120 user 64 critic

The Swarm (1978)

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



(novel) (as Arthur Herzog), (screenplay)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Adventurers return to the overturned ship, seeking a fortune.

Director: Irwin Allen
Stars: Michael Caine, Sally Field, Telly Savalas
Rollercoaster (1977)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A blackmailer threatens to sabotage roller coasters at various American amusement parks if he isn't paid a huge ransom.

Director: James Goldstone
Stars: George Segal, Timothy Bottoms, Richard Widmark
Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A group of friends travel to a remote Canadian island to hunt, only to be attacked by giant killer animals which have populated the place.

Director: Bert I. Gordon
Stars: Marjoe Gortner, Pamela Franklin, Ralph Meeker
Ants! (TV Movie 1977)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

An old-fashioned, lakeside hotel targeted for purchase by an unsavory gambling casino promoter and situated next to a construction site, is attacked by an army of poisonous ants. Efforts to... See full summary »

Director: Robert Scheerer
Stars: Robert Foxworth, Lynda Day George, Gerald Gordon
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In rural Arizona, countless killer tarantulas are migrating through a farm town, killing every living thing in their path. The town's veterinarian will do everything in his power to survive the onslaught.

Director: John 'Bud' Cardos
Stars: William Shatner, Tiffany Bolling, Woody Strode
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A battle for survival ensues after a group of hikers encounters a chemically imbalanced forest.

Director: William Girdler
Stars: Christopher George, Leslie Nielsen, Lynda Day George
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Passengers on a European train have been exposed to a deadly disease. Nobody will let them off the train. So what happens next?

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Martin Sheen
Meteor (1979)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

The USA must join forces with the USSR in order to destroy a gigantic asteroid heading straight for Earth.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden
Airport 1975 (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A 747 in flight collides with a small plane, and is rendered pilotless. Somehow the control tower must get a pilot aboard so the jet can land.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Charlton Heston, Karen Black, George Kennedy
Earthquake (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Various interconnected people struggle to survive when an earthquake of unimaginable magnitude hits Los Angeles, California.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A psychotic sniper plans a massive killing spree in a Los Angeles football stadium during a major championship game. The police, led by Captain Peter Holly and SWAT commander Sergeant ... See full summary »

Director: Larry Peerce
Stars: Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes, Martin Balsam
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

An active volcano threatens a south Pacific island resort and its guests as a power struggle ensues between the property's developer and a drilling foreman.

Director: James Goldstone
Stars: Paul Newman, Jacqueline Bisset, William Holden


Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne MacGregor
Dr. Andrews (as Jose Ferrer)
Rita (as Patty Duke Astin)
General Thompson


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


It is more than speculation... it is a prediction! See more »


Horror | Thriller


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)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Henry Fonda was an avid beekeeper in real life. See more »


In the background, a paralyzed scientist in a wheelchair kicks a door open. See more »


Brad Crane: I have cardio-pep in my van.
Capt. Helena Anderson: Cardio-pep? I've just read an article in the medical journal about Cardio-pep! By some scientist named... Crane, I think.
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 »

User Reviews

Good Actors Do Not A Good Movie Make
12 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

I just ran across The Swarm on cable TV and sat watching in horror, not because of the killer bees but because of the incredibly wooden acting by an all-star cast! This flick shows that a bad plot, bad script, and bad directing can produce bad performances from Oscar winners like Henry Fonda and Michael Caine. Like the Jaws sequel he so often mentions, I hope Caine bought himself something nice with the proceeds of this clunker. Katherine Ross holds a special place in my heart because I met her on the set of The Hellfighters in 1968 (a movie that really WAS made in Houston) but it was painful to watch her plod through this one.

As for the special effects, The Swarm was made in the era of Star Wars with none of George Lucas' magic. The train scenes are particularly pathetic. My own HO model railroad was more realistic! Irwin Allen should have been ashamed of himself.

8 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 120 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page