Science on Screen: Twister (1996)


Sioux Falls State Theatre Thu, May 30 6:30 PM
Film Info
Event Type:A Science on Screen® Presentation
Release Year:1996
Runtime:1h 53m ( 113 min)
Assistive Moviegoing:None
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Jan de Bont
Cast:Helen Hunt
Bill Paxton
Cary Elwes
Jami Gertz
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Produced By:Ian Bryce
Steven Spielberg
Michael Crichton
Kathleen Kennedy
Screenwriter:Michael Crichton
Anne-Marie Martin
Music By:Mark Mancina


A Science on Screen® Presentation

TWISTER: Hollywood vs. Reality

Exploring Weather Science in Film

Join Todd Heitkamp, the National Weather Service's meteorologist in charge, as he compares Hollywood’s portrayal of extreme weather events to the scientific realities behind them.

Pre-show presentation begins at 6:30pm, followed by a screening of TWISTER and post-film Q&A

An initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION.

About the speaker
Todd Heitkamp is the Meteorologist in Charge for the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, SD. A native of Adrian, Minnesota, he received his Meteorology Degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1986. He began his career with the National Weather Service in 1987 holding positions in Waterloo, IA and Denver, CO before accepting the Warning Coordination Meteorologist in Sioux Falls, SD in 1994. He then was promoted into his current position in 2018. He has received two Department of Commerce’s Bronze Medals for his work in the development of NWS safety brochures, as well as his public outreach activities. He also received the National Weather Service’s Modernization Award for product development. He has three adult children and is married to his wife of 38 years, Roxanne.

During the approach of the most powerful storm in decades, university professor Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) and an underfunded team of students prepare the prototype for Dorothy, a ground-breaking tornado data-gathering device conceived by her estranged husband, Bill (Bill Paxton). When Harding tells Bill that Dorothy is ready for testing -- and that their privately funded rival Dr. Jonas Miller (Cary Elwes) has stolen the idea and built his own -- Bill rejoins the team for one last mission.

Score: 3.2

"Like all white-knuckle rides, once you're done you fancy doing it all over again."
Empire Magazine

"[A] high-powered spectacle designed to blow us away..."
Boston Globe

"It looks real, and Director Jan De Bont keeps the action coming so fast there's no time to question it.”
San Francisco Chronicle


“An expert in making audiences squirm and twist, at making us feel the rush of experience right along with the actors, De Bont choreographs action and suspense so beautifully he makes it seem like a snap.”
Los Angeles Times

“It's a perfect motion picture roller coaster -- fun, fast, and furious... as long as you don't think too hard.”