Its early 1990 and the Cold War is slowly winding down, but this 12 year old was still living under the threat of nuclear war that had been a constant threat for many years. My love of films is already well established thanks to a very cool mum who would let me watch any -film – within reason – so long as she got to watch the more adult oriented films with me and if I had any questions about things I didn’t grasp, I would have to discuss it with her.
Mum always believed in letting me see what the real world was like, rather than sheltering me from it, I still appreciate that. Every Friday I would go on a trip to the local video store to get the usual 5 weekly movies for $10 deal and every weekend I would spend that weekend watching that weeks selections.
One film that completely stuck with me during this time was the Steve De Jarnatt film Miracle Mile. What started out as your usual action/thriller story, quickly evolved into one of the first films I had seen that didn’t have the usual Hollywood ending that I had seen so many times before. It blew me away!
What starts out as a budding romance film, quickly evolves into a tense thriller about a potential nuclear attack from Russia after our main character receives a telephone booth phone call from an incorrectly dialled number telling him that the missiles have launched.
A few years earlier I had seen – and loved – John Badham’s War Games, but Miracle Mile wasn’t made for teenagers like Badham’s film. Miracle Mile was a gripping film for a 12 year old about the gradual descent into madness that occurs when civility begins to crumble when nuclear attack is imminent.
What follows is a tense and gripping 90 minutes that still sticks with me, 26 years later. The last time I saw this film was in the late 1990’s on an old beaten up VHS rental as it was always very difficult to purchase this film for home consumption in Australia.
Thankfully, 25 years after release, I have finally been able to acquire a bluray edition of Miracle Mile thanks to a recent release of the film by Kino Lorber. Even though it’s been 16 years since I’ve last seen the film, it still holds up with as much impact as it did when I first saw it 26 years ago.
I’m glad that Kino Lorber have gone to the trouble of creating a new transfer for this release as this is also the first time I’ve seen the film in it’s original aspect ratio – seeing as the previous VHS releases were panned and scanned – and the results are pleasing for a smaller distributor considering they don’t have the budget of the bigger studios. It’s also nice to a good selection of extras on the disc like audio commentaries & featurettes which are more than just filler.
It seems that today many distributors winding down comprehensive supplements for monetary reasons, so again it’s good to see these included which add both enjoyment and added production knowledge of the film for the viewer, the audio commentaries are especially well put together and informative.
Miracle Mile is one of those films that should be in any discerning collection. It still holds up brilliantly after 28 years considering it’s low budget origins.