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Rollercoaster (1977)

PG | | Action, Crime, Drama | 17 June 1977 (USA)
A blackmailer threatens to sabotage roller coasters at various American amusement parks if he isn't paid a huge ransom.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Davis ...
Stephen Pearlman ...
G.F. Rowe ...
Wayne Moore (as Gerald Rowe)
Wayne Tippit ...
Charlie Tuna ...
Rock Concert M.C.
Lonny Stevens ...
Federal Agent #1


The plot is about a guile young terrorist who is able to blackmail a series of companies by placing home-made radio controlled bombs within the central attraction of amusement parks; roller coasters. The young man played by Timothy Bottoms gives a hard time to the cops after they give him UV marked money. He then wants revenge and places a bomb in a roller coaster at the most important amusement park event of the year. Written by Nebiros <nebiros@informador.com.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You are in a race against time...and terror. You are pursuing a nameless, faceless man through America's greatest amusement parks...and, for the first time, you are experiencing the most sensational rides of our time, IN SENSURROUND See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 June 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Achterbahn  »


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Initially, Kennywood Amusement Park in West Mifflin, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was to be featured in the movie. But after reading the film's script, park management objected to the story. As such, the venue did not feature in the film, and the name in the script for this amusement park was changed to "Wonderworld". See more »


During the catastrophic accident in the beginning of the movie, most of the people in the roller coaster cars are obviously dummies. See more »


Young Man: [after the young man tells Harry he is holding the bomb] Now, do I have your full attention?
Harry Calder: Screw you!
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Daddy-O (1991) See more »


Stars and Stripes Forever
Composed by John Philip Sousa
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User Reviews

Suspenseful and intriguing disaster movie with all-star-cast and well-directed
5 August 2012 | by See all my reviews

Thrilling and entertaining catastrophe movie with some clichés and stereotypes containing enjoyable performances from George Segal and Richard Widmark ; dealing with a psychotic person who plans a massive killing spree in amusement parks . Police and FBI are called in to investigate and trace the crimes to a young man (Timothy Bottoms) , as this is a race against time and terror . They are pursuing a nameless, faceless man through America's greatest amusement park . This disaster movie blends action , intrigue , breathtaking spectacle, suspense and emotional byplay . ¨Rollercoaster¨ was a successful film that grossed at box office . The FBI led by superior officer named Hoyt (Richard Widmark) and helped by technical supervisor Calder (George Segal) learn of the plot and rush to the scene , as the psychopath blackmails a whole conglomerate of companies for a million dollars . Still , they may be too late , as an all-star cast finds itself lined up in the sights of a madman . They spend most of their time devising various ways for avoid to psychopath carries out his aims : a massive killing spree in parks and rollercoasters especially . As our heroes get stuck in the before it blows up and when slaughter takes place they go into action ; as they pay tribute to policemen . There takes place a struggle between two forces , the cops along with FBI and the sinister assassin and ultimately erupts when the crowd turns almost effortlessly and devours itself in a climax of panic .

Exciting film that packs thrills , noisy action , overwhelming scenes , suspense , emotion and turns out to be pretty entertaining . This formula intrigue movie belongs to catastrophe genre of the 70s , being the undisputed king , ¨The towering inferno¨ along with ¨Earthquake¨ , ¨Two minutes warning¨ and many others ; this formula disaster movie was widely developed by Irwin Allen , previously winner of numerous Oscars for ¨Poseidon¨ until the failures as ¨Beyond Poseidon¨, ¨Swarm¨ and ¨When the time ran out¨ . ¨Rollercoaster¨ results to be an intriguing and thrilling film . Filmed at the height of the disaster genre from the 7os , this entry in the spectacular series profits of a strong acting by starring trio George Segal , Richadd Widmark and Henry Fonda . Good performance by Timothy Bottoms , the filmmakers later decided that the movie was more suspenseful if the motive behind the Young Man's actions were never known, as well as keeping the audience from sympathizing with the Young Man's situation . Succeeds in combining various talented actors , an all star cast came together that tie for film's top casting honors ; furthermore a top-notch secondary casting such as Harry Guardino , Susan Strasberg , William Prince , Robert Quarry and a teenager Helen Hunt and Craig Wasson , Steve Guttenberg's first film . Furthermore , most of the actors portraying police officials in the film were actual police officers from the surrounding area . And for the first time, you are experiencing the most sensational rides of our time, to be presented in "Sensurround", a special low-frequency bass speaker setup consisting of four huge speakers loaned by distributors to select theaters showing the film , this system was employed only during certain sequences of the film, and was so powerful that it actually cracked plaster at some movie theaters. "Sensurround" was employed in only three other films released by Universal: Earthquake, Midway, and the theatrical release of Battlestar Galactica .

Colorful and gripping photography in Panavision by David Walsh , including persistent high-angle shots , subjective camera-work and use of long lenses . Some of the amusement park scenes were shot at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, just north of Richmond and also partially filmed at Ocean View Park in Virginia (including the destruction of the roller-coaster) and the roller coaster featured in the main climax of the movie is the Revolution at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA and was the first to feature a complete 360-degree vertical loop . Intriguing and thrilling score by Lalo Schifrin in his usual style . This big-budgeted disaster movie was professionally directed by James Goldstone , an ordinary TV movies director and subsequently made another catastrophe film , the disastrous ¨When time ran out¨ . Rating : Good and entertaining , it's a fairly watchable disaster movie.

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