Miracle Mile was a 1989 film starring Anthony Edwards
. It is not known very well, but some people who discover it consider it a rare gem. This brief synopsis
will not ruin the plot.
Harry is a random guy who happens to receive a panicked phone call on a pay phone. The caller works in a US nuclear missile silo that has just launched its payload at the Soviet Union. He is frantically trying to reach his father to warn him, and has called the wrong number. Before Harry can help, the caller is shot and the phone disconnects. Harry manages to verify that the phone call was not a prank. However, he is essentially the only private citizen in the country who knows that Los Angeles, and much of the world, will be destroyed in under two hours.
What follows is Harry's desperate journey, almost in real time, to try to do something useful with what he knows. Shall he warn his family? Can he alert the public? Should he escape as fast as possible, or try to rescue the girl he loves, even though he only met her hours ago? What about the ensuing panic when the public inevitably learns of this imminent nuclear holocaust? The film keeps moving until the end, with an ending that may surprise many viewers.
The film is more about the individual story of Harry, than the mass misery of global thermonuclear war. It is not as grim as The Day After, but mainly it asks "What would you do?". Harry is forced to make decisions under intense pressure, some of which are irreversible. Though the movie is not quite as frightening now, in our post cold war era, it is still exciting, and has an interesting story.
Check it out, if you can find it. Oh, and the title refers to where the movie takes place. (see the other writeup)
It is weird that so many softlinks related to this movie were present before this writeup. Caveat: the synopsis at Apocalyptic Themes in American Film contains a spoiler.