23 Sep 2015

DISASTER FILMS - Analysis [Part 1]

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  Are the Disaster Film Rules accurate?

The results for the large cast of characters in Disaster Films.

Ten films were tested:

RULE #1 - Characters

Male lead
...will be an expert (scientist/architect/ship-builder) who has a theory of an upcoming catastrophe or the inventor of something that will stop a future theoretical disaster.  They, however, will be considered obsessed and crazy and there is no chance of said catastrophe.  Their obsession will lead to their relationship falling apart, leading them to live in their car or a camper van and probably giving them a drinking problem.  They may even be suicidal (not really, but contemplate it).  Out of a desperate attempt to warn people they will come off like a raving lunatic.  Many of his problems (like drinking will immediately disappear once they are established).  He will end up having to do nany action heroy things.

  • Designer - Doug Roberts (The Towering Inferno): Architect.
  • Disaster expert - Chief O'Hallorhan (The Towering Inferno): Fire chief;  Kit Latura (Daylight): Former fireman, expert on this tunnel collapsing.
  • Instructor - Captain Alan Murdock (Airport 1975).
  • Scientist - Harry Dalton (Dante's Peak): Volcanos; Professor Jack Hall (The Day After TomorrowClimatologist; Allison Stone, PhD (Into the Storm): Meteorologist.
  • Other professions - Reverend Scott (The Poseidon Adventure): Religion; Martin Brody (Jaws): Sherrif; Ted Striker (Airplane!): former pilot; Jenny Lerner (Deep Impact):  Reporter;  Leo Biederman (Deep Impact) & Sam Hall (The Day After Tomorrow): Students.
Of the 13 lead males listed: 54% are experts, 46% have more general jobs or are students.  Count just the films, 60% has at least one leading man who is an expert.  Two females are listed as lead "males" one is an expert, one is more generally employed.

  • Escape plans - Reverend Scott (The Poseidon Adventure); Kit Latura (Daylight).
  • Warning - Harry Dalton (Dante's Peak); Professor Jack Hall (The Day After Tomorrow).
  • Relies on data - Allison Stone, PhD (Into the Storm)
  • Execute someone else's theory - Doug RobertsChief O'Hallorhan (The Towering Inferno); Captain Alan Murdock (Airport 1975); Martin Brody (Jaws); Ted Striker (Airplane!); Sam Hall (The Day After Tomorrow).
  • No theories - Leo Biederman (Deep Impact); Jenny Lerner (Deep Impact).
Of the 13 lead males listed:  38.5% create the plan or use their expertise, and another 46% were involved in excuting someone else's plan.  Two characters weren't involved in the plan, both from Deep Impact. Reducing it to just films, 50% had the lead "male" involved in creating a plan, 40% only had some executing it and 10% (Deep Impact) had none.

  • Yes - Reverend Scott (The Poseidon Adventure): Heretical, moved by church;  Kit Latura (Daylight): Fired after deaths.
  • Partially - Doug Roberts (The Towering Inferno): Wants to move to Montana; Martin Brody (Jaws):  New to the island, hates water; Harry Dalton (Dante's Peak): Obsessed with job; Allison Stone, PhD (Into the Storm): of hurricane-chasers, a little; Professor Jack Hall (The Day After Tomorrow): Not believed by officials; Ted Striker (Airplane!): Unemployed, issues; Sam Hall (The Day After Tomorrow) Bit of a nerd.
  • Not - Chief O'Hallorhan (The Towering Inferno); Captain Alan Murdock (Airport 1975); Jenny Lerner (Deep Impact); Leo Biederman (Deep Impact).
Of the 13 lead males only 15% are fully outsiders, 54% are partially outsiders, leaving 31% not outsiders.  Considering the films 20% have a outsider lead male, 60% have a partial, and 20% has a completely accepted leading man.

  • Major - Reverend Scott (The Poseidon Adventure):  Crisis of faith (eventually); Ted Striker (Airplane!):  Drinking problem, confidence issues; Harry Dalton (Dante's Peak): Dead girlfriend.
  • Minor - Captain Alan Murdock (Airport 1975): Unable to commit; Martin Brody (Jaws): Fears water; Jenny Lerner (Deep Impact): Father issues;  Professor Jack Hall (The Day After Tomorrow) Bad husband/father; Sam Hall (The Day After Tomorrow): Father issues; Allison Stone, PhD (Into the Storm): Misses her daughter.
  • None apparent - Doug RobertsChief O'Hallorhan (The Towering Inferno); Kit Latura (Daylight); Leo Biederman (Deep Impact).
Of the 13 lead males only 23% have major issues (your definition may vary), 46% of the rest have some sort of issue and another 38.5% have none.  Only the films, 30% have major issues, 50% have some issues, leaving 20% with no lead with issues.

