Nearly four years to the day before Larry Hagman wore a Stetson, he wore a porn 'stache and a Merchant Marine's beanie while trying to survive Hurricane Hilda with Jessica Walter, while their boat drifted in her eye.
Up in the air, Maj. Hymie Stoddard (Martin Milner) and his crew fly in and out of the storm delivering important information to Dr's. Jackson (Michael Learned) and McCutcheon (Will Geer) as they track Hilda's path toward a small town on the Gulf Coast.
Meanwhile, newly transplanted couple Ayn Ruymen (Suzanne) and PatrickDuffy (Jim) go over to their neighbor Bert Pearson's apartment (Frank Sutton) to tell him that they're leaving town for safety. Bert won't hear of it and coaxes them into staying for a drink, since he's planning a party and it's about ready to go full swing. Reluctantly they agree to one drink.
As the storm begins to intensify, the Damon's are in constant contact with their oldest son, Barry Livingston (Richie) as he tells them about the hurricane. In an effort to ease his fear, Paul tells him that he and his mother are fine. Paul brushes it off as just a rough sea, while Louise just knows that they're going to die and hopes that Richie hasn't picked up on her fear.
While Hilda hasn't struck yet, Maj. Stoddard fears for his dad's safety (Barry Sullivan) since he knows that he won't leave his house. Hymie's right since his dad has refused to leave until he hears from Hymie.
The story takes place over two days in mid-August and as Hilda bears down on the residents of the sleepy Mississippi town, the experts argue over where she's going to hit and how they're going to get word to the residents to evacuate.
Since Bert has invited some more friends over, his party does indeed grow and Suzanne and Jim have doubts about leaving. At first, Suzanne wants to leave, but Bert's wife assures her that there's no need to worry as they've been through many storms in the past.
As she starts to relax, Jim doesn't want to leave, but knows that in order to survive their first hurricane, they have to head inland.
The closer Hilda gets, the more she destructive she becomes, Richie starts to have trouble razing his parents which scares his younger siblings Peter and Liz (Stephen Rogers and Tracy Savage) until there's a knock at the door. They're being forced to evacuate immediately which leaves their parents wondering what's become of their Fate.
While this really isn't the best movie out there, the story does its job and who will and won't survive isn't predictable. All of the characters are vulnerable which turns it into a guessing game as to who will survive.
When you look back at the stars, it's funny to know that both Learned and Geer where starring on The Waltons and within a few short years both Hagman and Duffy (who don't share any screen time) will become rival brothers on Dallas.
If hurricane's are you're favorite disaster then you'll probably enjoy this made for television blow fest.