IMDb > Rollercoaster (1977)
Rollercoaster
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Rollercoaster (1977) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Tommy Cook (story)
Sanford Sheldon (screen story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Rollercoaster on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 June 1977 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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 »
Plot:
A blackmailer threatens to sabotage roller-coasters at various American amusement parks if he isn't paid a huge ransom. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
If Columbo worked for Standards and Safety... See more (74 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

George Segal ... Harry Calder

Richard Widmark ... Agent Hoyt

Timothy Bottoms ... Young Man

Henry Fonda ... Simon Davenport

Harry Guardino ... Keefer

Susan Strasberg ... Fran

Helen Hunt ... Tracy Calder

Dorothy Tristan ... Helen
Harry Davis ... Benny Neilson
Stephen Pearlman ... Bert Lyons
G.F. Rowe ... Wayne Moore (as Gerald Rowe)
Wayne Tippit ... Police Captain Christie

Michael Bell ... Chuck Demerest
Charlie Tuna ... Rock Concert MC
Lonny Stevens ... Federal Agent #1
Tom Baker ... Federal Agent #2
Ava Readdy ... Hippie Girl

Craig Wasson ... Hippie Boy

William Prince ... Quinlan
Dick McGarvin ... Owner #1
Quinn K. Redeker ... Owner #2 (as Quinn Redeker)

Harry Basch ... Owner #3

Arthur Peterson ... Owner #4
Richard Altman ... Mandell
Gloria Calomee ... Jackie

Robert Quarry ... Mayor

Jean Rasey ... Girl in Line
Greg Elliot ... Boy in Line
Bruce Kimball ... Bomb Squad #1 (as Bruce Kimbell)

Bruce French ... Bomb Squad #2

Stephen Mendillo ... Bomb Squad #3

Larry Holt ... Bomb Squad #4
Gene Tyburn ... Bomb Squad #5
Bill Sorrells ... Selby
Monica Lewis ... Tourist Mother
Dick Wesson ... Tourist Father
Joe George ... Guard
Gary Franklin ... Radio Reporter
Dave Milton ... Man in Robe
David Byrd ... Pet Store Owner
Henry Olek ... Smoking Technician
Dennis Speigel ... Pierce

Bill Saito ... Asian Man
Takayo Doran ... Asian Woman
Roger Steffens ... Radio Technician
Dianne T. Murray ... Pregnant Agent
Mark Hulcher ... Delivery Boy
Charles W. Bennett Jr. ... Bomb Squad Man
John F. Swanson ... Lansing
Denice Harlow ... Hertz Girl
Mark Thomas ... Agent
J. Michael Hunter ... Shooting Gallery Attendant
Tara Buckman ... Coaster Attendant
Louis Weinberg ... Coaster Attendant (as Louis Weisberg)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Michael Airington ... Man 1 (uncredited)
James Bacon ... Reporter (uncredited)

Cathi Peyton Erman ... Ring Toss Girl (uncredited)

Steve Guttenberg ... Messenger (uncredited)
Bob Kelley ... Virg - FBI agent on Tower (uncredited)
Ron Mael ... Ron Mael (uncredited)
Russell Mael ... Russell Mael (uncredited)

Branscombe Richmond ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Justine Visone ... Strasberg's Girlfriend (uncredited)

Directed by
James Goldstone 
 
Writing credits
Tommy Cook (story)

Sanford Sheldon (screen story) and
Richard Levinson (screen story) &
William Link (screen story)

Richard Levinson (screenplay) &
William Link (screenplay)

Produced by
Tommy Cook .... associate producer
Jennings Lang .... producer
 
Original Music by
Lalo Schifrin 
 
Cinematography by
David M. Walsh (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Edward A. Biery 
Richard M. Sprague  (as Richard Sprague)
 
Production Design by
Henry Bumstead 
 
Set Decoration by
James W. Payne 
 
Costume Design by
Burton Miller 
 
Makeup Department
Emile LaVigne .... makeup artist
Lorraine Roberson .... hair stylist
Rick Sharp .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Wallace Worsley Jr. .... unit production manager (as Wallace Worsley)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Peter Burrell .... second assistant director (as Peter J. Burrell)
David Sosna .... second assistant director (as David O. Sosna)
L. Andrew Stone .... first assistant director
Peter Sosna .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
James R. Alexander .... sound (as Jim Alexander)
Robert L. Hoyt .... sound
Edwin J. Somers Jr. .... sound
John Stacy .... sound effects editor
Dennis C. Salcedo .... optical sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Albert Whitlock .... special visual effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
John Daheim .... stunt coordinator
Jadie David .... stunts
Diamond Farnsworth .... stunts (uncredited)
James W. Gavin .... aerial stunts (uncredited)
Bob Herron .... stunts (uncredited)
Larry Holt .... stunts (uncredited)
Tanya Russell .... stunts (uncredited)
Jesse Wayne .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
William Birch .... additional photographer
Vinnie Gerardo .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Louis Niemeyer .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Martha M. Elcan .... casting assistant
Shari Rhodes .... location casting
 
Music Department
Stephen A. Hope .... music editor
Dan Wallin .... scoring mixer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Eugene Schwartz .... transportation coordinator
 