  • Just at the end - Reverend Scott (The Poseidon Adventure).
  • Doesn't seem to be - Doug RobertsChief O'Hallorhan (The Towering Inferno); Captain Alan Murdock (Airport 1975): Martin Brody (Jaws); Ted Striker (Airplane!); Kit Latura (Daylight); Jenny Lerner & Leo Biederman (Deep Impact); Harry Dalton (Dante's Peak); Professor Jack Hall Sam Hall (The Day After Tomorrow); Allison Stone, PhD (Into the Storm).
OK, only one is suicidal (and not even at the beginning) 7.5% of characters or 10% of films.

Disappearing Problems
  • Yes - Jenny Lerner (Deep Impact): Forgives father; Harry Dalton (Dante's Peak);  Professor Jack Hall (The Day After Tomorrow); Sam Hall (The Day After Tomorrow); Allison Stone, PhD (Into the Storm).
  • Seems to - Captain Alan Murdock (Airport 1975): Seems to want to settle down.  Martin Brody (Jaws): Gets over fear of water; Ted Striker (Airplane!)
  • No issues - Doug RobertsChief O'Hallorhan (The Towering Inferno); Kit Latura (Daylight); Leo Biederman (Deep Impact).
  • Actually emerging issue - Reverend Scott (The Poseidon Adventure).
Ignoring the four "no issues," 55.6% have the problem solved, 33.3% seem to have solved thier issies, and one (11.1%) actually had an increase in their issues.  Of films, it's 40%, 30%, 10%.

Action Hero
  • Action - Reverend Scott (The Poseidon Adventure); Doug RobertsChief O'Hallorhan (The Towering Inferno); Captain Alan Murdock (Airport 1975); Kit Latura (Daylight); Harry Dalton (Dante's Peak); Professor Jack Hall (The Day After Tomorrow).
  • A little actionMartin Brody (Jaws): Final shot; Ted Striker (Airplane!): Lands plane; Leo Biederman (Deep Impact): Rode motorbike; Sam Hall (The Day After Tomorrow) - some.
  • No action - Jenny Lerner (Deep Impact); Allison Stone, PhD (Into the Storm).
54% are action heroes, 31% do a bit of action, The two that don't have any real action (15%) are also, disappointingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the two females.

An important person

    ...will be a rich guy who is cut corners to save money keep customers, etc; a military brass who are just stubborn; a politician more interested in votes, staying within budget, not scaring tourists/business or pandering to the rich guy to consider safety.  These people will always be almost constantly wrong, obnoxious and made to look foolish as much as possible.

    • Rich company owner - Jim Duncan & Roger Simmons (The Towering Inferno); Elliot Blair (Dante's Peak)
    • Represents the rich owmer - Linarcos (The Poseidon Adventure).
    • CEO - Joe Patroni (Airport 1975)
    • Politician - Mayor Larry Vaughn (Jaws); President Beck (Deep Impact); VP Raymond Becker (The Day After Tomorrow),
    • Government Official -  Mrs London (Daylight)
    • School Principal - Thomas Walker (Into the Storm)

    Saving Money/Cut corners
    • Saving Money - Linarcos (The Poseidon Adventure); Jim Duncan & Roger Simmons (The Towering Inferno).
    • Not lose money Mayor Larry Vaughn (Jaws): Fears losing tourist dollar; Elliot Blair (Dante's Peak): Fears investing in town if there's panic;  VP Raymond Becker (The Day After Tomorrow): Worries about the economy.
    • Other issues - Mrs London (Daylight): Fears traffic issues; Thomas Walker (Into the Storm): Refuse to cancel graduation.
    • No issues - Joe Patroni (Airport 1975);  President Beck (Deep Impact).

