Johnstown Flood
Johnstown Flood (2003)

Narrated by Richard Dreyfuss and directed by Mark Bussler, Johnstown Flood, tells the story of the massive flood that destroyed the town of Johnstown, PA, on May 31, 1889. Using old photos, etchings, recreated footage, and dramatic readings… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 2003
DVD Release Date: August 26, 2003
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Critic Score: 73% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Chuck O'Leary

Mark Bussler's Johnstown Flood is an excellent documentary about one of the worst tragedies to occur in America during the 1800s.

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Karina Montgomery

Story is king - if the budgetary limits are a little too obvious, we must smile and forgive, because the writing & research is excellent.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It brings to life the tragic event.

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David Keyes

Bussler understands the purpose of telling this story in documentary form, but it's the facts themselves that should be driving the storytelling, not the other way around.

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Kevin N. Laforest
Montreal Film Journal

Feels less like a dry History lesson than like a '50s disaster flick.

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Ryan Cracknell
Movie Views

Johnstown Flood is the kind of movie I wouldn't have minded watching in school. It concurrently educates and entertains. While it's not perfect, it's still a worthy introduction to an American tragedy.

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Dan Lybarger
Kansas City Star

Johnstown Flood has its weaknesses (the firsthand accounts weren't written to be recited like dialogue), but it still does a fine job of explaining why the impact of May 31, 1889 remains with us.

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Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

Dreyfuss' voice is like a weasel rubbed against a blackboard.

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Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

The gold standard for this kind of documentary is set by filmmaker Ken Burns. "Johnstown Flood" doesn't rise to that level, but it is an informative historical tale.

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