11 SEWER SCENES IN HOLLYWOOD MOVIES, RANKED
The bowels of the underground make for awesome backdrops in Hollywood, but are they true to the way sewers function? We'll share a few scenes, opining on their truthiness and/or cinematic value, despite the fact that I may or may not have seen the actual movies listed herein. Thanks for the suggestion, @Nicholas. Other suggestions are welcome.
- •The Fugitive (1993)Harrison Ford's character jumps from a lofty storm sewer pipe into a raging river below to escape Tommy Lee Jones. It's likely an outlet like this would be gated IRL, but maybe Kimble caught it during maintenance.
- •Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990, 2014)TMNT gets higher billing simply because sewers make up the foundation of the turtles' origin. Regional sewer systems do have a variety of surprisingly roomy chambers where mutant ninja warriors could hone their skills. While our sewer maintenance crews have reported finding a couch in one of our sewers before (yes really), it was not accompanied by pizza boxes as far as we know.
- •The Italian Job (1969, 2003)A great chase scene through a sewer system. Our interceptors are larger than 20 feet wide with smooth concrete walls, so driving them could be done, but at a depth of nearly 300 feet, getting a car down to them would be the bigger adventure.
- •Les Miserables (2012)The scene of the Parisian sewers accurately captures and conveys the foul wretchedness of the system. Thanks for the suggestion, @notjuliasmith. Had not seen the screen adaptation before.
- •The Shawshank Redemption (1994)This movie is rightly on a lot of your "Movies that I must finish watching no matter where I start" lists. Love this scene, and thanks @J_B for suggesting it. I'm not sure if a sanitary sewer system in this age would have been designed to spit right out into a stream though.
- •The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)The Spidey/Alligator fight scene conveys a sense of sewer enormity, and that is indeed true depending on where you may be in the underground network. It's very unlikely though that the visibility within the flow would be what was depicted in this flick.
- •The Third Man (1949)A great suggested add. What I love about this scene is the glory of the brick work highlighted in the sewer cinematography. Many Cleveland sewers today still feature intricate and lasting masonry that dates to the late 1800s. Haven't seen this flick but now I want to.
- •Ratatouille (2007)What stands out most in this scene of Little Chef's ride through a sewer is the speed of the flow and the drop from one pipe to another. Both of those characteristics are true to the system. Speeds and volumes of flow could overwhelm unprepared creatures easily.
- •The Blues Brothers (1980)Jake and Elwood head for Chicago after peeling out of a huge storm sewer escaping the law and Carrie Fisher. It may have been a tunnel, but for this list, we'll say it was a sewer. An awesome awesome sewer.
- •Alligator (1980)Never saw it. IMDB says a family flushes a baby alligator down the toilet and yadda yadda yadda giant maneating gator. Not that a gator would survive a flush and an extended sewer stay in Cleveland, but we did save one from a stream back in 2011. http://neorsd.blogspot.com/2013/05/update-our-little-girl-is-growing-up.html
- •The Blob (1988)If a gelatinous creature is attacking, how could it not make its way into the sewers? It's only logical. Again, didn't see this movie, but I did see the 1950s version and can't remember now if sewers were part of the plot. Oh well.