    • Yes - Linarcos (The Poseidon Adventure); Roger Simmons (The Towering Inferno); Mrs London (Daylight); VP Raymond Becker (The Day After Tomorrow)
    • A littleJim Duncan (The Towering Inferno); Mayor Larry Vaughn (Jaws); Elliot Blair (Dante's Peak); Thomas Walker (Into the Storm).
    • No - Joe Patroni (Airport 1975); President Beck (Deep Impact).

    • A little - Linarcos (The Poseidon Adventure);  Jim DuncanRoger Simmons (The Towering Inferno); Mayor Larry Vaughn (Jaws); Elliot Blair (Dante's Peak); VP Raymond Becker (The Day After Tomorrow); Thomas Walker (Into the Storm).
    • No - Joe Patroni (Airport 1975); Mrs London (Daylight);  President Beck (Deep Impact).

    • Airplane!

    Female lead ex of the male lead, who is still in love with the hero but hates what they've become.  She will want to believe in the male lead's idea, but will have been burnt before.  She may be connected to the important person in some way, allowing her to influence them to believe the lead at some later point.

    Male Lead's Ex
    • Separated - Elaine Dickerson (Airplane!); Dr Lucy Hall (The Day After Tomorrow).
    • Together (may split) - Susan Franklin (The Towering Inferno); Nancy Prior (Airport 1975)
    • Together (no issues) - Ellen Brody (Jaws).
    • Lead's crush - Sarah Hotchner (Deep Impact); Laura Chapman (The Day After Tomorrow)
    • Crush on lead - Susan (The Poseidon Adventure).
    • First meeting - Madelyn Thompson (Daylight); Rachel Wando (Dante's Peak); Vice Principal Gary Fuller (Into the Storm).

    The new man

      ...the female lead's replacement for the male lead.  Possibly the important person or connected to them.

      Lead becomes a new man.
      • Daylight; Dante's Peak

      • The Poseidon Adventure; The Towering Inferno; Airport 1975; Jaws; Airplane!; Deep Impact; The Day After Tomorrow; Into the Storm.

      OK, this one pretty much fails.

      The usurped official

      A police chief, ship's captain, plant manager or the like who should be in charge of safety but is told what to do by the important person.  They will want to err on the side of caution but will be told to do otherwise.  Will eventually ignore the important person, but only once it is too late.

        Should be in charge
        • Overruled - Capt Harrison (The Poseidon Adventure); Martin Brody (Jaws); Norman Bassett (Daylight); Tom Gomez (The Day After Tomorrow).
        • Takes charge - Chief O'Hallorhan (The Towering Inferno).
        • Injured - Captain Alan Murdoch (Airport 1975).
        • Quits - Alan Rittenhouse (Deep Impact).

        Errs on side of caution
        • Yes - Capt Harrison (The Poseidon Adventure); Chief O'Hallorhan (The Towering Inferno); Martin Brody (Jaws); Tom Gomez (The Day After Tomorrow).
        • Quits - Alan Rittenhouse (Deep Impact).
        • No - Norman Bassett (Daylight).

        Ignore orders, too late
        • Yes - Capt Harrison (The Poseidon Adventure); Martin Brody (Jaws).
        • Works around - Tom Gomez (The Day After Tomorrow)
        • No - Norman Bassett (Daylight)

        • Airplane!Dante's Peak; Into the Storm.

        A nerdy/geeky expert

        ...usually the sidekick of one of the lead characters or someone working for or connected the government/main business who thinks that, the catastrophe is possible but doesn't have the confidence to stand up for the idea.
          • Lead's sidekick - Will Giddings (The Towering Inferno); The US Geological Survey Team (Dante's Peak).
          • Almost - Robin (The Poseidon Adventure); Rapson's Team (The Day After Tomorrow).
          • No - Acres (The Poseidon Adventure); Danton (Airport 1975).
          • Co-leadLeo Biederman (Deep Impact).
          • Almost secondary lead - Matt Hooper (Jaws).

          Connection to important
          • Works for IP - Will Giddings (The Towering Inferno).
          • No - Robin & Acres (The Poseidon Adventure); Danton (Airport 1975); Matt Hooper (Jaws); The US Geological Survey Team (Dante's Peak); Leo Biederman (Deep Impact)Rapson's Team (The Day After Tomorrow).

          Knows - No confidence
          • Yes - Will Giddings (The Towering Inferno); Acres (The Poseidon Adventure).
          • No - Robin (The Poseidon Adventure); Danton (Airport 1975); Matt Hooper (Jaws); The US Geological Survey Team (Dante's Peak); Leo Biederman (Deep Impact)Rapson's Team (The Day After Tomorrow).

