Twister (The Movie) Celebrates 25 Years in Wakita This Weekend!

Twenty-five years ago, Twister, the movie that put rural Oklahoma back on the Hollywood map—it was a long time since The Grapes of Wrath—opened up in theaters.

I saw it on opening night with my brother and a few of his friends at Penn Square Mall and, though I was immediately underwhelmed, everyone around me seemed to like it, including every single local weatherman on television at the time that was offered a slight cameo. Yes, that’s Gary England!

(To be fair, I did kind of like that Van Halen tune from the soundtrack, which was played ad nauseum that summer on the Rock 100.5 The KATT and other examples of local rock radio).

Chronicling a couple of advisory-heavy days where a string of F5 tornadoes destroys a good part of many small Okie towns, a recently split couple of weather-scientists—played by Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt—try to work on their relationship as evil storm-chasers are hot on their windswept tails. The Jan de Bont-directed flick was a worldwide hit; in Oklahoma, however, it became legend, especially in the small town of Wakita, which was practically destroyed in the film.

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