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The Eruption of Mount St. Helens!


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The Eruption of Mount St. Helens! + NOVA: Mt St. Helens: Back from the Dead
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Follow the events of one of America's most famous natural disasters. This film shows amazing scenes that reveal an unearthly landscape of mud, ash and steaming craters, which sharply contrast the pre-eruption scenery of pristine snow-covered peaks. Academy Award-® Nominee Best Short Documentary. 2 language tracks including English and Chinese.

From the Back Cover

"The Eruption of Mount St. Helens!" chronicles the cataclysmic events during one of America's most famous natural disasters, capturing the dramatic primary and secondary eruptions that began on Sunday, May 18, 1980 at 8:32 a.m. When the destruction was over, the once beautiful symmetrical cone rising 9,667 feet above sea level had lost over 8.8 billion cubic yards of ice, rock and dirt, decreasing its height by 1,300 feet.

Originally shot in the IMAX format, this film includes footage from the rescue helicopters that combed the area looking for survivors after the initial eruption. These amazing scenes reveal an unearthly landscape of mud, ash, and steaming craters, which sharply contrasts with the pre-eruption scenery of pristine snow-covered peaks and the crystal waters of Spirit Lake.

As the film revisits the area a decade later, it is startling to see the rapid recovery after so much devastation. In this celebration of nature, "The Eruption of Mount St. Helens!" explores the power of nature to destroy, and to heal, in a cycle of destruction and creation that constantly changes the world in which we live.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Foxworth
  • Directors: George Casey
  • Writers: George Casey
  • Producers: George Casey, Ammiel G. Najar, Paul Novros
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.44:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: SlingShot Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 23, 2000
  • Run Time: 28 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003ETHK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,283 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Eruption of Mount St. Helens!" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

The narration was excellent and powerful.
Charles M. Ciarametaro
This personal experience hightened my anticipation of the DVD release of "The Eruption of Mount St. Helens." I even put money down for an advance purchase.
Amazon Customer
Although it was originally shown on IMAX, clearly much of the photography was not shot with IMAX cameras.
Bruce K. Reedy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 18, 2000
Format: DVD
My college graduation was cancelled when the eruption of Mount Saint Helens sent a boiling ash cloud east and covered Spokane, WA. This personal experience hightened my anticipation of the DVD release of "The Eruption of Mount St. Helens." I even put money down for an advance purchase. But, alas, the film is sorely lacking in 1) scientific explanation, 2) IMAX quality images, and 3) a decent script. Believe me -- I'm not picky! I love all the IMAX format DVD I've purchased. But this one was a big disappointment. There is so much more that could have been captured -- from the personal stories that collided with the eruption to the scientific/natural marvel of a volcano blasting away in the modern era. The eruption of Mount Saint Helens was an unexpected event, and I realize that the visual material available for this production is limited. But I did expect that, twenty years after the event, someone could edit the material with more skill, better interpretation, and a sharper sense of the drama of that terrible/incredible day.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alex on November 10, 2005
Format: DVD
Do not be fooled by the advertisement. This movie is only 26 minutes long! Although sold as a "former" I-MAX movie the footage was clearly shot on film of a much lower grade and quality. This DVD was released in 2000 but the original movie was actually shot soon after the eruption - most of the time you get the "hazy" 1980s TV-quality picture.

Other than a few great shots of the eruption (some repeats here) there is no science to speak about. Words like lahar, pyroclastic flow, or Plinian eruption are not used. This is a descriptive video without any background, analysis of processes, or scientific background. This video would never even be nominated for best documentary today - there simply isn't enough information in it. If you played this video in a classroom without the sound you wouldn't miss anything.

Am I the only one to notice the helicopter's rotor blades at the top of the screen on virtually every aerial shot?

If you want some nice historical footage of the eruption - this is a good video (though short) - if you are looking for a classroom tool loaded with good science and information - don't bother.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By N. Stock on August 5, 2000
Format: DVD
I was disappointed to find that the documentary was only 34 minutes long.There is another documentary of similar time,but no other extras.It does have some spectacular footage from the air and some film on the ground.The "before and after" film footage of areas around Mount St Helens is amazing.The DVD also has a series of photos taken of the eruption which are quite spectacular and the documentary conveys the huge size of the explosion.Worth having just to see the might of Mount St Helens.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bruce K. Reedy on August 23, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A mix of decent photography and before (1980) and after (1990) snippets, but overall, not very impressive. No character studies of those affected are included, and certain aerial shots seem to be repeated throughout. Although it was originally shown on IMAX, clearly much of the photography was not shot with IMAX cameras. The CD cover says "Academy Award nominee for best short documentary" - that was apparently a very slow year for documentaries...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joshua R. Diener on October 19, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was really disapointed, for the price you pay you sure do not get much footage of the Eruption. I live in Seattle and was hoping to learn a lot about the Eruption and honestly didnt learn a single thing. Eruption footage only lasts maybe 1 minute of the entire movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Lindsey on December 24, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this video, because I teach Earth science in High School, and was looking for good REAL video footage of the kinds of incidents about which I teach. I remember when Mt. St. Helens exploded, and there was a VERY cool IMAX video where they flew through towns that were covered with LOTS of ash. This was not the video I expected, but it is still VERY good - a little too much slow-motion pyroclastic cloud formation. It drags a little too much for high school kids who generally do not care about these things. It is not a recreational movie, it is an educational movie that really brings home the destructive power that is held within these mountains.
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