          • Airplane!; Daylight; Into the Storm.

          The experienced tradesman

          Usually the head engineer or in charge of plant maintenance.  Their years experience will mean they recognise the danger exists, but may lead to overconfidence about their equipment.  Will have some mutual trust with the usurped official.  Won't like the book-learning and little experience of the Lead man or geeky expert but will grow to admire them.  Will hate the important person. 

          In charge of...
          • Engine room - Chief Engineer (The Poseidon Adventure)
          • SecurityJernigan (The Towering Inferno).
          • His own boat - Quint (Jaws).
          • Emergency crew - Acting Chief Frank Kraft (Daylight).
          • A team - Paul Dreyfus (Dante's Peak); Professor Terry Rapson (The Day After Tomorrow).
          • Shuttle - Spurgeon Tanner (Deep Impact).
          • Huricane chasers - Pete Moore (Into the Storm).
          • Not much - Kramer (Airplane!).
          • Ex-Mechanic - Joe Patroni (Airport 1975).

          Recognise danger
          • Does - Chief Engineer (The Poseidon Adventure); Jernigan (The Towering Inferno); Joe Patroni (Airport 1975); Quint (Jaws); Kramer (Airplane!)Professor Terry Rapson (The Day After Tomorrow); Spurgeon Tanner (Deep Impact).
          • Accepts Lead's claims: Acting Chief Frank Kraft (Daylight).
          • Ignores/Chases Danger: Pete Moore (Into the Storm).
          • Too late - Paul Dreyfus (Dante's Peak).

          Over confidence
          • Yes - Quint (Jaws); Pete Moore (Into the Storm).
          • Maybe: Kramer (Airplane!).
          • Over cautious Paul Dreyfus (Dante's Peak).
          • No - Chief Engineer (The Poseidon Adventure); Jernigan (The Towering Inferno); Joe Patroni (Airport 1975); Acting Chief Frank Kraft (Daylight); Spurgeon Tanner (Deep Impact)Professor Terry Rapson (The Day After Tomorrow).

          Relationships - Usurped Official
          • Good - Chief Engineer (The Poseidon Adventure); Acting Chief Frank Kraft (Daylight)
          • Questioned him but Good Jernigan (The Towering Inferno)
          • No - Joe Patroni (Airport 1975); Quint (Jaws); Spurgeon Tanner (Deep Impact)Professor Terry Rapson (The Day After Tomorrow)
          • NA - Kramer (Airplane!); Paul Dreyfus (Dante's Peak); Pete Moore (Into the Storm).

          Relationships - Lead Man
          • Good - Jernigan (The Towering Inferno); Joe Patroni (Airport 1975); Professor Terry Rapson (The Day After Tomorrow).
          • OK: Quint (Jaws).
          • Has reason to mistrust, but trusts - Acting Chief Frank Kraft (Daylight).
          • Trusts, but punishes -  Paul Dreyfus (Dante's Peak)
          • Mistrusts - Kramer (Airplane!); Pete Moore (Into the Storm).
          • No connection - Chief Engineer (The Poseidon Adventure); Spurgeon Tanner (Deep Impact).

          Relationships - Geek
          • Good - Jernigan (The Towering Inferno); Professor Terry Rapson (The Day After Tomorrow)
          • Animosity - Quint (Jaws)
          • No connection -  Chief Engineer (The Poseidon Adventure); Spurgeon Tanner (Deep Impact).
          • NA - Kramer (Airplane!); Acting Chief Frank Kraft (Daylight); Pete Moore (Into the Storm)

          Relationships - Important Person
          • Hates - Chief Engineer (The Poseidon Adventure),
          • Dislikes - Professor Terry Rapson (The Day After Tomorrow).
          • Defers to - Jernigan (The Towering Inferno).
          • Apathetic to - Quint (Jaws).
          • Minor Connection - Spurgeon Tanner (Deep Impact).
          • Same person - Joe Patroni (Airport 1975).
          • No relationship - Paul Dreyfus (Dante's Peak); Pete Moore (Into the Storm).
          • NA - Kramer (Airplane!); Acting Chief Frank Kraft (Daylight)

          The wash-out

          ... even worse than the male lead.  A con-man, drinker, gambler, "degenerate."  Will either die nobly (after a final change of heart) or will, upon seeing others dying nobly, will vow to change their life.

