Take heed from these dramatic cinematic moments and don’t tempt fate when mother nature goes wild
We’re all slightly obsessed with the weather. Even in our reasonably predictable region, a day of rain or fog is front page news, and we all love a freaky weather picture to post on social media. What the meteorologists say guides all our outdoor plans, so before you head to the desert, or take to the sea, check out our handy list of movie-sourced weather tips to help you manage the elements.
Don’t mess with the ocean As seen in… The Perfect Storm (2000)
The forecast The title says it all. When George Clooney, Marky Mark and their robust gang of woolly-sweatered, blue-collar guys’ guys come home from the sea with a disappointing haul, they know they’ll be forced to make one… last… trip before the season ends. Never mind that there’s an almighty squall brewing up: it’s a man’s responsibility to put fish on the table. What we learn If the Weather Channel warns that it’s getting blustery, even George Clooney shouldn’t persuade you into a sea voyage. Remember: The Arabian Gulf is fierce and she shouldn’t be messed with when she’s in a feisty mood.
Ensure your pets are safe As seen in… The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The forecast Twisty. When a tornado comes to ravage her aunt and uncle’s remote Kansas farm, little Dorothy Gale’s first thought isn’t for her beloved relations. It’s for Toto, her permanently bemused cairn terrier. Of course, it all works out for the best when Toto uses his sniffing skills to track down a witch. Could Auntie Em have done that? Doubtful.
What we learn In a crisis, it’s always handy to have a pet around. And not just dogs: birds can be used to deliver messages, hamsters can be hooked to a turbine, providing power during blackouts. Cats can be sent to forage for mice and other small rodents. And goldfish can provide hours of much-needed entertainment, or a handy after-dinner snack.
It’s always warm inside an animal As seen in… The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The forecast Snow on snow. When, on his morning rounds, Luke Skywalker is startled by a passing Wampa (we’ve all been there), it looks like curtains for the young Jedi. But luckily his best pal Han Solo has a cunning plan. Noticing that his trusty Tauntaun steed has keeled over in the cold, he slices open its belly and covers Luke inside the steaming gut. Yum.
What we learn This is just one more reason to keep a pet around. We’re not sure how much protection you could really get from, say, a gerbil, but if there’s a larger animal kicking around – a great dane, a racehorse, perhaps some sort of endangered big cat – you’re in luck. Readers with large families are urged to purchase an elephant now, just in case.
Crazy weather makes for crazy people As seen in… The Wind (1928) The forecast Gale-force melodrama. When innocent East Coast girl Lillian Gish is sent to live on her cousin’s isolated ranch, she expects her biggest problem will be the constant (and we mean constant) wind that batters their desert shack. But it’s not long before the windswept neighbours start taking an unhealthy interest in this fresh-faced newcomer.
What we learn Where there’s wild weather, there’s widespread weirdness. Who but a loony would choose to live in a place where the wind howls and the sand batters against the windows 365 days a year? On the plus side, though, the film reveals how particularly strong gusts can sweep away the evidence of a murder. So that’s handy.
Stay away from power lines As seen in…The Ice Storm (1997)
The forecast Frosty. In Ang Lee’s masterful ’70s-set character piece, young Elijah Wood is disheartened by his parents’ misconduct, his erstwhile sort-of-girlfriend Christina Ricci’s waning interest and the fact that he lives in a land dominated by chipboard and tan flares. Out for a soulful late-night stroll following a bout of severe weather, he sits on the wrong bit of newly electrified highway guardrail.
What we learn It’s pretty simple: electrical cables and bad weather are a dangerous combination. Of course, anyone who caught 2013’s The Selfish Giant knows that pylons and power stations are bad news all round, but it doesn’t hurt to have it reiterated.
Starvation is a choice if you have friends As seen in… Alive (1993)
The forecast Chewy. When their plane goes down in the Andes, a Uruguayan rugby team – led, strangely, by Ethan Hawke – find themselves stranded in the ice, miles from rescue, with only a tin of chocolates and a box of grape to see them through. It’s not long before someone starts eyeing up the pile of frozen corpses stacked neatly by the back door…
What we learn They say that in a bear attack, you don’t need to outrun the bear, just your slowest friend. The same principle applies here. We’re not suggesting that you start knocking off your pals for sustenance, but hey, if nature takes its course… Just remember, it’s what they would have wanted. You’re only honouring their sacrifice.