Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster

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Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster
Dead Ahead- The Exxon Valdez Disaster FilmPoster.jpeg
Written byMichael Baker
Directed byPaul Seed
StarringChristopher Lloyd
John Heard
Bob Gunton
Mark Metcalf
Music byDavid Ferguson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Richard Broke
Colin Callender
Leslie Woodhead
Producer(s)John Smithson
David M. Thompson
Howard Meltzer (co-producer)
Frank Doelger (co-producer)
Joanna Gueritz (associate producer)
Production location(s)Alaska
CinematographyIan Punter
Editor(s)Dave King
Running time90 minutes
Production company(s)HBO Showcase
BBC Films
Original networkHBO
Original release
  • December 12, 1992 (1992-12-12)

Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster is a 1992 movie depicting the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster off the coast of Alaska. Directed by Paul Seed, it stars Christopher Lloyd, John Heard, Rip Torn and Michael Murphy.

Most of the film was shot in Vancouver, Richmond and Steveston, British Columbia, but it also utilizes archival film clips of the actual disaster and cleanup efforts.


On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It was the worst oil spill of its time, releasing over 11 million US gallons (260,000 bbl; 42,000 m3) of crude oil onto the Alaskan shoreline.

Much of the film centers on the conflict between local officials, the fishing industry, and the Exxon official sent out to oversee the clean-up and take the rap. The filmmakers point out that much of the aftermath could have been minimized had the officials in charge been better prepared and not spent so much time involved in useless red-tape and petty bureaucratic bickering.

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