          • Yes - Harlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno).
          • Out to make a buck - Quint (Jaws); Donk & Reevis (Into the Storm).
          • No - Mrs Devaney (Airport 1975);  McCroskey (Airplane!); Luthor (The Day After Tomorrow).

          • No - Harlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno); Mrs Devaney (Airport 1975); Quint (Jaws); McCroskey (Airplane!); Luthor (The Day After Tomorrow)Donk & Reevis (Into the Storm)

          • Drugs & Alcohol - McCroskey (Airplane!).
          • Alcoholic/Heavy drinker - Mrs Devaney (Airport 1975); Quint (Jaws)Donk & Reevis (Into the Storm).
          • Not - Harlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno); Luthor (The Day After Tomorrow)

          • Sexist behaviour - Quint (Jaws)Donk & Reevis (Into the Storm).
          • No - Harlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno); Mrs Devaney (Airport 1975); McCroskey (Airplane!); Luthor (The Day After Tomorrow).

          Death/Change Life
          • Dies - Quint (Jaws).
          • Change Life - Harlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno).
          • No - Mrs Devaney (Airport 1975); McCroskey (Airplane!); Luthor (The Day After Tomorrow); Donk & Reevis (Into the Storm).

          • The Poseidon Adventure; Daylight; Dante's Peak; Deep Impact.

          The joker

          ... someone who never takes life too seriously.  May keep spirits up with humour or be hated for not seeing the gravity of the situation.  May experience an outburst of anger or depression when they do take things seriously.   Will probably die mid-joke or while laughing.

          Joke around
          • Never serious - James Martin (The Poseidon Adventure); Sam, Bill & Arnie (Airport 1975).
          • Semi-Serious - Harlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno); Barney (Airport 1975); Donk & Reevis (Into the Storm).

          Keeps Spirits Up
          • Yes - James Martin (The Poseidon Adventure); Harlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno); Barney (Airport 1975).

          • Yes - Donk & Reevis (Into the Storm).
          • A little - James Martin (The Poseidon Adventure); Barney (Airport 1975)
          • Mostly ignoredHarlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno); Sam, Bill & Arnie (Airport 1975).

          Serious moment
          • James Martin (The Poseidon Adventure); Harlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno); Barney (Airport 1975)

          • Lives - James Martin (The Poseidon Adventure); Harlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno); Barney (Airport 1975); Sam, Bill & Arnie (Airport 1975); Donk & Reevis (Into the Storm).

          • Airplane!; Daylight; Dante's Peak; The Day After Tomorrow
          • Minor - Deep Impact.

          The criminal

          ... some low-life petty thief-type, probably young and a minority.  Will have a similar arc to the wash-out but may change quicker, especially after his or her even-low-lifier friends are killed.


          • Former - Linda Rogo (The Poseidon Adventure).
          • Prisoners - Four prisoners (Daylight).
          • Attempted - Harlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno).


          • Yes - Linda Rogo (The Poseidon Adventure); Two prisoners (Daylight).
          • NoHarlee Claiborne (The Towering Inferno) Two prisoners (Daylight).


          • Airport 1975; Jaws; Dante's Peak; Deep ImpactThe Day After Tomorrow; Into the Storm.

          Someone religious
          So their faith can be tested (or someone who has lost faith and can regain it.)

          Church officials

          • Reverend Scott (The Poseidon Adventure).
          • Minor - John the Ship's Chaplain (The Poseidon Adventure); The nuns (Airport 1975); the Nuns & Krishnas (Airplane!)


          • Accepting fate - John the Ship's Chaplain (The Poseidon Adventure).
          • Shows Faith - The nuns (Airport 1975)
          • Loses faith - Reverend Scott (The Poseidon Adventure).


          • Loses - Reverend Scott (The Poseidon Adventure).
          • No change - John the Ship's Chaplain (The Poseidon Adventure); The nuns (Airport 1975).


          • The Towering Inferno; Jaws; Daylight; Dante's Peak; Deep ImpactThe Day After Tomorrow; Into the Storm.

          Minor celebrity

          Someone a little recognisable to the others, who may consider themselves more important and may provide entertainment and encouragement.

