5.9/10
12,533
167 user 68 critic

Earthquake (1974)

Various interconnected people struggle to survive when an earthquake of unimaginable magnitude hits Los Angeles, California.

Director:

Mark Robson

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Graff
Ava Gardner ... Remy
George Kennedy ... Slade
Lorne Greene ... Royce
Geneviève Bujold ... Denise (as Genevieve Bujold)
Richard Roundtree ... Miles
Marjoe Gortner ... Jody
Barry Sullivan ... Stockle
Lloyd Nolan ... Dr. Vance
Victoria Principal ... Rosa
Walter Matthau ... Drunk (as Walter Matuschanskayasky)
Monica Lewis ... Barbara
Gabriel Dell ... Sal
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ... Chavez (as Pedro Armendariz Jr.)
Lloyd Gough ... Cameron
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Storyline

Construction Engineer Stuart Graff is estranged from his jealously possessive wife, Remy, and has an affair with Denise Marshall, the widow of a co-worker. Meanwhile, Remy tries to persuade her father, Sam Royce, who is Stuart's employer, to use his influence to stop Stuart from seeing Denise. Rogue policeman Lew Slade is suspended from the L.A.P.D. for having punched an obtuse officer from another jurisdiction. Embittered, Slade contemplates quitting the police force. Jody, a perverted grocery store manager, lusts after Rosa Amici, sister of Sal, the assistant to Miles Quade, an aspiring daredevil motor cyclist. The lives of all these people are devastated when a major earthquake rips through Los Angeles and reduces the city to ruins. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An Event... See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Terremoto See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$79,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV) | (Ontario) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| Sensurround (70 mm and 35 mm magnetic prints)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the movie played at Graumann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood in 1974, it was shown in "Sensurround" with heavy bass speakers set on the floor around the theater. Very soon after the preview performances, a giant net had to be rigged above the patrons because of fear that the ornate ceiling decorations might break loose and fall on the audience below, due to the low bass rumble of earthquake sequences. During the film's initial preview performances at the theatre, the Sensurround vibrations actually caused an occasional, very small, and harmless piece of plaster or paint to crack and fall down onto the audience. Worried that continuous periods of strong sound waves throughout the film's exclusive run might loosen elements of the ceiling's ornamentation and light fixtures, the theatre management ordered the safety net to be slung below the entire auditorium ceiling, just below the ornamentation. This action was publicized in the local papers. Whether or not the ceiling's very visible "safety net" was an actual, workable safety measure, or whether it was merely a publicity gimmick, it did serve to heighten audience anticipation of the film's effects. See more »

Goofs

When the motorcyclist's truck arrives with patients and injured boy at the hospital, there is an announcement on the overhead speaker saying there is a desperate need for type AB- blood. Type AB+ (positive) patients are universal recipients; they can get anything unlike Type AB- (negative). Additionally, AB- is the rarest blood type in the U.S. (approx.1 out of 170 people). Type AB blood (both +&-) is not usable, except to another person with that blood type. They should be asking for people with Type O (-/negative), as they are universal donors. Type O+ is the most common blood type. See more »

Quotes

Barbara: [hysterically] Mr. Cameron threw me out of the elevator, and then I heard all those people screaming!
Sam Royce: [trying to ease the panic] Probably the first time the old bastard ever did anybody a favor!
See more »

Alternate Versions

For the initial network television showing broadcast on NBC in September 1976, additional footage was shot to lengthen the film in order to show it over two nights. The most extensive segment of new footage is a subplot of a newlywed couple (Debralee Scott and Sam Chew Jr.) on a flight to Los Angleles so the husband can interview for a job with Stuart Graff (Charlton Heston). The plane tries to land as the earthquake hits, but the pilots are able to regain control and fly away before the runway breaks up. Other significant segments are new scenes with Jody (Marjoe Gortner) and Rosa (Victoria Principal), which establish Jody's obsession with Rosa, as well as one short scene in a pawn shop with Buck (Jesse Vint) and Hank (Michael Richardson), who play Marjoe's roommates in the theatrical version. Contrary to popular belief, these additional scenes were *not* "leftover" footage from the original 1974 theatrical release. Rather, the footage was filmed almost two years later by NBC to expand the film. These additional scenes were shot without the original director Mark Robson, who opted out, (in fact, he loathed the additional scenes), but they were shot with Universal's approval. In addition, two deleted scenes originally shot for the theatrical release were re-inserted into the television version, including a narrative opening about the San Andreas Fault, as well as a scene of Rosa brushing off a guy (Reb Brown) trying to give her a ride on his motorcycle. Incidentally, the version frequently running on the American cable channel "American Movie Classics" is the television version, and not the original theatrical version. See more »

Connections

Edited into Galactica 1980: Galactica Discovers Earth: Part 1 (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

C'est si bon
(uncredited)
Music by Henri Betti
Played by a guitarist
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Good at the time but time wearies.
25 December 2000 | by druidmanSee all my reviews

In 1974 I was 29 years old when I first saw this movie. At the time I didn't question the suitability of the lead stars as I had grown up with them appearing in other films. Considering all the various genre of films I had seen up to that time, I must confess that it didn't seem a bad effort at that point in time. I grew up with various westerns and others and one film in particular I remember well is the classic "King Kong".

Critics who knock this film must remember that 1974 was a transitional period where techniques were still being learned. Without the benefit of computers, I might add. When you have grown up with computer wizardry, that is, since the start of the seventies, it it far easier to find fault than to see the merit in what these people achieved.

However, with the passage of time, one realizes the major fault with this film was the poor casting. This should not detract from the efforts of the special effects people. They have led the way and shown the young people coming along what can be done with skill and imagination. 3/10 for casting, 6/10 for special effects.


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