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The Swarm (1978)

PG | | Horror | 14 July 1978 (USA)
A huge swarm of deadly African bees spreads terror over American cities by killing thousands of people.

Director:

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Brad Crane
...
Captain Helena Anderson
...
General Slater
...
Dr. Hubbard
...
Maureen Schuester
...
Felix
...
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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The most terrifying thing about THE SWARM is that it is based on Fact: It exists. Fact: It has awesome destructive power. Fact: We don't know how to stop it. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 July 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der tödliche Schwarm  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$10,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Managing the bees was a huge challenge on this film. The production went through several bee keepers before finding one who solved the problem by hiring people to clip the stingers off of the bees. This was accomplished in a refrigerated trailer, as bees are incapacitated by freezing temperatures. This operation, which went on all summer, made the bees safer for use around the cast and crew, although a few stingers were missed. But, as it turned out, some lingering venom got into the air on the sound stages and produced some allergic reactions. In addition, everyone had little yellow dots on their clothing - bee poop, probably. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Brad Crane: These bees, General, are of joint concern, and they are killing Americans, without reference as to whether or not they have a serial number and are expected to salute YOU! So there will be no air drops of any kind until I give the OK!
General Slater: Your OK, huh? Then just possible I can persuade you to attack this particular swarm, now that we know where it is! Attack and eliminate it!
Brad Crane: Possibly, if you can explain to me, how you air drop chemicals, without killing the native insect life! If your chemical ...
[...]
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Mork & Mindy: Mork's Best Friend (1979) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I never thought it would be the bees. They've always been our friends.
25 January 2003 | by (tragic city) – See all my reviews

Michael Caine should have got his Oscar for uttering that line.

I was actually scared by this movie on TV when I was young because of the scene of the children being "swarmed" at recess. Yet a quarter of a century later, I had to get the DVD because this is one movie guaranteed to cheer me up. It's all been said in other comments - cheese, camp, so bad it's good. Ed Wood would be proud.

The scenes between Caine's scientist and Widmark's general are all classics. The icing on the cake is the two scenes with Slim Pickens. And the debate between Caine and Chamberlain over whether the bees should be called African or Brazilian. By the way, why does Richard Chamberlain look like he's on a break from a touring company of Victor/Victoria?

One plus of the DVD version is a half hour behind the scenes feature: "Inside the Swarm". You get to see several of the actors talk with utmost sincerity (and straight faces!) about the "real" dangers of killer bees.

The folks who wrote "Airplane!" couldn't even make a parody of this -- it's already hysterical.


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

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