Saturday, June 22, 2013

TWISTER for Today

It's June 22nd.  This is the perfect day to watch that action-packed 1996 movie, Twister.  This big box office hit had a strong and affectionate Judy Garland theme running through its screenplay, written by Michael Crichton and Anne-Marie Martin.  Judy's 1939 classic that made her a star, The Wizard of Oz, is not just a musical fantasy.  It's also a female-driven action adventure.  Dorothy survives a twister in Kansas and she proves to be quite brave when she lands over the rainbow in the Land of Oz.

As she's carried up inside the twister, she sees a cow fly by her window.  Her greatest action adventures  and her fight to stay alive happen while she's in a pair of ruby slippers.
In Twister, we have the brave female storm-chasing scientist played by Helen Hunt.  She survived a twister as a little girl.  Sadly, she watched it carry off her dad to his death after he got her to safety.  This was in June 1969.  We see this in the movie's opening moments.  Years later, as she chases a twister, we'll see a cow go flying by the window of her vehicle.  Instead of having power inside a pair of ruby slippers, Helen Hunt's character has power and fights to stay alive while inside a ruby-colored pick-up truck.

Jo the meteorologist (Hunt) has a tornado research device called "Dorothy."  On this machine is an emblem of Judy Garland as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
Just like Dorothy, Jo has an aunt in Heartland America.  She loves her aunt.  So does Jo's group of storm chasers because her aunt always invites the crew over to put on the feedbag.  While townspeople are enjoying a drive-in movie, a major twister hits.  The storm chaser crew worries about sweet Aunt Meg.  She's home alone watching a movie.  What movie does she happen to be watching?  Director George Cukor's acclaimed 1954 remake of A Star Is Born starring Judy Garland and James Mason.  This was the classic musical drama that brought Garland an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

I love that Aunt Meg is in Oklahoma watching Judy in A Star Is Born.
After Twister, you could watch Easter Parade.  Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, two legendary talents of Hollywood musicals, sing and dance in this beloved 1948 show biz musical comedy that's chock full o' songs by Irving Berlin.

Fred Astaire died on June 22, 1987.

Judy Garland died on June 22, 1969 -- the same month and year that Twister begins.

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