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Herbert L. Strock
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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 <email@example.com>
Earthquake is directed by Mark Robson and written by Mario Puzo and George Fox. It stars Charlton Heston, George Kennedy, Ava Gardner, Geneviève Bujold, Lorne Greene, Richard Roundtree & Marjoe Gortner.
A catastrophic earthquake hits Southern California and begins to level Los Angeles......
"It's not a negative to have heart in the disaster genre of film"
Take yourself to 1974, are you there? Good, now maybe you can appreciate this film a little more? Maybe? Earthquake does suffer from old age, it's a statement we see and hear a lot, but it's a fact that some film's stand the test of time whilst others do not. In this desensitised computer age, it is easy to forget that not all the tools available in film making today were available back when film's like this were being made. So as is my want, I firmly judge this as a 1974 offering, to which it delivers enough entertainment to fully satisfy my genre leanings and entertainment persuasions.
The main complaint of many is the long build up of the characters, cries of boring can be read across internet forums and critics blogs. I just don't see it that way, yes we want the quake and the mayhem destruction that will follow it; because really this is a disaster film after all, but is it so bad that the film has heart to go with the crash bang wallop? After the build up of characters, where relationships and character traits are formed, the disaster strikes; and it doesn't disappoint, utter destruction as effects and noise fill the eyes and ears, those with a good home cinema system finding it literally does rock the house. We are then treated to a series of sequences that hold and engage our attention, upsetting passages of human sadness, punctured by heroic surges as Heston and the fabulous Kennedy set about saving life, hell! saving the town even. Then it's the film's fitting finale, where there are no cop outs, the makers choosing to go out with a darker edge than its detractors give credit for.
Some can scoff at a blood splat effect, or rant about some of the acting on show, but Earthquake achieves two important things. One is that it entertains as a visual experience, the other is that it doesn't soft soap the devastating effects of an earthquake. As the camera pulls away from a ravaged L.A. the impact is sombre, reflection is needed and surely got. 7/10
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