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Hollywood and 'Contagion' have been warning us for years

For decades, Hollywood has been prepping for just this emergency.

Like volcanoes and asteroids, pandemics have always had their place on the big screen.

“Disaster movies have always been very marketable at the box office,” says Tom Meyers, executive director of the Barrymore Film Center, the new $9 million movie center and film history archive coming to Fort Lee, N.J., this fall – circumstances permitting. 

Because Hollywood movies about epidemics are inevitably worst-case scenarios, they’re a comfort and a relief when (as usually occurs) the worst doesn’t happen. Watching a movie that deals head-on with your worst fears can be reassuring.

That said, it’s possible that you don’t feel like seeing a movie about a virus just now.

In that case, the good news is, we’ve done the work for you. Here are 10 movies that deal with contagion – and the lessons they have for today.

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