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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

the oh-no! DVD of the week: ‘St. Helens: 30th Anniversary Edition starring Academy Award Winner Art Carney!’


I’d like it noted that the exclamation point and the stuff about Carney being an Oscar winner are included in the official title at Amazon. I didn’t add that. Though I might have if I thought it was funnier that way. Which it is.

So what’s it all about? It’s “the true story of Harry Truman… one man against the volcanic eruption of the century!” It’s right there on the DVD cover. I didn’t know people took on volcanic eruptions — I figured everyone just ran — but I guess there’s some sort of nobility in standing one’s ground against the bastard lava. It’s about time someone put their burned stump of a foot down and said, “No more!”

The true story of the eruption of Mount St. Helens and the men and women whose lives were thrown into chaos when the volcano blew its top, leveling over fifty square miles of virgin forest, spewing out a plume of ash and smoke that circled the globe. Academy Award Winner Art Carney takes on the role of Harry Truman, who refused to let the impending disaster move him from his mountain home, and David Huffman plays the geologist who predicted the eruption. Filmed entirely on location in Bend, Oregon in the aftermath of the May 18, 1980 seismic event, St. Helens is an up close and personal look at the largest volcanic explosion in North American history, blending original footage and drama with actual newsreel footage of the eruption!

Newsreel? Was this made in 1938?

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