          • Actual celebrity - Gloria Swanson (Airport 1975).
          • Fake celebrity - Roy Nord (Daylight).
          • Very minor - Noonie (The Poseidon Adventure); Senator Parker (The Towering Inferno).


          • Yes Gloria Swanson (Airport 1975); Roy Nord (Daylight).
          • Not really - Senator Parker (The Towering Inferno).
          • No - Noonie (The Poseidon Adventure).


          • Encouraging - Roy Nord (Daylight)
          • No - Noonie (The Poseidon Adventure); Senator Parker (The Towering Inferno); Gloria Swanson (Airport 1975)


          • Jaws; Airplane; Dante's Peak; Deep ImpactThe Day After TomorrowInto the Storm.

          Relatives of the important guy

          Someone who, upon discovery that it's not just other people at risk, it's someone he loves, can cause the important person to decide that, oh, yeah, something actually needs to be done.


          • Patty Simmons (The Towering Inferno); Helena Patroni & Joe Jr (Airport 1975).


          • A lot (but would have anyway) - Helena Patroni & Joe Jr (Airport 1975)
          • Little - Patty Simmons (The Towering Inferno).


          • The Poseidon Adventure; Jaws; Airplane!; Daylight; Dante's Peak; Deep ImpactThe Day After TomorrowInto the Storm.

          A typical family

          ...or more than one.

          • Mother, Father & Children - The Brodys: Martin, Ellen and their two sons (Jaws); Steve & Sarah and Ashley (Daylight) The Biedermans and the Hotchners (Deep Impact).
          • Mother & Children - The Allbrights: Angela, Phillip and their widowed mother (The Towering Inferno); Helena & Joe Patroni Jr and Janice Abbott & her mother (Airport 1975); The Wandos: Rachel and Graham & Lauren (Dante's Peak).
          • Father & Children - The Fullers: Gary and his sons Donnie & Trey (Into the Storm).
          • Siblings - Susan & Robin (The Poseidon Adventure)
          • Broken Family - The Halls (The Day After Tomorrow)

          The child

          ...possibly the child of the lead characters.  The child is always getting itself into trouble.  This is Hollywood, so precocious is to be assumed.
          Related to Lead

          • Male Lead - The Brody boys (Jaws).
          • Female Lead - Graham & Lauren (Dante's Peak).
          • Minor - The Hotchner baby (Deep Impact).
          • No - Robin (The Poseidon Adventure); Angela & Phillip (The Towering Inferno); Janice Abbott & Joe Jr (Airport 1975); Joey, Lisa & others (Airplane!); Peter (The Day After Tomorrow).


          • Yes - Graham (Dante's Peak).
          • A little -  Robin (The Poseidon Adventure); Lauren (Dante's Peak).
          • No - Angela & Phillip (The Towering Inferno); Janice Abbott & Joe Jr (Airport 1975); the Brody boys (Jaws); Joey, Lisa & others (Airplane!); Ashley (Daylight); The Hotchner baby (Deep Impact); Peter (The Day After Tomorrow).


          • Yes - Robin (The Poseidon Adventure); Joe Jr (Airport 1975); The coffee kids (Airplane).
          • Sick - Janice Abbott (Airport 1975); Lisa (Airplane!); Peter (The Day After Tomorrow)
          • Angry at father - Ashley (Daylight).
          • A little - Angela & Phillip (The Towering Inferno); The Brody boys (Jaws); Joey (Airplane!); Graham & Lauren (Dante's Peak).


          • Into the Storm; Daylight.

          The older woman

          ...possibly the child of the lead characters.  The child is always getting itself into trouble.  This is Hollywood, so precocious is to be assumed.

          Involved with wash-out
          • Lisolette Mueller (The Towering Inferno).
          • No - Belle (The Poseidon Adventure); Eleanor Trilling (Daylight); Ruth (Dante's Peak); Robin Lerner (Deep Impact); Dr Lucy Hall (The Day After Tomorrow).

          Looks after child

          • Lisolette Mueller (The Towering Inferno); Dr Lucy Hall (The Day After Tomorrow)
          • Saves grandkids (and others) - Ruth (Dante's Peak)
          • No (obsessed with on grandkid) - Belle (The Poseidon Adventure)Eleanor Trilling (Daylight)Robin Lerner (Deep Impact).


          • Just minor - Airport 1975; Jaws; Airplane!
          • Older man - Into the Storm.

