Down 1,506 this week

The Swarm (1978)

PG  |   |  Horror  |  14 July 1978 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.3/10 from 4,905 users  
Reviews: 110 user | 59 critic

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



(novel) (as Arthur Herzog) , (screenplay)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 04 Mar 2012
a list of 48 titles
created 07 Apr 2012
a list of 33 titles
created 29 May 2013
a list of 33 titles
created 04 Apr 2014
a list of 21 titles
created 10 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Swarm" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Swarm (1978)

The Swarm (1978) on IMDb 4.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Swarm.

User Polls

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 4.4/10 X  

Adventurers return to the overturned ship, seeking a fortune.

Director: Irwin Allen
Stars: Michael Caine, Sally Field, Telly Savalas
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 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
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

At the opening party of a colossal, but poorly constructed, office building, a massive fire breaks out that threatens to destroy the tower and everyone in it.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea.

Directors: Ronald Neame, Irwin Allen
Stars: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters
Tentacles (1977)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

A mutated giant octopus wreaks havoc on a California seaside community.

Director: Ovidio G. Assonitis
Stars: John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins
Airport '77 (1977)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Art thieves hijack a 747, hit fog and crash into the ocean, trapping them and the passengers under 100 feet of water.

Director: Jerry Jameson
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant, Joseph Cotten
Earthquake (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Various stories of various people as an earthquake of un-imagineable magnitude hits Los Angeles.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy
Airport 1975 (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 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
Meteor (1979)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

After a collision with a comet, a nearly 8km wide piece of the asteroid "Orpheus" is heading toward Earth. If it hits, it will cause an incredible catastrophe which will probably extinguish... See full summary »

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden
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
Rattlers (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A herpetologist investigating a series of fatal rattlesnake attacks discovers that the creatures have been infected by a mysterious nerve gas disposed of in the desert by the military.

Director: John McCauley
Stars: Sam Chew Jr., Elisabeth Chauvet, Dan Priest
Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Scam artist Joan Collins tries to sell phony real estate deals in the Florida Everglades. She and her unsuspecting buyers don't know its been taken over by giant ants.

Director: Bert I. Gordon
Stars: Joan Collins, Robert Lansing, John David Carson


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

Taglines: here! 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?


Michael Caine stated in an interview that during filming he thought the little yellow spots left by the bees on his clothing was honey so he began to eat it, unaware he was eating bee poop. See more »


Distance between Paul and the bees during the gasoline scene varies wildly depending on the POV of Paul or the bees. See more »


General Thalius Slater: By tomorrow there will be no more Africans... at least not in the Houston sector.
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?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Funniest scene or line ryannaughton1138-1
The greatest piece of crap ever GRLMGC
The music was good ryannaughton1138-1
Most awful two hours spent in a cinema. garyahampton
Time for a remake? captmike10
Has anyone read the novel? CreativeMedia
Discuss The Swarm (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: