Hard Rain (known during pre-production as The Flood) is a 1998 American/British action thriller film, produced by Mark Gordon, written by Graham Yost (the writer-producer team also behind the film Speed) and directed by former cinematographer turned director Mikael Salomon. It stars Christian Slater, Morgan Freeman, Randy Quaid, Minnie Driver and Ed Asner.
The plot centers on a heist and man-made treachery amidst a natural disaster in a small Indiana town. The tagline is "A simple plan. An instant fortune. Just add water."
During the worst recorded rainstorm in the history of the Midwestern United States, armored truck drivers Tom (Christian Slater) and his uncle Charlie (Edward Asner) collect the money from local banks affected by the rising flood waters. In the small town of Huntingburg, Indiana, which has been evacuated, Tom and Charlie drive into a ditch and become stuck, and Charlie calls dispatch to alert the National Guard. They are then ambushed by Jim (Morgan Freeman) and his gang of armed robbers, Kenny (Michael Goorjian), Mr. Mehlor (Dann Florek) and Ray (Ricky Harris). Kenny accidentally shoots Charlie dead, as Tom gets away with the $3 million in cash and hides it in a cemetery.
After being chased through the local Middle School by the gang now travelling with a boat and jet skis, Tom takes refuge in a nearby church. He is knocked out and wakes up in a cell at the local Sheriff's office. Tom tells the local sheriff Mike Collig (Randy Quaid) about the gang and the area where he hid the money, but the sheriff keeps Tom locked up. The sheriff and his Deputy Wayne (Mark Rolston) then leave to investigate, ordering officer Phil (Peter Murnik) to take Karen (Minnie Driver), the woman who knocked Tom out and is currently restoring the church, out of town. In protest, she pushes Phil out of the boat so she will be able to fill the water pumps at her church.
The town's dam continues to experience huge pressure from the rain and the operator Hank (Wayne Duvall) is forced to open another levee. This causes another huge burst of water to stream through the town, resulting in even worse flooding, especially at the church. Tom wakes in his cell, trapped as the Sheriff's building slowly fills up with water. After filling the pumps at the church, Karen returns and saves him by opening the light fitting on the roof for him to escape. Kenny tries to force them to tell them where the money is, but a power box explodes in the water, causing him to get electrocuted. After telling their story to Doreen and Henry Seers, Tom decides to borrow their boat, in order to retrieve a shotgun, but Jim and and the others ambush him, taking Doreen and Henry hostage. After letting them go, Tom tells Jim where he hid the money. Jim reveals that Charlie was in on the heist, that he never called the National Guard, and that Charlie was going to split the money with him, leaving Tom in disgust. Jim tells Tom that Charlie's death was an accident. Tom tries to retrieve the money, but the sheriff has already taken it. Jim and the others are about to shoot in anger, until the Sheriff arrives in time to save him.
Mr. Mehlor and Ray are killed in the shoot out, and Jim and Tom escape in a boat, finding sanctuary in the church. Tom begins to realize that the sheriff has become crooked after he had lost an election a year earlier. Tom asks Jim what he was going to do with the money. Jim was planning on retiring to a country that he can do whatever he wants, which is exactly what Tom has fantasized about doing. The sheriff and his friends try to smoke Tom and Jim out of the church by using Molotov cocktails, to no avail. They then crash their boats into the church, leading to a shootout. Meanwhile, Wayne tries to rape Karen and leave her to drown, but Karen kills him with a pocket knife, and tries to retrieve his gun and keys to the handcuffs, but his body starts to float away.
During the shootout, Hank shoots Phil, thinking he's a coward. Suddenly, an alarm sounds; it signifies that the dam is overflowing. Offering a deal, the sheriff says he'll tell Tom and Jim where Karen is, if they let him and Hank go with a couple of the moneybags. Tom agrees, but Jim does not. A dying Phil then tells Tom where Karen is, and Tom then leaves to try to save her. Jim goes to leave with the money in the sheriff's boat, but the sheriff shoots Jim with a revolver he was hiding, wounding his shoulder. Sheriff Collig and Hank escape in a boat and, when they are forced to go faster to avoid the wave engulfing the town, the Sheriff pushes Hank out of the boat. Hank tries to swim to safety, but is caught in a gas explosion and dies. Arriving at Karen's house, Tom frees Karen, and the two escape to the roof, where the sheriff tries to kill them. Jim drives a boat over the roof, and the propeller comes loose, knocking the sheriff into the water. Tom thanks Jim for saving his life, but Jim only cares about the money.
The sheriff is not dead, and tries to shoot Karen and grab a moneybag, but Tom and Jim manage to shoot him dead. Tom tells Jim he should leave just as the State Police arrive. Jim picks up the sheriff's moneybag and rows away, as Tom tells Karen the fire damage to her church wasn't too bad while being picked up by State Police.
- Morgan Freeman as Jim - the mastermind behind the heist
- Christian Slater as Tom
- Randy Quaid as Sheriff Mike Collins
- Minnie Driver as Karen
- Edward Asner as Charlie - Tom's uncle and partner
- Michael Goorjian as Kenny
- Dann Florek as Mr. Mehlor
- Ricky Harris as Ray
- Mark Rolston as Wayne Bryce
- Peter Murnik as Phil
- Wayne Duvall as Hank
- Richard Dysart as Henry Sears
- Betty White as Doreen Sears
- Ray Baker as Mayor
Background information and notesEdit
- The film received negative reviews and was a box office bomb in the United States, but fared better overseas and had good video sales.
- The film is also noteworthy for its use of the song "Flood" by the Christian rock group Jars of Clay, which launched the band into the mainstream music scene.