Natick’s decision on whether to repair or remove the Charles River dam/spillway is nearing, with liability, environmental, liability, cultural, and liability issues all being weighed by the town. The Select Board meets on Wednesday, Oct. 19, with Charles River Dam Deliberation on the agenda sometime after 7pm.
If you’re not already in the mood for this closely followed decision, and our Dam Decision Song Playlist didn’t do it for you, perhaps a smattering of Hollywood and beyond’s most dramatic dam destruction scenes will get your juices flowing. Some of these videos hit way too close to home for those of us who are river neighbors.
We start with The Rock, battling one calamity after another to save and reunite his family in 2015’s San Andreas, where an earthquake has serious repercussions. When The Rock’s involved, it’s always go big or go home, so in this case we’re looking at the Hoover Dam’s demise, with Paul Giamatti’s Dr. Hayes shouting “Everybody get off the dam!”
Like the Golden Gate Bridge and Statue of Liberty, the Hoover Dam takes a beating in movies. with a near miss at the end of this clip from 1957’s The Amazing Colossal Man. And to think, we’re quaking over that grove of pine trees atop the earthen dam in South Natick!
As 1997’s Dante’s Peak, starring Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton, erupting volcanoes and nearby dams are not a good combination.
The word “dam” doesn’t show up in a ton of movie titles (nor “spillway”), but it does in 2011’s Dam 999, a sci-fi disaster movie based on a documentary about the Banquia dam disaster of 1975 that immediately killed tens of thousands, and eventually hundreds of thousands in the aftermath.
Not sure if anyone locally has been secretly building an ark, but as the 2007 film Evan Almighty shows, it’s just the thing to have if the dam blows. “Holy…get everyone on the ark now!” Steve Carell goes all Noah on us, as Morgan Freeman plays who else, but God.
In Nazi chase film Force 10 from Navarone, an elite American unit blows holes in a dam, and the flooding begins. Carl Weathers and others star. Let’s hope Natick takes a more nuanced approach if it decides to breach the dam.
You know the 1976 disaster flick Flood! isn’t going to end well, with that exclamation point in the title. Watch out Brownsville, as “a million tons of unleashed fury” are heading your way.
Speaking of disaster movies, yeah, the Mulholland Dam gets it in 1974’s Earthquake.
The rebels use more than arrows to take out the dam in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1. Everyone gets soaked.
If Natick does decided to take remove the dam and spillway, we hope the town administrator has Knight Rider’s or Superman’s number on speed dial. Superman didn’t save the Hoover Dam from imploding in 1978’s Superman, but he did save the day.
South Natick, South Park, whatever. Yeah, Cartman wrecks a dam.
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