Other crew
Howard G. Kazanjian .... production executive
Cathi Peyton Erman .... assistant to director (uncredited)
Gary Zahlen .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
119 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Two stuntmen were injured and went to hospital from filming a roller-car crash sequence. The accident occurred at Ocean View Park in Norfolk, Virginia for a sequence being captured by five cameras where twenty-four passengers to be killed from a rollercaoster crash. One of the coaster cars hurled from the roller track as planned, landing on the balsa wood set building below the roller-coaster with five stunters on board, but two of them got injured.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: When the rollercoaster at Magic Mountain goes down for the first time, a shadow of the gear holding the camera is visible for a moment.See more »
Quotes:
Young Man:[after the young man tells Harry he is holding the bomb] Do I have your full attention?
Harry Calder:Screw you!
See more »
Movie Connections:
References "Sesame Street" (1969)See more »
Soundtrack:
Big BoySee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
If Columbo worked for Standards and Safety..., 4 September 2009
Author: Andrew Moran from United Kingdom

A mysterious young man (Bottoms) derails a Roller-coaster with a bomb, killing or injuring passengers, then attacks more amusement parks across the US in order to extort $1m from the companies running them. It is not immediately obvious that these attacks were deliberate, as opposed to being accidents (e.g. through metal fatigue), so the Amusement Park owners can keep what is happening quiet. It also makes it easier for the extortionist as he has public hysteria to threaten the owners with if they don't pay him off.

Harry Calder (Segal) works for Standards and Safety. He had inspected the derailed Roller-coaster, realises other amusement parks have suffered similar problems and finds out about the plot. Calder gets involved more deeply than he envisaged, as he becomes a reluctant 'bag man' for the $1m, whilst the FBI try to catch the mystery man, just as the US heads towards 4th July and a wealth of potential targets.

This movie is a decent suspense thriller and I have seen it several times. I have never regarded it as part of the 'disaster' movie genre and feel such a description is both lazy and inappropriate. Whilst the Roller-coaster crash scenes were fairly horrible for the time, they seem pale today. The horror is in the mind, and there are only a couple of such scenes in the movie. It is not therefore a bloody horror flick, either.

I don't know if this misconception comes from bad marketing, suggesting that this is a disaster movie, or if there were suggested scenes of gore and blood for the horror fans, in order to con people into the cinema, or if this is down to the critics of the time being lazy and perhaps even reviewing a movie they didn't see. I am a little too young to have seen or read anything at the time.

This is a suspense thriller, even though there is no suspense about 'whodunit', but the movie's style is familiar and it is no surprise to see 'Columbo' creators Levinson and Link in the credits.

The strength of this movie is the cynical, maverick, but quick-witted Calder character that is played so well by Segal. He also has the often-amusing story thread to play with of trying to quit smoking (you wonder if 'Airplane' got the "picked a hell-of-a-day to quit smoking" from Roller-coaster). Calder, we also find, is divorced from his wife, amicably, and has a daughter called Tracy (Helen Hunt, in a child role that hints of the actress to come), and he has a lover, Fran (Strasberg).

Widmark gives FBI Agent Hoyt authority and a little added depth as the film progresses and he spars nicely, if not quite equally, with Segal's Calder. Henry Fonda, in his 70s, essentially has a cameo as Calder's boss, and Strasberg is underused as Calder's girlfriend, in a role that you suspect may have had a little more to it in the script than there was in the movie's final cut. I smell a plot twist that was cut for some reason, perhaps time.

Bottoms is suitably chilling as the amoral, perhaps sociopathic extortionist, because he is young, good-looking, quiet, polite, intelligent, clean-cut, and, as he corrects Calder about his "psychological profile", this is for him a business transaction; he is only interested in the money.

Some may feel that this character is a bit thin, and this may (again) be down to a cut from the original script, but he might simply have been written that way. You don't really need to know more than you ever find out about this character, but because he is a cool, calm sort of a madman, as opposed to the more traditional 'raving lunatic', you may be left wanting at the lack of an obvious answer or explanation for his actions.

There are hints, however. As well as the sociopathic traits, he is an explosives expert, electronics expert, about 30 and, in an early scene, a decent marksman. In mid-1970s USA, what does that suggest? Perhaps the guy running the amusement park duck shoot has him correctly pegged; perhaps not. The Bottoms character simply smiles and walks away, staying mysterious.

There are also bit parts for Harry Guardino, Craig Wasson and Steve Guttenberg, and it features real life band, Sparks.

I recommend this movie. It is a suspense movie that appeals to the brain rather than a horror or disaster movie that appeals more to the senses. It has become a bit dated, as, for example, a $1m extortion fee seems small these days, and Roller-coaster rides were really at their height then, so the enthusiasm for the rides by adults indicates a bygone era, and a 70s movie in setting and style is too distinctive to be anything else, but that now becomes part of its latter-day charm.

Roller-coaster is also a duel of wits, with Segal perfectly cast, and Bottoms, as I say, suitably chilling. With both characters being intelligent and quick-witted, able to plan and to improvise, this adds to the plot, the tension and therefore the overall enjoyment.

You might also recall and bear in mind that this movie was made at the time of "Son of Sam", "The Hillside Stranglers" and Ted Bundy.

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