          The officious but incompetent person


          • The Purser (The Poseidon Adventure)


          • No - The Purser (The Poseidon Adventure)

          Life Experience

          • Some - The Purser (The Poseidon Adventure)


          • The Towering Inferno; Airport 1975; Jaws; Airplane!; Daylight; Dante's Peak; Deep Impact; The Day After Tomorrow; Into the Storm.

          Loving couple

          Someone who follows the rule book or has academic training but no life experience.
          Not too young - George Tyrell & Grace Calloway (Daylight).
          Older - Paula & Mayor Ramsey (The Towering Inferno).

          OK - George Tyrell & Grace Calloway (Daylight).
          No - Paula & Mayor Ramsey (The Towering Inferno).

          Newly Wed
          No - Paula & Mayor Ramsey (The Towering Inferno)
          New relationship - George Tyrell & Grace Calloway (Daylight).

          He dies, she lives - Paula & Mayor Ramsey (The Towering Inferno); George Tyrell & Grace Calloway (Daylight).


          • The Poseidon Adventure; Jaws; Airplane!; The Day After Tomorrw
          • Minor - Airport 1975; Dante's Peak; Deep Impact; Into the Storm.

          Bickering couple

          Usually middle-aged, he will be less attractive and always arguing so they can discover what is important and if one of them dies, the other can realise they did love them after all.

          Middle Aged
          Yes - The Rogos (The Poseidon Adventure); The Crightons (Daylight).
          Young - Roger & Patty Simmons (The Towering Inferno).

          Him Unattractive
          Him Unattractive/Her Attractive  - The Rogos (The Poseidon Adventure); The Crightons (Daylight).
          Both attractive - Roger & Patty Simmons (The Towering Inferno).

          Newly Wed - The Rogos (The Poseidon Adventure).
          Disconnected - Roger & Patty Simmons (The Towering Inferno).
          Reconciled The Crightons (Daylight).

          Renewed relationship
          Yes - The Rogos (The Poseidon Adventure); The Crightons (Daylight).
          One tries - Roger & Patty Simmons (The Towering Inferno).

          She dies - The Rogos (The Poseidon Adventure).
          He dies - Roger & Patty Simmons (The Towering Inferno).
          Both survive - The Crightons (Daylight).

          Jaws; Dante's Peak; Impact; The Day After Tomorrow; Into the Storm
          Minor - Airport 1975; Airplane!

          Tired couple

          An elderly couple who haven't fallen out of love, but rather have become complacent in their relationship.


          • The Rosens (The Poseidon Adventure); The Trillings (Daylight).


          • Yes - The Rosens (The Poseidon Adventure).
          • Attractive - The Trillings (Daylight).


          • The Rosens (The Poseidon Adventure); The Trillings (Daylight).


          • Very quickly - The Rosens (The Poseidon Adventure).
          • Only emotionally apart The Trillings (Daylight).


          • She dies - The Rosens (The Poseidon Adventure); The Trillings (Daylight).


          • The Towering InfernoJaws; Airplane!; Dante's Peak; Deep Impact; The Day After TomorrowInto the Storm.
          • Minor - Airport 1975.


          Pets, usually part of the typical family.  Somehow able to sense danger.

          Family Pet

          • Old lady's pet - Lisolette's cat (The Towering Inferno); Ruffy (Dante's Peak).
          • Old people's pet Sooner (Into the Storm).
          • Old couple's pet - Cooper (Daylight).
          • Child's pet - Pippin (Jaws).
          • Homeless Person's pet - Luthor's dog (The Day After Tomorrow)

          Confers Protection

          • Yes - Lisolette's cat (The Towering Inferno); Luthor's dog (The Day After Tomorrow).
          • While in direct contactCooper (Daylight)Ruffy (Dante's Peak).
          • Helps find owner - Sooner (Into the Storm).
          • No Pippin (Jaws).


          • Yes - Lisolette's cat (The Towering Inferno); Cooper (Daylight)Ruffy (Dante's Peak); Luthor's dog (The Day After Tomorrow).; Sooner (Into the Storm).
          • Killed - Pippin (Jaws).


          • The Poseidon Adventure; Deep Impact,
          • Minor - Airport 1975; Airplane!

          Continued in Part 2 and Part 3.
          ~ DUG.
          Please do the survey below to determine future rule sets.

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