Hard Rain (film)

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Hard Rain
Hard rain ver3.jpg
UK Film poster
Directed by Mikael Salomon
Produced by Allison Lyon Segan
Ian Bryce
Mark Gordon
Gary Levinsohn
Written by Graham Yost
Starring Morgan Freeman
Christian Slater
Randy Quaid
Minnie Driver
Music by Christopher Young
Cinematography Peter Menzies Jr.
Edited by Amnon David
Paul Hirsch
Gillian L. Hutshing
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
(United States)
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
(United Kingdom)
Release dates
16 January 1998 (US)
3 April 1998 (UK)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United States, United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $70 million
Box office $19,870,567

Hard Rain (also known as The Flood) is a 1998 American/British disaster action thriller film, produced by Mark Gordon, written by Graham Yost (the writer-producer team also behind the film Speed) and directed by former cinematographer turned director Mikael Salomon. It stars Christian Slater, Morgan Freeman, Randy Quaid, Minnie Driver and Ed Asner.

The plot centers on a heist and man-made treachery amidst a natural disaster in a small Indiana town. The tagline is "A simple plan. An instant fortune. Just add water." The film received negative reviews and was a box office bomb in the United States, but fared better overseas and had good video sales.

The film is also noteworthy for its use of the song "Flood" by the Christian rock group Jars of Clay, which launched the band into the mainstream music scene.


During the worst recorded rainstorm in the history of the Midwestern United States, armored truck drivers Tom (Christian Slater) and his uncle Charlie (Edward Asner) collect the money from local banks affected by the rising flood waters. In the small town of Huntingburg, Indiana, which has been evacuated, Tom and Charlie drive into a ditch and become stuck, and Charlie calls dispatch to alert the National Guard. They are then ambushed by Jim (Morgan Freeman) and his gang of armed robbers, Kenny (Michael Goorjian), Mr. Mehlor (Dann Florek) and Ray (Ricky Harris). Kenny accidentally shoots Charlie dead, as Tom gets away with the $3 million in cash and hides it in a cemetery. The film continues, showing floods and chases with jet skis and other craft.



The production of the film was a collaborative effort between numerous film studios, one of which was the BBC.[2] At one point, John Woo was attached to direct the film, but he left the project to direct Face/Off instead and the project was taken over by Mikael Salomon.

The film was originally titled "The Flood", it was changed because the film-makers didn't want audiences to assume it was primarily a disaster movie and not a heist movie/thriller. However, the film still retained that title in numerous other countries.[3]

The film was shot in Huntingburg, Indiana where the film is set (although in reality there is no major river or dam nearby – only two reservoirs near the town), as well as a $6 million set in an aircraft hangar in Palmdale, California where the B-1 Lancer bomber was manufactured, and some exteriors in Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[4]

Box office[edit]

Hard Rain opened on Martin Luther King weekend in 1998 earning fifth place with $7,076,110 from Friday to Sunday[5] and $8,009,024 including the holiday Monday.[6] In the end, the film made $19,870,567 domestically on a $70 million budget[7] making it one of the most expensive flops of the year.

The production costs were however remade by high VHS and DVD sales, and some overseas box offices.[citation needed] Due to its poor box office performance in the US, the film was released straight to video in most countries.[citation needed]


The film received negative reviews. One example of a positive review was on timeout.com,[8] which favourably compared the plot of Hard Rain to writer Graham Yost's earlier and more financially successful project, the acclaimed action film Speed and suggested that it could be considered a spiritual sequel to Speed. Another review, on starpulse.com, praised the action scenes of Hard Rain yet criticized the plot, calling it "mindless" yet "entertaining".[9]

Hard Rain currently has a 29% rating on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes based on 41 reviews.[10]


  1. ^ The end credits state, "Produced in association with Marubeni/Toho-Towa, Tele-Munchen, BBC, UGC-PH and Nordisk Film".[1]


  1. ^ Hard Rain. (DVD). Paramount Pictures. 1998. 
  2. ^ "Hard Rain (1998)". IMDb. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Hard Rain (1998) : Release Info". IMDb. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Hard Rain (1998)". IMDb. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Numbers - Weekend Box Office Chart for January 16, 1998". The-numbers.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Numbers - Daily Box Office Chart for Monday January 19, 1998". The-numbers.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Hard Rain". The-numbers.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Hard Rain". Time Out London. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Hard Rain - Starpulse.com". Starpulse. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Hard Rain at Rotten Tomatoes

External links[edit]