5.8/10
12,020
164 user 56 critic

Earthquake (1974)

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

Director:

Mark Robson

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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American based Federation World Airlines has just acquired a Concorde jet, which will make its inaugural commercial flight from Washington, D.C. to Paris, and then to Moscow as a goodwill ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Graff
Ava Gardner ... Remy
George Kennedy ... Slade
Lorne Greene ... Royce
Geneviève Bujold ... Denise (as Genevieve Bujold)
Richard Roundtree ... Miles
Marjoe Gortner ... Jody
Barry Sullivan ... Stockle
Lloyd Nolan ... Dr. Vance
Victoria Principal ... Rosa
Walter Matthau ... Drunk (as Walter Matuschanskayasky)
Monica Lewis ... Barbara
Gabriel Dell ... Sal
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ... Chavez (as Pedro Armendariz Jr.)
Lloyd Gough ... Cameron
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Storyline

Construction Engineer Stuart Graff is estranged from his jealously possessive wife, Remy, and has an affair with Denise Marshall, the widow of a co-worker. Meanwhile, Remy tries to persuade her father, Sam Royce, who is Stuart's employer, to use his influence to stop Stuart from seeing Denise. Rogue policeman Lew Slade is suspended from the L.A.P.D. for having punched an obtuse officer from another jurisdiction. Embittered, Slade contemplates quitting the police force. Jody, a perverted grocery store manager, lusts after Rosa Amici, sister of Sal, the assistant to Miles Quade, an aspiring daredevil motor cyclist. The lives of all these people are devastated when a major earthquake rips through Los Angeles and reduces the city to ruins. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An Event... See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Terremoto See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$79,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV) | (Ontario) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| Sensurround (70 mm and 35 mm magnetic prints)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A sequel, "Earthquake II", was planned, and a first draft of the script was written by George Fox, who wrote the script for this movie, but it never made it into development. The sequel follows several of the surviving characters of this movie: George Kennedy, Victoria Principal, Richard Roundtree, and Gabriel Dell, as they settle in San Francisco, California. The multitiered plot centers on a group of scientists trying to predict future earthquakes on the west coast, a corrupt builder constructing high rise apartments on unstable land, and the original characters adjusting to new relationships (George Kennedy and Principal) and new business ventures (Richard Roundtree and Gabriel Dell). An unexpected, massive earthquake hits off the coast of San Francisco, levelling the city, as a tsunami threatens to wash the Bay Area off the map. Completed in late 1975, the script went through several channels at Universal (up to Sid Sheinberg) and the project was active up until early 1977 ("EQII" and Rollercoaster (1977) were in pre-production simultaneously) but the "EQII" project was killed. This original script was discovered in 2005 in Director Mark Robson papers stored in the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »

Goofs

The glass is visible in the woman's head before she gets hit by it. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Dr. James Vance: This used to be a helluva town, officer.
Sgt. Lew Slade: [on the edge of tears] Yeah...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Quake (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

C'est si bon
(uncredited)
Music by Henri Betti
Played by a guitarist
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This used to be one hell of a town, officer.
4 March 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Earthquake is directed by Mark Robson and written by Mario Puzo and George Fox. It stars Charlton Heston, George Kennedy, Ava Gardner, Geneviève Bujold, Lorne Greene, Richard Roundtree & Marjoe Gortner.

A catastrophic earthquake hits Southern California and begins to level Los Angeles......

"It's not a negative to have heart in the disaster genre of film"

Take yourself to 1974, are you there? Good, now maybe you can appreciate this film a little more? Maybe? Earthquake does suffer from old age, it's a statement we see and hear a lot, but it's a fact that some film's stand the test of time whilst others do not. In this desensitised computer age, it is easy to forget that not all the tools available in film making today were available back when film's like this were being made. So as is my want, I firmly judge this as a 1974 offering, to which it delivers enough entertainment to fully satisfy my genre leanings and entertainment persuasions.

The main complaint of many is the long build up of the characters, cries of boring can be read across internet forums and critics blogs. I just don't see it that way, yes we want the quake and the mayhem destruction that will follow it; because really this is a disaster film after all, but is it so bad that the film has heart to go with the crash bang wallop? After the build up of characters, where relationships and character traits are formed, the disaster strikes; and it doesn't disappoint, utter destruction as effects and noise fill the eyes and ears, those with a good home cinema system finding it literally does rock the house. We are then treated to a series of sequences that hold and engage our attention, upsetting passages of human sadness, punctured by heroic surges as Heston and the fabulous Kennedy set about saving life, hell! saving the town even. Then it's the film's fitting finale, where there are no cop outs, the makers choosing to go out with a darker edge than its detractors give credit for.

Some can scoff at a blood splat effect, or rant about some of the acting on show, but Earthquake achieves two important things. One is that it entertains as a visual experience, the other is that it doesn't soft soap the devastating effects of an earthquake. As the camera pulls away from a ravaged L.A. the impact is sombre, reflection is needed and surely got. 7/10


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