Laid-back jazz trombonist Harry Washello (Anthony Edwards) answers a random wrong number call to a phone booth outside a diner in Los Angeles in the early hours of the morning and mistakenly hears that a full-blown nuclear attack is just over an hour away.
It’s a simple idea superbly executed; visually symbolic, somehow both romantic and terrifying and as frighteningly relevant today as it was then.
Set in the days before mobile telephony, rolling 24-hour media and the internet became commonplace, Harry and the diner’s patrons don’t know if the threat is real.
Deciding to take no chances and get the hell out of Dodge, the diverse protagonists are plunged into a nerve-wracking, will-they-won’t-they-make-it scenario that plays out in real-time.
One of the film’s many plus points is that the audience is flying just as blind as the characters throughout, right up until the climax.
Love-struck Harry is the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. He becomes the viewers’ eyes and ears as he frantically and single-mindedly attempts to locate Julie (Mare Winningham), the diner waitress with whom he had fallen in love, at first sight, earlier that day.
Will the new lovebirds be reunited and get to live a full and fruitful life together? or will the bomb drop and turn their dreams into radioactive dust?
Miracle Mile was shot on location at night over seven weeks in the Los Angeles neighbourhood from which the film gets its title, with many of the area’s architectural landmarks prominently featured. The film was a box office failure for obvious reasons but it is exceptionally well-made and destined for cult rediscovery.
Kelly Jo Minter
Fred the Cook
Claude Earl Jones
Danny De La Paz
Steve De Jarnatt