The Swarm (1978)

PG  |   |  Horror  |  14 July 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.3/10 from 4,976 users  
Reviews: 111 user | 61 critic

A huge swarm of deadly African bees spreads terror over American cities by killing thousands of people.



(novel) (as Arthur Herzog) , (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Crane
Captain Helena Anderson
General Slater
Dr. Hubbard
Maureen Schuester
Anne MacGregor
Dr. Andrews (as Jose Ferrer)
Rita (as Patty Duke Astin)
Jud Hawkins
Major Baker
Mayor Clarence
Dr. Walter Krim
General Thompson
Christian Juttner ...
Paul Durant


Killer bees from South America have been breeding with the gentler bees of more northern climes, slowly extending their territory northward decade after decade. Entomologist Brad Crane has discovered that something is making them come together in huge, killer swarms. He wants to keep the General Slater from using military tactics from further upsetting the balance of nature as they join to try to stop the swarms from approaching Houston. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Monsters by the millions - and they're all for real! See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 July 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der tödliche Schwarm  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$21,000,000 (estimated)


$10,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm optical prints)| (35 mm magnetic prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of Fred MacMurray. See more »


During the ambulance crash, the scene changes briefly from nighttime to broad daylight. See more »


[Crane is talking to a sting victim who is hallucinating a giant bee]
Brad Crane: [while the giant bee is hovering next to him] There's no bee here. I promise you, there's no bee here.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Disclaimer in closing credits: The African killer bee portrayed in this film bears absolutely no relationship to the industrious hard-working American honey bee to which we are indebted for pollinating vital crops that feed our nation. See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.1 (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Once To The Well Too Much, Irwin
16 August 1999 | by (Morristown, NJ) – See all my reviews

Irwin Allen's first two disaster movies, "The Poseidon Adventure" and "The Towering Inferno" worked as above average productions because there always seemed to be one foot in the ground of pseudo-reality that made you feel compelled by what you saw. But more importantly, Allen had competent directors like Ronald Neame and John Guillermin handling the actors and the end-result usually produced good performances, considering the material (especially Steve McQueen in "Inferno.") Unfortunately, with "The Swarm" Allen went to the well once too much and served up a more outlandish kind of disaster story, and to complicate matters further he took over the director's chores himself and boy does it show. There is literally no coherent story structure at all in this film, and the all-star cast is uniformly bad from top to bottom. What was Allen thinking with that pointless love-triangle plot involving the over-the-hill gang of Fred MacMurray, Ben Johnson and Olivia de Havilland? Did he really expect people to take seriously lines like "The bees have always been our friends!" or "Attention, a swarm of killer bees is coming this way!" This is the kind of movie that might have worked as a short, low-budget B/W flick in the 50s (okay, a "B" movie, no pun intended) but as a follow-up to solid efforts like "The Poseidon Adventure" and "The Towering Inferno" this film is only good from a silly camp standpoint.

17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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