seat-arms riveting.
"Masters of Disaster: The Golden Age of Cataclysmic Cinema
The Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood