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Johnstown Flood (2003)

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Release Date: Jan 1, 2003 Wide

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67

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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 316

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Movie Info

Narrated by Richard Dreyfuss and directed by Mark Bussler, Johnstown Flood, tells the story of the massive flood that destroyed the town of Johnstown, PA, on May 31, 1889. Using old photos, etchings, recreated footage, and dramatic readings of first-hand accounts, this black-and-white film explores the history of the town, which, at the time of the flood, had become a major center of steel production in the U.S. Dreyfuss describes how the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, a resort for the

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Aug 26, 2003

Inecom Entertainment

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All Critics (12) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (3) | DVD (5)

Mark Bussler's Johnstown Flood is an excellent documentary about one of the worst tragedies to occur in America during the 1800s.

February 20, 2006 Full Review Source: FulvueDrive-in.com
FulvueDrive-in.com

Bussler understands the purpose of telling this story in documentary form, but it's the facts themselves that should be driving the storytelling, not the other way around.

November 5, 2003 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

Johnstown Flood has its weaknesses (the firsthand accounts weren't written to be recited like dialogue), but it still does a fine job of explaining why the impact of May 31, 1889 remains with us.

October 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

Story is king - if the budgetary limits are a little too obvious, we must smile and forgive, because the writing & research is excellent.

September 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Cinerina

Feels less like a dry History lesson than like a '50s disaster flick.

August 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

Dreyfuss' voice is like a weasel rubbed against a blackboard.

August 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

It brings to life the tragic event.

July 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Johnstown Flood is the kind of movie I wouldn't have minded watching in school. It concurrently educates and entertains. While it's not perfect, it's still a worthy introduction to an American tragedy.

July 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Views

The gold standard for this kind of documentary is set by filmmaker Ken Burns. "Johnstown Flood" doesn't rise to that level, but it is an informative historical tale.

June 30, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

While the horrors of the tragedy automatically give it weight (after all, how can one truly rate a documentary about an event in which 2,200 people died poorly?), it did have one main flaw, which quickly got on my nerves: the re-enactments.

June 28, 2003
Matt's Movie Reviews

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