Mining movies are few and far between, which is surprising, because going underground in a mine is something that should make for relatively good cinema. It would also figure to be inexpensive to shoot and produce, as it could be done entirely on a stage. However, mining films that have been made are usually made because something dramatic, dangerous, or tragic happens in the mine itself, meaning a disaster of some kind occurs. If you're into this type of tragic film, check out the list of mining movies that end in disaster listed below.
"Knox Mine Disaster"
A low budget documentary, this film was about a major mining disaster that happened in Scanton, Pennsylvania. The documentary delves into how the disaster happened and the aftermath that the families and town had to deal with when twelve men died when the mine collapsed.
"The Pennsylvania Miner's Story"
A TV movie made in 2002 follows nine Pennsylvania miners who were trapped in a mine for 77 hours before getting out with their lives. While they were eventually rescued, many of the men were seriously injured and bothered by the effects of being trapped underground. Furthermore, the mine was destroyed, which was an utter disaster for the local economy and the mining company.
A big budget Hollywood film follows a number of scientists and futuristic miners as they journey to the center of the Earth to make it start spinning again to try and save the world. Not surprisingly, things go wrong once they are down there, though in the end the world is not destroyed. So it's technically only a minor disaster, no pun intended.
A television movie meant for audiences first in Australia, "Beaconsfield" tells the story of miners in a place called Beaconsfield where a mine tragedy occurred. Miners spent 16 days trapped underground and suffered a few losses in the mining collapse. The film came out in 2012 in Australia, so it may be difficult to track down unless you head to the land down under.
"Emergency Mine Rescue"
The world famous documentary series NOVA focused in on the famous Chilean mine rescue to see how the disaster happened and how the miners survived underground for over 2 months. While the relief that all the miners survived is uplifting, the disaster itself was felt around the world.
A science fiction mining movie from Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie, follows a futuristic miner on the moon who is having some psychological and memory problems. While there are some dramatic problems with the plot of "Moon," it's stylistically a well-made, intriguing mine movie that ends in a form of disaster.
Starring Wes Bentley and directed by Michael Winterbottom, "The Claim" is a mediocre independent Western about gold miners who are fighting over land and prospecting rights with the railroads. While only bits and pieces of the movie take place in the actual mine, as the plot unfolds, everything ultimately ends in disaster. Especially the overall quality of the film itself.