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Juggernaut (1974)

6.6
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Some unknown maniac is threatening a navigation company to blow up one of its luxury transatlantics, the "Britannic", now in high sea with 1200 passengers. He is asking for a £500,000 ... See full summary »

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Title: Juggernaut (1974)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Captain Alex Brunel
...
Charlie Braddock
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Barbara Bannister
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Nicholas Porter
...
Corrigan
...
Social Director Curtain
Caroline Mortimer ...
Susan McLeod
Mark Burns ...
Hollingsworth
John Stride ...
Hughes
...
Sidney Buckland
...
Commander Marder
Jack Watson ...
Chief Engineer Mallicent
...
Azad
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Storyline

Some unknown maniac is threatening a navigation company to blow up one of its luxury transatlantics, the "Britannic", now in high sea with 1200 passengers. He is asking for a £500,000 ransom, otherwise the 7 bombs aboard will explode. An experienced anti-bomb squad is sent to the "Britannic", but although all the bombs are located, a very high skill level will be necessary to dismantle them. Perhaps that task is impossible... Written by Luis Carvacho <lcarvach@lascar.puc.cl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bomb | sea | water | ship | extortion | See more »

Taglines:

The greatest sea adventure in history has just begun! See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juggernaut  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film took its inspiration from an incident which occurred in 1972 when a man claimed he had planted a bomb on board the QE2 and demanded a ransom. Cunard were prepared to pay the ransom, but the British Government decided instead to send in soldiers of the Special Boat Service who parachuted into the North Atlantic 1000 miles from the UK and boarded the QE2 to search for the device. The threat turned out to be a hoax and the FBI later caught the culprit. See more »

Goofs

When the EOD team is in the water, the ship's crew lowers ladders from the lowest weather deck for the team to climb, a distance of 60-70'. This leads to the loss of one man. All such ships have cargo doors that are much lower and would have been far safer to use. See more »

Quotes

Barbara Banister: Do you think the water will be very cold?
Social Director Curtain: In my professional opinion: not hot. And it will ruin your hair.
Barbara Banister: In your professional capacity, shouldn't you be cheering us up?
Social Director Curtain: Well, there are no icebergs.
Barbara Banister: [looks at Captain Brunel] Correction.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Otto - Der Katastrofenfilm (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Thriller? Disaster movie? No, much more.
6 December 2004 | by (Scarborough, England) – See all my reviews

On the face of it 'Juggernaut' is a fairly small scale nerve-stretcher about an attempt to hold a shipping company to ransom by placing seven very large and very intricately designed bombs in an Atlantic liner. 1200 assorted passengers and crew will go to the bottom if bomb-disposal expert Richard Harris can't outwit the madman responsible for placing the bombs.

So far, so conventional. But compare 'Juggernaut' with another 1974 release, 'The Towering Inferno'. There aren't any macho heroics here: no all-knowing architect and fire-chief to handle the crisis and provide leadership. Nor are there any 'we must never let this happen again' uplifting platitudes at the end.

In 'Juggernaut' we see flawed and desperate people trying to control circumstances over which they have no real power. The company head constantly dithers over paying the ransom or not; the Government representative is a sneering bully who 'won't give in to people like this' (it then turns out the bomber was a Government explosives expert who was given a pitiful reward for a lifetime of courageous work disarming bombs); the bomb-disposal expert has seen death so many times it has lost its meaning for him, it's a human inevitability however it happens, and that's that. Some people feel Roy Kinnear's entertainments officer is a too-obvious attempt at comic relief, but here again we see someone who is supposed to do his best in all circumstances but comes up against the limitations of his personality and is just as afraid as everyone around him.

And the ending? No sense of 'achievement' in having defused the bombs. Good men, friends and colleagues, have been killed. Richard Harris walks alone on deck, smoking his pipe and nursing a drink. What is he thinking? About the men he has lost, or the inevitable next job that may see his own death? Meanwhile, the ship sails on across the eternal sea.

'Juggernaut' is well-acted and well-scripted (with dialogue by Alan Plater). Dick Lester's direction is less top-heavy with stylistic touches than usual, and he has a particularly deft touch in giving the viewer a sense of isolation and claustrophobia as the bombs are dismantled. This film can act as a piece of Sunday-afternoon escapism or something more thought-provoking. Highly recommended.


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