Earthquake (1974)

PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Thriller  |  15 November 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 9,769 users  
Reviews: 153 user | 51 critic

Various stories of various people as an earthquake of un-imagineable magnitude hits Los Angeles.


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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Denise (as Genevieve Bujold)
Drunk (as Walter Matuschanskayasky)
Monica Lewis ...
Gabriel Dell ...
Chavez (as Pedro Armendariz Jr.)
Lloyd Gough ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An Event... See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 November 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terremoto  »

Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)


$79,700,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (70 mm and 35 mm magnetic prints)| (35 mm optical prints)| (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Williams composed the score to this and The Towering Inferno (1974) concurrently. Having previously scored The Poseidon Adventure (1972), he briefly earned the nickname "King of the Disaster Scores". See more »


During the earthquake, a truck full of cattle turns upside down; however, the cattle remain in the truck, glued in place on the miniature. See more »


Sam Royce: Barbara, take off your pantyhose, damnit! You too, c'mon, take off your pantyhose!
See more »


Features High Plains Drifter (1973) See more »


C'est si bon
Music by Henri Betti
French lyrics by André Hornez
English lyrics by Jerry Seelen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

even Sensurround didn't make this a good movie
22 June 2000 | by (near Seattle, WA, USA) – See all my reviews

I saw Earthquake on the big screen, complete with the giant "Sensurround" sub-woofer installation. Everyone went, to see the spectacle and feel Sensurround, but the only good thing about the movie was that it sold lots of tickets. Walking in, we wondered how cool Sensurround would be. Half way through, we wondered when something interesting would happen. Walking out, we wondered if it was bad enough to kill the disaster genre entirely.

The Sensurround didn't feel like an earthquake (as anyone who has experienced a real one would know), it felt like a giant sub-woofer. Worse, it could rumble at only one tone and loudness -- it was either on or off. Even though I was a kid, I wondered why the Sensurround speakers couldn't make us feel the difference between the little "warning" earthquake, the Big One, and the aftershocks. The only difference between the quakes was how long they lasted. What does it say about the movie when kids in the audience are thinking about the deficiencies of the movie's big gimmick, rather than caring about what was happening in the movie?

On the small screen, without even the gimmick attraction of the flawed Sensurround, I can't imagine this movie being entertaining, except as an object of audience mockery. Unless you're in the mood to laugh at bad movie-making, see The Poseidon Adventure instead.

9 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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