Monday, December 12, 2016

Terrorist bombing movies

The news this weekend had a couple more stories about bombings in the Middle East, one from Istanbul and one from Egypt. With the snow here, I don't have the time more much more than another lazy list post, so I started thinking about what movies have terrorist bombings in them. (Obviously, a lot of war movies have bombs; that's different.)

Alfred Hitchcock immediately springs to mind, first with Sabotage back in the UK. I really like the use of the bomb in that one, even if Hitchcock himself later said he had severe problems with what he did in that plot. Several years later, fifth columnists (who are probably a subgenre of their own in the movies) bombed a navy launching in Saboteur, which is another of Hitchcock's really underrated movies.

Terrorists put a series of bombs in a transatlantic cruise ship in Juggernaut, and it's up to Richard Harris to defuse them. This is a surprisingly good movie that also doesn't get as much attention as it probably should. There's some really good black humor, and the terrorist plot's unraveling comes in a really unexpected way.

And then there's Terror on a Train, a movie MGM made over in the UK, I'd guess with blocked funds, sending over Glenn Ford so the movie would play well on this side of the Atlantic as well. He has to deal with a bomb on a train full of munitions.

For a bomb on a plane, you've got Van Heflin in Airport, one of the earlier of the big-budget all-star movies that made it to screens through the 1970s. (I don't know if you'd put Hotel from a few years earlier in that genre, or even The VIPs from the early 1960s. But The VIPs didn't have any real disaster; even Hotel had that faulty elevator.)

And of course you've got the bus that couldn't go slow in Keanu Reeves' movie Speed. For another bus-bombing movie, you have Busses Roar, another of those fifth-column movies from the early days of World War II, that's a fairly entertaining B movie.

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