Hurricane (1974)

I am a big Martin Milner fan, so I naturally try and see everything he has ever starred in. One movie I have been trying to get my hands on was the 1974 telefilm, Hurricane. I finally found a decent copy on a compilation disc called, Classic Disaster Movies (Virus / Hurricane / Deadly Harvest). I watched all three and they are all worth your time, but I will talk about Hurricane today. This post is rife with spoilers, so if you plan on seeing this. Stop here, get a copy and tell me what you think in the comments.


OK, so a Category 5 Hurricane is about to hit the gulf coast of the United States and a bunch of people from other 1960s and 1970s TV shows have been assembled to partake of its fury. So you got Adam-12’s Martin Milner as this heroic pilot flying through hurricanes trying to get readings. He then sends the info back to these weather nerds lead by the Grandpa from the Waltons. There is some subplot about the lady weather nerd not wanting to be there, but its get buried under an avalanche of weather stock footage.


Milner’s data tells the weather nerds that they have to order an evacuation. While some people decide to flee, others decide to have a party. This party is led by Frank Sutton who was on Gomer Pyle and who died shortly after this film was made. He does a good job in the movie of playing a drunk jerk. And the direction is done well enough that you can tell he and his party are doomed.


While out flying around in the eye of the hurricane, Milner and his crew spot Larry Hagman and the mother from Arrested Development stranded on a boat. Thus begins a rescue subplot that will culminate in the heroic death of Milner and crew AND the appearance of a submarine to rescue the boat. Oh wait…Spoiler!


The movie moves along at a decent pace. 30% of the film is stock footage and even though the footage is faded it is still pretty nice. Eventually the storm hits all of the main characters and the people at the party take a big hit. Frank Sutton’s character’s wife dies and he weeps appropriately. Martin Milner and his plane crew die in what we are lead to believe is an explosion and the people on the boat are rescued by a submarine.


It seems the Navy was really liberal with their submarine use in the 1970s. In this movie and Virus they have submarines that do not look like stock footage. For some reason that bugs me.

Shouldn’t they have more important things to do?

Well, besides the subs, I really enjoyed Hurricane despite its shortcomings. It is an amazing time capsule of 1970s TV and captures the look and feel of the “made-for-tv” movies of that era. The closest thing to this experience we have today is the SyFy original movie. The biggest difference being SyFy relies on horrible CGI while the 1970s telefilm relied on stock footage.

This disjointed overview might seem chaotic, but I tried to capture the feel of this movie in a blog post. Short, confusing and full of stock images and non sequiturs.


I love it.


This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. nice! I have that dvd in my netflix cue. Can’t wait!!

  2. I too enjoyed this movie very much. I only have seen it that one time way back then and wish somebody would air it again. Another tv movie that I would like to see again involves a super sonic plane that was sabotaged. This causes a short circuit in some of the plane’s system which suddenly accelerates its speed and put the plane in low Earth orbit. Since the plane was designed to fly at very high altitudes being in space was no problem, but since it was not designed for actual space flight it cannot survive re-entry to safely land all the passengers, so they have to deploy numerous way to recue the crew and passengers utitilizing numerous space shuttle flights.
    Another tv movie I wish I could see again has comet destroying Phoenix, Arizona, and it stars such veteran actors as Merlin Oleson, Martin Milner (?), Lloyd Nolan and others. At least I think Martin Milner is in it. I Lloyd Nolan is in it though in it and he plays a doctor in this disaster movie again too. I just with I new the names of them.

  3. Great memories Robert.

    Is that first movie, SST: Death Flight?

    That second movie didn’t have Milner in it, but it did have Richard Crenna it was called
    a Fire in the Sky (worth watching for the rotating restaurant shot alone).

  4. Wow! This movie Hurricane was on cable in the middle of the night & I just started watching it. I was a teenager in the ’70’s & my mom loved disaster movies (I must have inherited that from her!) but I dint no when I set it to tape it was from that era — they don’t have the year in the description. So I go on my phones browser to c what year this is from & found this site. I’m so glad I did & am now looking 4ward to watching the rest (am about 20 mins into it). Thanks 4 ur post. Can’t wait 2 c the rest!

  5. I remember watching this back in the 80’s when a local TV station aired it on a Saturday afternoon. The parts that stuck with me all these years were the infamous “hurricane party” which was based on the real one that took place during Hurricane Camielle in 1969.

  6. I only ever saw this film ONCE in the early 80`s and was on our main channel I.T.V., so where would this film be shown again? I thought that after the death of Larry Hagman last November this film would have been shown as a tribute as this was another role he did 4 years before DALLAS, and this film HURRICANE funnily enough also having Patrick Duffy in it even though him and Larry Hagman didn`t have scenes together in this, so where will this film get shown again?.

  7. Do you recall the scene in the movie that uses stock footage of the SS Minnow being tossed in the waves? The same part that is in the Gilligan’s Island intro where the song goes: The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: